Havering Benefits Welfare Adviser Lorraine Moss today writes in the Havering Daily.
The Benefit Cap was first introduced by the then Coalition Government in 2013. It limits the amount of state benefits that an individual household can claim each year. Back in 2013 the limit was £26 000 per year(£500.00 per week) and this was the average family income in the UK for single people with no children it was set at £18 200 (£350.00 per week.)
In July 2015 it was announced at the UK budget that the yearly amount if the Benefit Cap from Autumn 2016 would be reduced to £20 000 per year (£384.62 per week) outside London and for people living
in London it was reduced to £23 000 per year (£442.31 per week.). The rate for single people without children outside London is £13 399.88 (£257.69 per week) and living in London £15 410.20 (£296.35 per week.)
Who Is most likely To Be Affected
Usually it is people with children and those who live in areas were rental prices are high. Unfortunately, with the current Covid crisis many more people are sadly finding themselves in this situation.
What Benefits are taken into account?
The benefit cap affects:
Child Tax Credit
Employment and Support Allowance
Severe Disablement Allowance
Widowed Parent’s Allowance (or Widowed Mother’s Allowance or Widow’s Pension if you started getting it before 9 April 2001)
When you’re not affected
You’re not affected by the cap if you’re over State Pension age. If you’re part of a couple and one of you is under State Pension age, the cap may apply.
You’re not affected by the cap if you or your partner:
get Working Tax Credit (even if the amount you get is £0)
get Universal Credit because of a disability or health condition that stops you from working (this is called ‘limited capability for work and work-related activity’)
get Universal Credit because you care for someone with a disability
get Universal Credit and you and your partner earn £604 or more a month combined, after tax and National Insurance contributions
You’re also not affected by the cap if you, your partner or any children under 18 living with you gets:
Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
Armed Forces Independence Payment
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Employment and Support Allowance (if you get the support component)
Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent payments as part of a War Disablement Pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme)
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension
If you are affected, the benefit cap might not start for 9 months – depending on your earnings.
Source : https://www.gov.uk/benefit-cap
If you are affected by the Benefit Cap you can apply to your local council for a Discretionary Housing Payment to help with payments towards your rent. To apply in Havering, please see;
Havering Council also has a Welfare Assistance fund which you can apply for in an emergency please see https://familyserviceshub.havering.gov.uk/kb5/havering/directory/service.page?id=OL1rNcx3CIU.