The government introduced changes to benefits in November 2016 and we’ve identified 74 Aspire Housing customers affected by the new benefits cap. Between November 2016 and January 2017, your benefits will be checked and recalculated and your council will write to let you know if you are affected.

If you receive a letter form your council and you have not been contacted by a member of Aspire staff, please get in touch with our customer services team to discuss your options.

The benefit cap has been introduced to make sure that no family receives more in benefits than the average working household.

Currently benefits are capped at:

  • £500 per week (£26,000 per year) if you’re a couple, whether your children live with you or not
  • £500 per week (£26,000 per year) if you’re single and your children live with you
  • £350 per week (£18,200 per year) if you’re single and you don’t have children, or your children don’t live with you

From November 2016 this is changing:

  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) if you’re in a couple, whether your children live with you or not
  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) if you’re single and your children live with you
  • £257.69 per week (£13,400 a year) if you’re single and you don’t have children, or your children don’t live with you

Which benefits are included in the benefit cap?

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Carers Allowance
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Widowed Parents Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Widow’s Pension

If you get any of the following benefits you are excluded from the cap

  • Claimant or partner is Pension Credit age
  • Claimant or partner entitled to Working Tax Credit (even if nil award due to income)
  • Claimant or partner on Universal Credit and earning £430 or more net pcm
  • Claimant or partner in support group of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Claimant or partner claims Carers Allowance
  • Adult or dependent child on Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment
  • Claimant or partner on an Industrial Injuries Benefit
  • Guardians allowance

 

What can I do?
Increase your payments – If you have the money available you can use it to cover the cost of any changes and stay in your current home. The best thing you can do is pay a little extra in order to get in advance on your rent account and build up some savings for other bills. Even small amounts will mount up over the weeks.
Take a lodger – You may be able to earn additional income from a lodger, but remember to check with us first to ensure your tenancy agreement allows it.
Find a job – If you want help in getting back into work, training, education or work experience you can contact our Employment and Skills team to look into what is available and what they can do to help you move back into the world of work.
Manage your money – If you have any cash concerns you can contact our Money Advice Team. They can provide you with FREE, confidential advice on how to manage your money and clear any debts you have.
If you think you will be affected by the cap please contact 01782 635200.