There is a benefit cap being established across the UK, but the test program has started already in London. The cap focuses on the amount you can actually get from the Government if you aren’t of pension age yet. This means that millions of Britons will be affected by the cap. As you might expect, there’s a great deal of outrage over this, along with a lot of shock. The program just launched in Haringey, Enfield, Croydon, and Bromley on April 5th. The new rules indicate that couples and single parents alike cannot receive more than 500 a week from the Government. Singles will be limited to 350 a week. This is being rolled out to combat complaints that there are people on the public system that are receiving a plush package without needing to work at all. This affects those that are getting Housing Benefit, but it’s still something that you should be looking into.
Even if you’re not getting Housing Benefit, it could affect you later down the road if you’re getting Universal Credit.
Let’s say that you and your spouse get 525 pounds a week right now, and 50 of that is the Housing Benefit. Since the benefit cap is 500 pounds, you receive 25 more in benefits than the cap. So the 25 would be deducted from your Housing Benefit, and that means that your new HB would be just 25 pounds.
There are some exemptions that are being put into place. You’re on safe ground if you get Working Tax Credit, as well as if you’ve reached the age where you can receive Pension Credit. There’s also an exemption if you have benefits for sickness or a disability. War Widows? Exempt. Widowers Pension? You’re exempt there as well.
We understand that the benefit cap may make things a bit difficult for you. If this is the case, perhaps you can look for work, or raise the hours that you’re already working. This would allow you to claim the Working Tax Credit and be exempt. If that’s not possible, then you’re stuck getting things into place as fast as possible. You might have to move to a cheaper flat, which isn’t always possible. The thing is that you have to do anything that you can to stay keeping everything together. Focus on that, give yourself enough time to look at other resources and go from there. Good luck!