The level of the benefit cap is being reduced nationwide from 07/11/2016 as part of the on-going Welfare Reform changes being implemented by the UK Government.
Argyll and Bute council will implement the Cap from 7th Nov 2016, In West Dunbartonshire the new reduced cap will take effect from 21/11/16 . We are expecting 5 of our families to be affected initially, although this number may change slightly. The DWP issued letters to all applicants that they identified as being affected in September giving them an indication of the likely reduction in their HB entitlement.
The new rates are detailed below:-
£20,000 pa (£384.60/w) for a couple with or without children or a single parent
£13,400 pa(£257.69/w) for a single claimant
Where a claimant has been identified as being in receipt of benefits totalling over these amounts the cap will be applied to their HB entitlement. Benefits that are included in the cap are listed below
Child tax Credit
Employment and Support Allowance(Unless the support component is in payment)
Severe Disablement Allowance
Widows Parent Allowance
Carers Allowance(Until 20/11/16)
Guardians Allowance(Until 20/11/16)
Benefits that would exempt a household from the benefit cap are:-
Working Tax Credits
Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
Armed Forces Independence Payment
Disability Living Allowance
Employment and Support Allowance(If the support component is in payment)
Industrial Injuries Benefits
Personal Independence Payment
War Widows or War Widowers Pension
Carers Allowance(from 21/11/16. Prior to this CL in receipt of this not exempt and income received from CA included in cap amount)
Guardian’s Allowance(from 21/11/16. Prior to this CL in receipt of this not exempt and income received from GA included in cap amount)
Here is an example
The Scott family still have four children all under 16 living at home. They are not working at the moment and get weekly benefits totalling £560. Up to 7th November, the £500 benefits cap means they have £60 less each week to live on, and after 7th November, the £385 benefits cap means that they will now have another £115 less each week to live on - a total of £175 per week less - £9,100 over the whole year.
This means that the Scotts will have a much larger shortfall in income to manage in order to pay their rent and make sure that they are able to keep the family fed, clothed, clean and warm.
The family will be offered assistance from a Work Coach at Job Centre Plus to ensure they explore all avenues into work.
At Dunbritton Housing we have been working closely with both local authories. Please contact your Housing Officer for further information.