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Households affected by the benefit cap

London households affected by the benefit cap (2014 Q3-2022 Q3)

The benefit cap limits the amount of benefit that most working-age people can receive. In London the limit is £23,000 per year or £15,410 for single adults with no children. This was reduced in 2015. The benefit cap is applied by either reducing Universal Credit or Housing Benefit (for those not claiming Universal Credit).

The benefit cap reduced the benefits of 21,381 more London families in August 2022 compared to August 2019 (pre-pandemic). This means that the number of families with their benefits capped in London has more than doubled in the last three years.

A possible explanation for this unprecedented increase could be the influx of new households on Universal Credit since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the additional £20 pound per week for those on Universal Credit could place households in a position where their benefits would be capped.

A large number of London households affected by the benefit cap since 2020 had their benefits reduced by up to £25 per month. In 2022, this represented 33% of all households who have experienced the cap.

The data refers to the month of August for each year spanning 2014 to 2022 and includes caps to Housing Benefit until 2016 and Housing Benefit and out-of-work Universal Credit combined, from 2017 onwards. The data disaggregated by type of benefit and region (London, rest of England) can be found in the CSV.