Benefit alert as limit can reach your Universal Credit with 180,000 families reached

THOUSANDS of Universal Credit families are cash-strapped because of benefit limits.

New figures reveal that 180,000 Britons have had their payments capped under rules on how much people can claim,

Limiting benefits may reduce the amount you receive


Limiting benefits may reduce the amount you receiveCredit: Alamy

First introduced by the government in 2013, the benefit cap is set at £20,000 a year for families, or £23,000 in London.

For individuals, the limit is £13,400 a year or £15,410 for those living in the capital.

General Credit count towards the limit, along with other benefits such as child allowance, housing allowance and job seeker’s allowance.

There are some exemptions when the benefit limit does not apply, such as if you are entitled to working tax credits.

If your Welfare If payments are over the limit, your General Credit or Housing Benefit will be reduced.

The latest data from the government shows households are missing an average of £54 a week – or £234 a month.

The number affected by the benefit cap is “significantly higher” than in March 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic hit, government figures show.

Over a million claims have been made during the Covid lockdown.

A total of 180,000 people were subject to the cap as of August 2021, and nearly 30,000 had their benefits restricted for the first time in the four months to that date.

This is down slightly from 190,000 people affected in the previous quarter, but still more than double the 79,000 people affected in February 2020.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of the charity Crisis, said: “These numbers once again confirm the hardships faced by thousands of people from top to bottom in the country because of the economic pressures of the pandemic. Translate.

“Since the time of this data, we have seen the cost of living and rent rise rapidly, putting people under more financial strain and even pushing them closer to homelessness. reside.”

Cost of living crisis has seen bills and daily expenses soar, putting pressure on disadvantaged households.

A DWP spokesperson said: “The benefit cap, up to the equivalent of £28,000 in London, ensures fairness for hard-working taxpayer households and strongly encourages work, while providing a much-needed safety net of support.

“Through our Plan for Employment, we are helping people work, progress and earn more. Returning to work will greatly increase the likelihood that a household will not be impacted. by limit.”

Here’s how the benefit limit might affect you – and you can get extra help if that happens.

What is the benefit limit?

Limits of interests outside Greater London are:

  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) if you are in a couple
  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) if you are a single parent and your children live with you
  • £257.69 per week (£13,400 a year) if you’re a single adult

The limits of interests within Greater London are:

  • £442.31 per week (£23,000 a year) if you are in a couple
  • £442.31 per week (£23,000 a year) if you are a single parent and your children live with you
  • £296.35 per week (£15,410 a year) if you’re a single adult

What benefits count towards the limit?

  • General Credit
  • Loss allowance
  • Children’s rights
  • Child tax credit
  • Employment Allowance and Support
  • Housing welfare
  • Benefits when losing the ability to work
  • Income support
  • Candidate’s allowance
  • Maternity allowance
  • Severe disability benefits
  • Widow’s Allowance (or Widow Mother’s Allowance or Widow’s Allowance if you started receiving it before April 9, 2001)

If you are past the state pension age, you will not be affected by the benefit limit.

You also won’t be limited in your payments if you receive a tax credit while working, have a limited ability to work because of a health condition or disability on Universal Credit, or care for someone with disability. disability and receive UC.

If you or your partner earn a total of £617 or more per month, your after-tax and National Insurance contributions will not be affected by the limit.

You can also get a nine-month “renewal period” where the limit doesn’t apply when you first start claiming Universal Credit.

What can I do if my benefits are limited?

You should check that you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to, suggests the Turn2Us charity.

There are some unlimited benefits, like Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and attendance allowance, so if you get these benefits, they can increase your income.

You can use the free benefits checker to see what you might be entitled to, but note that it won’t be certain until you sign up.

Free Entitledto calculator determine if you are eligible for various benefits, tax credits, and the Common Credit.

If you do not want to subscribe, the consumer group and charity Step change both have the benefit tools powered by Entitledto’s data that allow you to save your results without logging in.

Use Calculator of policy in practice to not only find out what benefits you can get, but also to see how much cash you will have left over each month after paying for your housing costs.

Charity Turn2Us benefit calculator Find out what tested benefits you might be eligible for, as well as whether you’re eligible for a carer’s allowance.

It turns out that it doesn’t calculate non-tested and contrived benefits, but it will include these in your results if you had received them.

The extra help you can get if you’re on Universal Credit

If you are using Universal Credit, you can apply Budget advance to avoid unexpected costs.

For example, money can help you replace white goods, but be careful, you will have to pay the money back and it will be carried over from future welfare payments, reducing the amount you receive.

Low-income households could get £25 a week to help pay their winter energy bills thanks to cold weather payment plan.

You will receive a payment if the average temperature in your area is 0 degrees Celsius or below over a seven-day period.

Payment should be made automatically to the bank account where you receive your benefits and you can check your area qualified.

The warm home discount program £140 off your heating bill in winter for low income earners.

You need to apply for this job directly from your energy company and it is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so do it sooner rather than later.

Customers of failed energy companies are being urged to apply to the new company they have moved to.

You can get cash that you don’t have to pay back from charity grants.

You can use Turn2us online funding search to find out what benefits you may be eligible for based on your circumstances.

Your local council may also be able to provide specific support in your area for low-income people.

They are also handing out cash and vouchers to help with food and bills this winter, through £500 million Household Support Fund.

You can find your local council using this tool and search your postcode to see if there is any help.

Anyone trying to get back to work can get money from Flexible Endowment Fund (FSF), for example, to pay for trains to the docking port.

For example, you can save money on your council tax bill if you qualify for a discount.

You can check how to get one exemptions on household bills in our guide.

I was subsidized and homeless when I got the ‘dirty’ council flat but I made it cheap – I’m fed up with the stigma, I love my home

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Bobby Allyn

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