Households affected by the benefit cap

London households affected by the benefit cap (2014-2021 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 39,573 more London families in August 2021 compared to August 2019 (pre-pandemic). This means that the number of families with their benefits capped in London has tripled in the last two 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. 

The majority of London households affected by the benefit cap in 2021 had their benefits reduced by up to £25 per month. In 2021, this was 32% of all households who have experienced the cap.

The data refers to the month of August for each year spanning 2014 to 2021 and includes caps to either Housing Benefit or out-of-work Universal Credit. The data disaggregated by type of benefit and region can be found in the CSV.