Benefits Update

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Changes that started in 2016:

Benefit Cap

If you receive certain benefits, including Housing Benefit, and live with a partner or have children living with you, the amount of money you get each week will be limited to £442 a week if you live in London, or £385 a week if you live outside London. If you live on your own, it will be limited to £296.35 a week (London) and £257.69 a week (outside London).

Housing Benefit Back-payments

If you make a new claim for Housing Benefit and you’re below State Pension age, if the claim is backdated for any reason, (e.g. you couldn’t claim earlier because you were in hospital), you can now only claim for one month of rent, even if you have needed to claim and have not been able to for longer.

Changes we expect to be introduced in 2017:

Tax Free Childcare

To be introduced as a replacement for childcare vouchers. The government will contribute up to a maximum of £2000 per child, per year to people who are not receiving help with childcare via tax credits.

Tax Credits Support for children

Also known as ‘Child Tax Credit’, this will be limited to two children from April 2017.

Universal Credit

If anyone with a youngest child aged 3 wants to claim Universal Credit they will be expected to look for work. If anyone who is 18-21 (apart from those considered vulnerable) wants to claim Universal Credit they will have to either attend a work placement from six months after the start of their claim, or apply for training or an apprenticeship.

If you are under 21

You will not receive support with housing costs if you apply for Universal Credit (some under 21s will – please check online).


If you are concerned about the changes to your benefits please contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for more advice, find your local CAB here:

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