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Due to essential maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 6.00pm on Monday 2 October until 8.00am on Tuesday 3 October: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. You will also not be able to register to pay council tax online, make a change of address for council tax or cancel single person discount. You are still able to make a payment during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Benefit cap

There is a limit on the total amount of benefits that a working age household can receive. The benefit cap applies if you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

The level of the benefit cap in County Durham is:

£384.62 per week or £1666.68 per month if you are a couple
£384.62 per week or £1666.68 per month if you have children
£257.69 per week or £1116.67 per month if you are single

The benefit cap does not apply to you if anyone in your family receives one of these disability or carer benefits:

  • ESA that includes the support component
  • Universal Credit that includes the work-related activity element
  • UC that includes the carers element
  • Carers allowance
  • Guardians allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits
  • War Pension

The benefit also does not apply in these work-related situations:

  • You get Working Tax Credit
  • You get Universal Credit and your net monthly earnings are at least £617 per month
  • You are within the 9 month 'grace period' which means that your earnings were at least £617 in each of the previous 12 months 

These benefits are included when working out if you are benefit capped:

  • Child Benefit 
  • Child Tax Credit 
  • Employment Support Allowance (if there is no support component)
  • Housing Benefit (unless you live in supported accommodation) 
  • Incapacity Benefit 
  • Income Support 
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Maternity Allowance 
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Widowed Parent's Allowance
  • Window's Pension

Further help if you are affected by the benefit cap

If you receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit housing costs element and are in financial hardship, you apply to the Council for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). These are usually short-term payments until your situation improves.

You can also get advice from the Welfare Rights Service. Please contact us.

Contact us
Welfare Rights
03000 268 968
Our address is:
  • Revenues and Benefits
  • PO Box 254
  • Stanley
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH8 1GG

Housing Solutions
03000 268 000