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House of Lords
Written Questions

Asked by Baroness King of Bow

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many households, broken down by local authority, are currently in receipt of benefits totalling more than £500 per week, but are exempt from the Household Benefit Cap on the basis of their entitlement to Disability Living Allowance.[HL1371]

Lord Freud: A Local Authority breakdown of the number of households currently in receipt of benefits totalling more than £500 per week, but are exempt from the Household Benefit cap on the basis of their entitlement to Disability Living Allowance (DLA), will be placed in the library.

Please note DLA claimants are exempt from the benefit cap. From the data available in May 2013, we estimate an additional 47,000 households would potentially be brought into scope of the benefit cap if this exemption did not apply and by virtue of other benefits being claimed. This estimate references those whose only reason for exemption from the cap is that either the HB claimant, their partner or a dependent child in their household receives DLA. Please note that it includes those in the scope of both the £500 and £350 benefit cap limits.

Please note that household numbers are rounded to the nearest 100. Areas with fewer than 100 households affected are denoted by “..”, as additional disclosure control has been applied to these areas.

The benefit cap is being applied through a phased implementation which commenced on 15 April 2013 in Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey. National implementation of the benefit cap commences 15th July and by the end of September 2013 all appropriate households will have been capped.

Estimates assume that the situation of these households will go unchanged, and they will not take any steps to either work enough hours to qualify for Working Tax Credit, renegotiate their rent in situ, or find alternative accommodation.

The Department has made extensive contacts with households who are likely to be affected by the cap and we are offering advice and support through Jobcentre Plus, including, where appropriate, early access to the Work Programme before the cap is introduced.