Number of households having their benefits capped increases – Crisis responds

Today, the Department for Work and Pensions has released the latest statistics on how many households had their benefits capped between 15 April 2013 and May 2022. The stats show that:

  • 130,000 households had their benefits capped in the quarter ending in May 2022, an increase of 9% on the previous quarter.
  • Since February 2020, the start of the pandemic, there has been a 65% increase in the numbers of households having their benefits capped, from 79,000 households to 130,000.
  • 87% of households (110,000) that had their benefits capped included children.
  • Households had their benefits capped by an average of £52 a week in May 2022, or £225 per month.

Responding to the statistics Matt Downie, Crisis Chief Executive, said: “Its hugely concerning to see this increase in the number of households that had their benefits capped, the majority with children to take care of too. Since May, costs will have gone up due to inflation and rising energy bills. Many households will have also seen a hike in their rent, yet the cap level has stayed fixed. This is leaving people struggling to plug the shortfall and falling into debt or being unable to pay a crucial bill or put food on the table.

“As costs continue to go up, the case for reforming the benefit cap is patently clear. The new Secretary of State should commit to an urgent review of the it, and consider scrapping it altogether to ensure it no longer stops people having enough to pay for essentials.”

“We know from the people who use our services that they are finding the benefit cap one of the biggest barriers to securing an affordable home. Without reform, the cap could lead to more people being pushed into homelessness because they cannot afford to pay rents, which are rising at a record rate.”