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Benefit cap hits over 2,000 families in West Midlands

2,437 households had their benefits capped in the West Midlands since April, according to figures released today by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The figures, covering the period from April to November 2013, mean an increase of 366 households from October.

In total, nearly 33,000 households had their benefits capped since the cap was introduced in April last year all over Great Britain, being London the most affected area with 15,342 households, followed by the South East, with 3,431.

The Government introduced the cap on the total amount of benefit that working- age households can receive so that households on out-of-work benefits won’t receive more in welfare payments than the average weekly wage for working households.

This means that it limits welfare hand-outs to £500 a week for couples, with or without children, and lone parent households, and at £350 a week for households of a single adult with no children.

According to the DWP data, Birmingham is also the only local authority out of London in the top ten areas affected by the cap, ranked sixth with 860 households affected, going up from 723 in October 2013.

Top Local Authorities by affected households by the benefit cap

Source: DWP IGS Directorate 100% Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE)

47% of all the affected households were found in London. The top place is for Enfield with 1,548 families. The London borough was one of the first local authorities that applied the benefit cap from 15 April 2013, along with Bromley, Croydon and Haringey. The rest of authorities applied the cap between 15 July 2013 and the end of September.

The minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, said:

“These figures show that the benefit cap is returning fairness to the system by ensuring that families on benefits can no longer get more money than the average family earns.”

Do you wonder if the benefit cap might affect you? You can find more info here

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About Lucia D. Boveda

Journalist. Currently Online Journalism MA student at Birmingham City University

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