‘Unfair!’ 100,000 households with children lose benefit support due to DWP rules

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New figures from the DWP have found that 120,000 households were subject to the benefit cap in February 2022, including 100,000 which included children. This means that families who would otherwise be entitled to extra financial assistance are not able to receive and are losing benefit support. In light of this, charities such as Save the Children are calling on the Government to scrap the benefit cap to help those struggling during the cost of living crisis.

The benefit cap is the term used to describe the limit which is placed on the total amount of money someone can get from the DWP

This threshold affects most people aged 16 or over who have not reached the state pension age, which is 66.

Some claimants may not be impacted by the benefit cap if they receive certain payments or if they are over 66 years of age.

Recipients of Universal Credit might not be affected by the benefit cap for about nine months, depending on their earnings.

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The following payments from the DWP are affected by the benefit cap:

Alice Fuller, the head of Child Poverty at Save the Children, outlined why she believes the current DWP rules are “unfair” for families.

Ms Fuller explained: “The benefit cap is unfair and arbitrary and has unnecessarily trapped thousands of children in poverty and hardship for years.

“And now, as we face the biggest inflation crisis in half a century, families affected by the cap are approaching a cliff edge.

“As well as shocking stories about families struggling to pay for food and bills, we’ve heard how parents on low incomes are having to decide whether they can afford to bathe their children and that it’s a struggle to buy new clothes for growing children.”

Currently, inflation in the UK is at nine percent and is expected to go up even further tomorrow, and in the months ahead.

On top of this, households are currently experiencing an annual energy bill increase of £693 which has placed further pressure on households.

Some experts believe families could see the energy price cap rise as high as £3,000 by January of next year.

According to Ms Fuller, this continuing cost of living crisis makes the current DWP rules regarding the benefit cap extra unfair.

On the cost of living crisis, the poverty expert added: “School trips and days out are now no longer affordable.

“The Government has already acknowledged the unfair nature of the current system by making sure May’s cost of living package for families did not count towards the benefits cap.

“This shows that they know families need more money in their pockets to withstand rising prices.

“The obvious next step is to remove it altogether so families whose incomes are currently capped can take advantage of benefit increases due next spring.”

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