Number of households hit by benefit cap 141% higher than before the start of the pandemic

Today, the Department for Work and Pensions has released the latest experimental statistics on how many households have had their benefits capped between April 2013 and May 2021. The key findings from the release are: 

  • 190,000 households had their benefit capped at May 2021. This compares with 79,000 at February 2020, an increase of 141% from this period.
  • The 190,000 households is a 5% drop from February 2021.
  • Households had their benefits capped by an average of £55 a week at May 2021. This works out at £238.15 a month.

Responding to the statistics Jon Sparkes, Crisis Chief Executive, said: “These figures show just how dire the situation continues to be for people as they battle to keep a roof over their head. With vital lifelines such as furlough and the Universal Credit uplift weeks away from ending, thousands still out of work and others struggling to make ends meet on insecure zero-hour contracts, more and more people will be left worrying about how they’re going to be able to afford their rent.  

“For many people renting has become completely unaffordable and with housing benefit once again frozen, this will be adding further pressure to people’s already strained budgets.   

“With the spending review due next month, we are urging the UK government to invest in Universal Credit, so that people can continue to pay their rent, and ensure exemptions to the benefit cap exist to prevent more people from being forced into homelessness.”