Child Poverty Action Group blog: Not getting by, the increasing impact of the benefit cap

Figures just released by the Department for Work and Pensions show that in February 2021, soon after the start of the third lockdown, 200,000 households were subject to the benefit cap. Behind this statistic are families having to get by on less than their assessed need because of the government’s decision to limit the amount of income any ‘non-working’ household can receive in social security.

The pandemic has seen the number of capped households drastically increase, with the latest figures an increase of 153 per cent since February 2020, when 79,000 households were subject to the cap.

To escape the benefit cap, families must move to cheaper accommodation or enter paid employment (working more than the equivalent of 16 hours at the minimum wage). These steps are difficult to take at any time but have often been impossible during the pandemic.

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