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Scenario: Ms S
How Ms S, a mother of four children, could be entitled to other benefits and tax credits that are available.
Ms S is a lone parent with four children who live with her; she receives Job Seekers Allowance, Child Tax Credit, Child Benefit and Housing Benefit.
In November 2013, when the benefit cap was first introduced, her total income from these benefits was £529.23. The benefit cap was £500 per week meaning she had to contribute £29.23 towards her rent every week.
The benefit cap was reduced to £442.31 in November 2016. Ms S’s income has not changed since 2013 so she will now have to find an additional £57.69 every week to pay towards her rent. This means she now has to contribute £86.92 each week.
What options are available?
Ms S may be able to apply for a Discretionary Housing Benefit to help her pay her rent in the short term.
If Ms S is able to find work (at least 16 hours per week), she could claim Working Tax Credit meaning the benefit cap would not apply to her.
The only other exemptions available to Ms S is if she or a member of her household has a disability and they are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments, or if Ms S becomes a carer on carer’s allowance, or becomes unwell and needs to claim Employment and Support allowance.