- Created: Wednesday, 19 October 2016 12:34
- Written by Robert Clough
From 7 November, according to DWP calculations, 88,000 families, each with three or more children, will lose an average £60 per week in housing benefit because of a reduction in the Overall Benefit Cap (OBC). When the OBC was introduced in April 2013 it was set at £26,000pa; it will now be cut to £23,000pa for families living in London, and to £20,000pa for those living outside. 80% of those affected will be single parent families (67% women, 13% men). Some larger families will lose all their housing benefit.
There are some exemptions: where the parent(s) qualify for working tax credits (ie, work more than 16 hours a week if single, or more than 24 hours a week if a couple); where the family receives carer’s allowance, or where one of the family members is on a disability benefit. However, those in receipt of Employment Support Allowance in the work related activity group are not exempt even though they are incapable of working. Nor are single parents exempt, even if they have a child aged under three and are therefore not required to seek work.