No way out Why families struggle to escape the benefit cap

Published April 8, 2024

Drawing on four rounds of interviews with parents affected by the benefit cap, this briefing outlines the harms the benefit cap causes, and details the difficulties households face in escaping the cap.


  • This month, benefits will rise by 6.7% (September’s inflation rate) and Local Housing Allowances will be uprated after a four year freeze. This is a welcome step that will provide some much needed relief for struggling families.
  • But the approximately 77,000 families affected by the benefit cap will not see a penny more, leaving them falling further behind and deeper into poverty.
  • At the same time, the uprating of benefits and the Local Housing Allowance will see some households capped for the first time, as their overall income tips them over the cap thresholds. These families won’t feel the full impact of uprating as the benefit cap claws back any increase to their benefits.
  • Research from the four-year Benefit Changes and Larger Families project shows that families affected by the benefit cap are experiencing extreme hardship.
  • Parents are often unable to escape the cap through paid work due to the insurmountable barriers they face to entering employment.
  • Parents find it impossible to escape the cap through moving to cheaper accommodation as they are often already in the cheapest accommodation available.
  • The benefit cap needs to be removed urgently, as part of wider efforts to effectively tackle child poverty.

For timely project updates, and nothing else

Your details are safe with us. We will never share them with anyone else, and it’s easy to opt-out at any time. Check out our privacy policy here.