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26 August, 2020 Open access

Number of households subject to benefit cap in Northern Ireland has ‘increased significantly’ due to effect of COVID-19 on universal credit caseload

New Department for Communities statistics show increase of more than 40 per cent in number of households capped between March and May 2020

The number of households subject to the benefit cap in Northern Ireland has 'increased significantly' due to the effect of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the universal credit caseload, according to the Department for Communities.

In Benefit Cap Statistics - May 2020, published today, the Department says that a total of 1,890 households had their benefits capped in May 2020 (up from 1,330 in February 2020) and that, of these, 930 were housing benefit capped households and 960 were universal credit capped households.

The Department also highlights that May 2020 was the first month that the number of capped households under universal credit outnumbered the number of capped households under housing benefit, and comments that -

'The number of universal credit capped households has increased significantly from March 2020 to May 2020, as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on the universal credit caseload.'

Elsewhere the statistics show that -

For more information, see Benefit Cap Statistics - May 2020 from communities-ni.gov.uk