Hundreds of South Yorkshire households have benefits capped

Welfare reform minister Lord Freud
Welfare reform minister Lord Freud
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Hundreds of households across South Yorkshire have had their benefits capped in the last 12 months - with some claimants losing up to £150 per week, new Government figures have claimed.

New statistics published by the Department for Work and Pensions said 238 families in Sheffield, 94 in Rotherham, 85 in Barnsley, 111 in Doncaster, and 39 in Chesterfield have been affected by the introduction of the cap, which started in April 2013.

But Sheffield Citizens Advice questioned the Government statistics today, saying the latest Sheffield Council figures state 155 households have been subjected to the cap, with 837 children affected.

Frances Potter, operations manager for Sheffield Citizens Advice, said the cap is affecting single parents with several children particularly, as well as families in private rented accommodation who have less money to pay their landlords.

The benefit cap limits the amount of benefits a household can receive to £500 a week for couples and lone parent households, and £350 a week for households of a single adult with no children.

The new Government figures state that, in Sheffield, 43 households have been capped by between £100 and £150 per week, with 13 in Rotherham and five in Doncaster similarly affected. All caps in Barnsley and Chesterfield were for amounts worth under £100 per week.

Nationally, the DWP said more than 42,000 households had their benefits capped by March this year - meaning claimants can no longer receive more in benefits than the average family earns.

Lord Freud, minister for welfare reform, said: “The benefit cap is encouraging thousands of people who have been stuck on benefits to move into work.”

The benefit cap applies to combined income from the main out-of-work benefits and other benefits such as Housing Benefit and Child Benefit.