High Court rules benefit caps on single parents with children under two are unlawful

Date: 12th July 2017
Category: Social security and childcare

A High Court judge has ruled that a benefits cap placed on single parents with a child under two is unlawful and "obviously" exacerbates poverty.


The cap currently stands at £20,000 outside London and £23,000 for those in London and parents must work for at least 16 hours a week to avoid the cap. However, the High Court judge stated that the cap was not intended to cover single parent households and the failure to exempt them was discriminatory.

The solicitor who represented the claimants, who were made up of four lone parent families, said that "The benefit cap has had a catastrophic impact upon vulnerable lone parent families and children across the country.

"Single mothers like my clients have been forced into homelessness and reliance on food banks as a result of the benefit cap.

"Thousands of children have been forced into poverty, which has severe long-term effects on the health and well-being."


The caps are thought to effect around 26,000 lone parents. The government has stated that they are 'disappointed' with the ruling and plan on appealing it.