By Daniel Hunter

Almost 36,000 people potentially affected by the benefit cap have accepted support to get into work.

New figures show that since claimants were first notified of the cap in April 2012, 35,800 people have taken up offers of extra help to find employment.

Jobcentre Plus has also helped around 18,000 potentially capped claimants into work over this 18 month period.

Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, said: "The benefit cap sends a very clear message that there is a limit to how much the welfare state will provide at £500 a week.

"We are providing people with a strong incentive to move into work — with our Jobcentre teams now having helped claimants facing the cap for 18 months.

"It is impressive that 18,000 potentially capped claimants have moved into work and almost 36,000 have accepted Jobcentre Plus help.

"The benefit cap, along with Universal Credit, will return fairness to the welfare system and ensure that work pays."

Data today also show almost 19,300 households were capped nationally up to mid-September. This does not yet provide the full picture of all households that have been capped.

The cap has been in place nationwide since the end of September 2013 for appropriate households.

The benefit cap limits are set at £500 a week for couples, with or without children, and lone parent households, and at £350 a week for households of a single adult with no children.

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