MORE than 500 residents in Slough will be hit by a new benefit cap set to roll out across the country next month as the Christmas shopping period looms, it emerged today.

Families, people with disabilities and pregnant women will receive a maximum of £20,000 in benefits from next year after The Department for Work and Pensions announced the cut-off point will shrink from the current £26,000.

It is estimated that around 571 people in Slough will feel the affects of the change, which will begin from November 7.

Benefits that will be affected by the change include housing, job seeker's allowance, maternity allowance, severe disablement allowance and widowed parent's allowance.

Despite the change, Slough Borough Council insists a plan is in place to support residents affected by the staggering cuts.

Roger Parkin, interim chief executive of Slough Borough Council, said: “We’ve known about this benefit cap for a while, so thankfully we’ve had time to prepare.

“We’ve written to affected residents to explain the cap and ensure that wherever possible people have the opportunity to adjust their circumstances, including finding a job or increasing their hours.

“Slough Jobcentre will be offering additional employment assistance to any claimants who are not already fully supported in looking for work."

The change comes just weeks before Christmas day, a time when residents are saving up funds to buy gifts for children, family members and friends.

Councillor Sohail Munawar, leader of Slough Borough Council, said: “With Christmas coming up, we know this cap is going to be particularly tough on some people.

“While we can’t do anything about the government’s decision to cap people, we can ensure our residents are well informed and that our contingency plans are robust.

“I urge people who need help not to suffer in silence.”

How will the new cap effect your family? The Observer would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or email