What you need to know about changes to your benefits 

The government have been making major changes to the benefit system. If you receive benefits, these changes will affect you.

They include:

  • Changes to the way benefits are calculated and paid.
  • A possible reduction in the amount of Housing Benefit you receive.
  • A cap on your total benefits.

In It Together

If you are a Trident Group resident and you are worried about how these changes are going to affect you, contact a member of Trident Group’s Locality team on 0121 633 4633 or email LocalityTeam@tridentgroup.org.uk.

You may be entitled to more benefits than you think. Check your benefit entitlement by visiting http://www.entitledto.co.uk.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is being introduced across the UK in stages. It will replace:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income Support

To find out more on what you might be entitled to please go to the following website: www.universal-benefit-calculator.co.uk/universalcredit

The Universal Credit Calculator will show your entitlement to Universal Credit, and other benefits that you may be able to claim, whether in or out of work. Calculations should be treated as a helpful estimate of your entitlement. It will only be as accurate as the information you enter. The calculator is owned and operated by Policy in Practice. 

The Citizen Advice website provides an overview of Universal Credit (UC) with indicators on what may affect the amount you receive such as your savings – if you have £16,000 or more savings you will not be eligible. Other sections covered in this guidance include calculating your maximum amount and information on the benefit cap. Remember if you need help or assistance in understanding UC, call us on 0121 633 4633.

For further information from the Department of Work and Pensions, please click here.

Have a look at our fact sheet on Universal Credit by clicking here.

Bank Accounts

In order to receive your benefits under Universal Credit you must have a bank account. Below is a table outlining various accounts and what they have to offer. Remember if you need additional information or advice please contact the Income Management team at

Features of different accounts at a glance:

  Current Account Basic Bank Account Jam Jar Account Post Office Card Account Prepaid Card
Does it allow debits and standing orders? Yes Yes Yes No No
Does it offer an overdraft facility? Yes Some accounts offer a small buffer zone of £10-£15 No No No
Can I use any cash machine? Yes Usually (although some providers restrict use to their own machines) Yes No, the card can only be used at the Post Office Yes – although you may be charged
Is a debit card provided? Yes Sometimes No No Most prepaid cards can be used in all the same places as debit card
Is a cheque book provided? Yes No No No No
Are credit checks needed to open the account? Yes No No No No
Are there fees and charges? Fees and interest charged on overdrafts. Penalties for returned standing orders or Direct Debits Usually charge penalties for returned standing orders or Direct Debits Monthly fee of around £10-£15. No penalties for returned standing orders or Direct Debit Yes. Charges may vary, but can include: set-up fee, ‘load’ fee to top up, cash machine fee, transaction fee