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Topic Benefits advice

Read weekly blogs from benefits advisor Tom. Post questions, share experiences around financial support in the conversations, message Tom privately or book an online ‘live chat’ session.

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Rolling and Stumbling - PIP and UC

Started by Tombenefits   on 27 March 2017 at 16:04


In the last of my mini-series looking at changes on the horizon - available here - I catch up with the slowly rolling out big "welfare reform" changes of:

   - Personal Independence Payment (PIP)- and the switch to it from "working age" Disability Living Allowance 

  - Universal Credit (UC) which in its all singing, all stumbling "Full Service" guise is finally beginning to arrive in some of our Centres.

PIP is the half sister of Attendance Allowance and DLA and we could yet grow to love it :-) It can apply regardless of your savings, income, or past National Insurance record and do the same wonderful things as DLA to other entitlements.

So it remains  well worth looking into if you are under 65 . Or if you are over 65 its half sibling Attendance Allowance.

Advisors' main reservations are that whatever its pros and cons compared with DLA, PIP's prime directive has been to deliver a 30% cut, as against "working age' DLA.


Universal Credit (UC)  wasn't about delivering cuts originally, but has become so losing its reforming way in the process. So far it has been mainly an issue for new jobseekers , but in time was will be the go to benefit for those on low or temporarily reduced incomes, whether too unwell, being carers or easing off or back into work. 

UC, then, is due to replace all the "working age" means tested benefits and tax credits. That time is beginning to arrive now, as Full Service UC rolls out at more of a pace from now until September 2018. 

Progress is more stumbling than rolling as the DWP don't seem to have thought of UC beyond jobseekers. UC isn't yet ready for the different needs and issues that a much wider range of people might bring, including those affected by cancer. So its a bit of make it up as they go along which all adds to the fun


But don't give up and do claim

It is still very worthwhile - and possibly essential-  to claim UC if you are in a Full Service UC area. Claims can go through smoothly, it's just too often Advisors are having to give the DWP a bit of encouragement and training over the phone :-)  Hopefully acts will have been got together by the time UC comes into your life.

So do please feel free to:

  - Read the blog: So do have a look to catch up on the latest developments. You will find it here.

  - Join this Conversation: But please feel free to share your experiences - good and bad - about PIP and UC. And your comments and general queries by posting below.

   - Or message me: If you would rather a quiet word in private - whether about these two key benefits or any other benefit concerns - then please do feel free to message me.

The biggest cut of all - under both old systems and new - will remain those who just don't claim. You will have support on that "benefits journey", so don't miss out. Ach go on, go on, go on - you know you want to :-)  

Best wishes,


Online Centre Benefits Advisor 


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