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Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - guide to the meaning of words used in the activities and descriptors

Whether you can get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) depends on an assessment of your ability to carry out certain daily living activities and mobility activities. This is measured against a list of descriptors, which describe varying levels of ability under each activity. The activities and the descriptors are known as the assessment criteria and are set out in regulations.

The regulations also provide definitions for the words used in the assessment criteria. When you're assessed, the assessor must use the meaning of words as they are defined in the regulations. These meanings are set out in the following table.

Words used in the PIP activities and descriptorsMeaning
aided

with:

(a) the use of an aid or appliance, or

(b) supervision, prompting or assistance

aid or appliance

(a) any device which improves, provides or replaces your impaired physical or mental function, and

(b) includes a prosthesis

assistancephysical intervention by another person not including speech
assistance doga dog trained to guide or assist a person with a sensory impairment
basic verbal informationinformation in your native language conveyed verbally in a simple sentence
basic written informationsigns, symbols and dates written or printed standard size text in your native language
batheincludes get into or out of an unadapted bath or shower
communication supportsupport from a person trained or experienced in communicating with people with specific communication needs, including interpreting verbal information into a non-verbal form and vice versa
complex budgeting decisions

decisions involving:

(a) calculating household and personal budgets,

(b) managing and paying bills, and

(c) planning future purchases

complex verbal informationinformation in your native language conveyed verbally in either more than one sentence or one complicated sentence
complex written informationmore than one sentence of written or printed standard size text in your native language
cookheat food at or above waist height
dress and undressincludes put on and take off socks and shoes
engage socially

(a) interact with others in a contextually and socially appropriate manner, and

(b) understand body language, and

(c) establish relationships

manage incontinencemanage involuntary evacuation of the bowel or bladder, including using a collecting device or self-catheterisation, and cleaning yourself afterwards
manage medication or therapytake medication or undertake therapy, where a failure to do so is likely to result in a deterioration in your health
medication

medication to be taken at home which is prescribed or recommended by a registered:

(a) doctor, or

(b) nurse, or

(c) pharmacist

monitor health

(a) detect significant changes in your health condition which are likely to lead to a deterioration in your health, and

(b) take action advised by a:

  • (i) registered doctor, or
  • (ii) registered nurse, or
  • (iii) health professional who is regulated by the Health Professions Council

without which your health is likely to deteriorate

orientation aida specialist aid designed to assist disabled people to follow a route safely
preparein the context of food, make food ready for cooking or eating
promptingreminding, encouraging or explaining by another person
psychological distressdistress related to an enduring mental health condition or an intellectual or cognitive impairment
readincludes read signs, symbols and words but does not include read Braille
simple budgeting decisions

decisions involving:

(a) calculating the cost of goods, and

(b) calculating change required after a purchase

simple meala cooked one-course meal for one using fresh ingredients
social supportsupport from a person trained or experienced in assisting people to engage in social situations
standstand upright with at least one biological foot on the ground
supervisionthe continuous presence of another person for the purpose of ensuring your safety
take nutrition

(a) cut food into pieces, convey food and drink to your mouth and chew and swallow food and drink, or

(b) take nutrition by using a therapeutic source

therapeutic sourceparenteral or enteral tube feeding, using a rate-limiting device such as a delivery system or feed pump
therapy

therapy to be undertaken at home which is prescribed or recommended by a:

(a) registered

  • (i) doctor, or
  • (ii) nurse, or
  • (iii) pharmacist, or

(b) health professional regulated by the Health Professions Council

toilet needs

(a) getting on and off an unadapted toilet,

(b) evacuating the bladder and bowel, and

(c) cleaning yourself afterwards

unaided

without:

(a) the use of an aid or appliance, or

(b) supervision, prompting or assistance

Other useful information

  • DWP PIP Fact sheet 'Assessment Criteria' at www.gov.uk
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