pipinfo

Daily living - Activity 6: Dressing and undressing

Activity 6 assesses a claimant’s ability to put on and take off un-adapted clothing that is suitable for the situation. This may include the need for fastenings, such as zips or buttons and considers the ability to put on/take off socks and shoes. As with all the other activities, a claimant is to be assessed as satisfying a descriptor only if they can do so reliably.

Descriptors

The descriptors for Activity 6 are -

  1. Can dress and undress unaided. 0 points
  2. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to dress or undress. 2 points
  3. Needs either - (i) prompting to be able to dress, undress or determine appropriate circumstances for remaining clothed; or (ii) prompting or assistance to be able to select appropriate clothing. 2 points
  4. Needs assistance to be able to dress or undress their lower body. 2 points
  5. Needs assistance to be able to dress or undress their upper body. 4 points
  6. Cannot dress or undress at all. 8 points

Source: Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 (SI.No.377/2013)


Definitions

Terms used in the PIP descriptors are defined in regulations and, in relation to Activity 6, are -

  • “aid or appliance” - (a) means any device which improves, provides or replaces [the claimant's] impaired physical or mental function; and (b) includes a prosthesis; 
  • “assistance” means physical intervention by another person and does not include speech;
  • “dress and undress” includes put on and take off socks and shoes;
  • “prompting” means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person; 
  • “unaided” means without - (a) the use of an aid or appliance; or (b) supervision, prompting or assistance. 

Source: Regulation 2 and Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 (SI.No.377/2013)

See also DWP guidance on Activity 6 from the Personal Independence Payment assessment guide for assessment providers.


Case law

Commentary:​ In [2015] UKUT 572 (AAC) Judge Mark ruled that a bed could be an aid for the purposes of getting dressed. However, in [2016] UKUT 197 AAC, Judge Jacobs disagreed finding that, whilst an item did not have to be specifically designed as an aid, it nevertheless must be sufficiently 'connected' to the activity to count as an aid for the purposes of PIP; in this case sitting on a bed was a common way of getting dressed and it was therefore not an aid. In [2016] UKUT 501 (AAC), Judge Markus prefers the ‘connection argument’, holding that sitting was a ‘usual and normal’ way to dress and that standing was not a necessary function of dressing or undressing.

Suitable alternative clothing may be considered when assessing the functions of dressing, so that slip-on shoes may be acceptable for someone who cannot bend to do up laces [2016] UKUT 542 (AAC), or a cardigan for someone who cannot raise their arms to put on a pullover [2016] UKUT 309 (AAC) (reported as [2016] AACR 10). However, Judge Jacobs in the latter case warns that tribunals should not define away multiple functional problems by identifying multiple alternatives - which would result in a claimant only being assessed to wear loose elasticated clothing with no fastenings - as this would restrict the functional test to only part of the activity of dressing. | Add commentary or suggest an edit.