pipinfo

Daily living - Activity 7: Communicating verbally

Activity 7 considers a claimant’s ability to communicate verbally with regard to expressive (conveying) communication and receptive (receiving and understanding) communication in ones native language. 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 7 are -

  1. Can express and understand verbal information unaided. 0 points
  2. Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to speak or hear. 2 points
  3. Needs communication support to be able to express or understand complex verbal information. 4 points
  4. Needs communication support to be able to express or understand basic verbal information. 8 points
  5. Cannot express or understand verbal information at all even with communication support. 12 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 7, 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; 
  • “basic verbal information” means information in [the claimant's] native language conveyed verbally in a simple sentence;
  • “communication support” means support 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 verbal information” means information in [the claimant's] native language conveyed verbally in either more than one sentence or one complicated sentence;
  • “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 7 in section 2.3 of the Personal Independence Payment assessment guide for assessment providers.


Case law

Commentary:​ In the Northern Ireland Commissioners decision C3/18-19(PIP) (reported as [2020] AACR 15 and, as such, highly persuasive in Great Britain although not strictly binding outside Northern  Ireland) - Commissioner Stockman disagrees with Upper Tribunal Judge Gray’s analysis of verbal communication in [2017] UKUT 101 (AAC) - where she suggests that it only relates to spoken words - holding that using a pen and paper to communicate in the absence of speech falls within the scope of using an aid or appliance to communicate verbally. | Add commentary or suggest an edit.