Daily living - Activity 9: Engaging with other people face to face

Activity 9 considers a claimant’s ability to engage with other people, which means to interact face-to-face in a contextually and socially appropriate manner, understand body language and establish relationships. As with all the other activities, a claimant is to be assessed as satisfying a descriptor only if they can do so reliably.


The descriptors for Activity 9 are -

  1. Can engage with other people unaided. 0 points
  2. Needs prompting to be able to engage with other people. 2 points
  3. Needs social support to be able to engage with other people. 4 points
  4. Cannot engage with other people due to such engagement causing either - (i) overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant; or (ii) the claimant to exhibit behaviour which would result in a substantial risk of harm to the claimant or another person. 8 points

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


Terms used in the PIP descriptors are defined in regulations and, in relation to Activity 9, 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;
  • “prompting” means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person;
  • “social support” means support from a person trained or experienced in assisting people to engage in social situations;
  • “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 9 from the Personal Independence Payment assessment guide for assessment providers.

Case law

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