pipinfo

Daily living - Activity 3: Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition

Activity 3 considers a claimant’s ability to: (i) appropriately take medications in a domestic setting that are prescribed or recommended by a registered doctor, nurse or pharmacist; (ii) monitor and detect changes in a health condition; and (iii) manage therapeutic activities that are carried out in a domestic setting that are prescribed or recommended by a registered doctor, nurse, pharmacist or healthcare professional regulated by the Health Professions Council. 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 3 are -

  1. Either - (i) does not receive medication or therapy or need to monitor a health condition; or (ii) can manage medication or therapy or monitor a health condition unaided. 0 points
  2. Needs any one or more of the following - (i) to use an aid or appliance to be able to manage medication; (ii) supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage medication; (iii) supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to monitor a health condition. 1 point
  3. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes no more than 3.5 hours a week. 2 points
  4. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 3.5 but no more than 7 hours a week. 4 points
  5. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 7 but no more than 14 hours a week. 6 points
  6. Needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 14 hours a week. 8 points

Source: Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 (SI.No.377/2013) as amended (with effect from 16 March 2017) by regulation 2 of the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (SI.No.194/2017).


Definitions

Terms used in the PIP descriptors are defined in regulations and, in relation to Activity 3, 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; 
  • “manage medication” means take medication, where a failure to do so is likely to result in a deterioration in [the claimant's] health;
  • "manage therapy" means undertake therapy, where a failure to do so is likely to result in a deterioration in [the claimant's] health;
  • “medication” means medication to be taken at home which is prescribed or recommended by a registered - (a) doctor; (b) nurse; or (c) pharmacist; 
  • “monitor a health condition” means - (a) detect significant changes in [the claimant's] health condition which are likely to lead to a deterioration in [the claimant's] health; (b) take action advised by a - (i) registered doctor; (ii) registered nurse; or (iii) health professional who is regulated by the Health Professions Council, without which [the claimant's] health is likely to deteriorate;
  • “prompting” means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person; 
  • “supervision” means the continuous presence of another person for the purpose of ensuring [the claimant's] safety; 
  • “therapy” means therapy to be undertaken at home which is prescribed or recommended by a - (a) registered - (i) doctor; (ii) nurse; or (iii) pharmacist; or (b) health professional regulated by the Health Professions Council; but does not include taking or applying, or otherwise receiving or administering, medication (whether orally, topically or by any other means), or any action which, in [the claimant's] case, falls within the definition of “monitor a health condition”;
  • “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) as amended (with effect from 16 March 2017) by regulation 2 of the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (SI.No.194/2017).

See also DWP guidance on Activity 3 from the Personal Independence Payment assessment guide for assessment providers (part 2).


Case law

Commentary:​ : the effect of Judge Mesher’s decision [2016] UKUT 530 (AAC) as it relates to activity 3 has been reversed by amendments to the PIP regulations from 16 March 2017 so that where a claimant needs supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage medication and monitor a health condition, this will only satisfy descriptor 3(b) and not any higher scoring descriptor. The amended definition of ‘therapy’ from 16 March 2017 excludes assistance applying topical medication so that [2015] UKUT 622 (AAC) is also no longer applicable.

A recent decision by Judge Jacobs - [2015] UKUT 681 (AAC) - has been judged to be defective and was therefore set aside under the Upper Tribunal’s review powers and removed from the Upper Tribunal website as a result - a new decision will be issued in due course. This may be due to Judge Jacobs expressing the view that descriptor 3c required supervision, prompting and assistance for a full 3.5 hours as opposed to up to 3.5 hours. He also expressed the same view in [2016] UKUT 11 (AAC) and currently that decision continues to stand.

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