pipinfo

Mobility - Activity 1: Planning and following a journey


Activity 1 considers a claimant's ability to follow the route of a familiar or unfamiliar journey as well as to plan and undertake a journey. 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 1 are -

  1. Can plan and follow the route of a journey unaided. 0 points
  2. Needs prompting to be able to undertake any journey to avoid overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant. 4 points
  3. For reasons other than psychological distress cannot plan the route of a journey. 8 points
  4. For reasons other than psychological distress cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog or orientation aid. 10 points
  5. Cannot undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant. 10 points
  6. For reasons other than psychological distress cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid. 12 points

Source: Part 3 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 Indepence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (SI.No.194/2017)


Definitions

Terms used in the PIP descriptors are defined in regulations and, in relation to Activity 2, 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 dog” means a dog trained to guide or assist a person with a sensory impairment;
  • “orientation aid” means a specialist aid designed to assist disabled people to follow a route safely;
  • “prompting” means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person;
  • “psychological distress” means distress related to an enduring mental health condition or an intellectual or cognitive impairment;
  • “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 the 'planning and following a journey' activity from the Personal Independence Payment assessment guide for assessment providers (part 2).


Caselaw

Commentary: Four judgments - [2015] UKUT 344 (AAC), [2015] UKUT 386 (AAC), [2015] UKUT 694 (AAC) and [2016] UKUT 531 (AAC) have considered the meaning of to plan and follow a journey (descriptors c, d, and f). In the latter judgment, a three-judge panel concluded that the descriptor could be met by a person experiencing overwhelming psychological distress. However, from 16 March 2017 the government amended the regulations to explicitly exclude psychological distress as a means of meeting descriptors c, d. and f. [2017] UKUT 152 (AAC) has since confirmed that for decisions made before 16 March 2017, [2016] UKUT 531 (AAC) should still be followed.

In [2016] UKUT 420 (AAC) Judge Jacobs confirms that, although the DWP guidance on Activity 1 defines a journey as being a 'local' journey, the legislation does not state this and there is therefore no requirement for the descriptor to be assessed in relation to a local journey.

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