Daily living - Activity 8: Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words
Activity 8 considers the claimant’s capability to read and understand written or printed information in the person’s native language. To be considered able to read, claimants must be able to see the information - accessing information via Braille is not considered as reading for this activity. If the claimant cannot read, this must be as a direct result of their health condition or impairment e.g. visual impairment, cognitive impairment or learning difficulties. 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 8 are -
- Can read and understand basic and complex written information either unaided or using spectacles or contact lenses. 0 points
- Needs to use an aid or appliance, other than spectacles or contact lenses, to be able to read or understand either basic or complex written information. 2 points
- Needs prompting to be able to read or understand complex written information. 2 points
- Needs prompting to be able to read or understand basic written information. 4 points
- Cannot read or understand signs, symbols or words at all. 8 points
Source: Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 (SI.No.377/2013), and Part 2 of Schedule 1 to SR.No.217/2016 in Northern Ireland.
NB - in Scotland, adult disability payment is replacing personal independence payment and the descriptors are found in Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Disability Assistance for Working Age People (Scotland) Regulations 2022 (SSI.No.54/2022).
Terms used in the PIP descriptors are defined in regulations and, in relation to Activity 8, 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 written information” means signs, symbols and dates written or printed standard size text in [the claimant's] native language;
- “complex written information” means more than one sentence of written or printed standard size text in [the claimant's] native language;
- “prompting” means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person;
- “read” includes read signs, symbols and words but does not include read Braille;
- “unaided” means without - (a) the use of an aid or appliance; or (b) supervision, prompting or assistance.
Source: Regulation 2 of and Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 (SI.No.377/2013), and regulation 2 of and Part 1 of Schedule 1 to SR.No.217/2016 in Northern Ireland.
See also DWP guidance on Activity 8 in section 2.3 of the Personal Independence Payment assessment guide for assessment providers.
NB - in Scotland, adult disability payment is replacing personal independence payment and the definitions are found in regulation 2 of and Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Disability Assistance for Working Age People (Scotland) Regulations 2022 (SSI.No.54/2022). See also Social Security Scotland guidance in Daily living component activity 8 for ADP – reading and understanding signs, symbols and words.
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