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
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.
See also DWP guidance on Activity 8 in section 2.3 of the Personal Independence Payment assessment guide for assessment providers.
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Claimant qualifies for highest-scoring descriptors under Activity 8 and Activity 10 if they are unable to accomplish what is involved in next highest-scoring descriptor
-  UKUT 79 (AAC)
Relationship between descriptors, and definition of key terms, in activity 8 ‘Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words’ and activity 10 ‘Making budgeting decisions’
-  UKUT 1 (AAC)
Reading and understanding written information when BSL is the claimant’s primary means of communication
-  UKUT 95 (AAC)
Nature of investigation required when assessing an ability to read and understand written information
-  UKUT 301 (AAC)
Whether a permanent retinal implant or other surgical implant can amount to an aid or appliance when assessing PIP activities
-  UKUT 86 (AAC)
Illiteracy which does not result from a physical or mental condition not to be taken into account under PIP Activity 8
-  UKUT 30 (AAC)