Daily living - Activity 2: Taking nutrition

Activity 2 considers a person’s ability to be nourished, either by cutting food into pieces, conveying it to the mouth and chewing and swallowing; or through the use of therapeutic sources. The type of food and drink for nourishment is not a consideration for this activity, but rather the claimant’s ability to nourish themselves. 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 2: Taking nutrition are -

  1. Can take nutrition unaided. 0 points
  2. Needs - (i) to use an aid or appliance to be able to take nutrition; or (ii) supervision to be able to take nutrition; or (iii) assistance to be able to cut up food. 2 points
  3. Needs a therapeutic source to be able to take nutrition. 2 points
  4. Needs prompting to be able to take nutrition. 4 points
  5. Needs assistance to be able to manage a therapeutic source to take nutrition. 6 points
  6. Cannot convey food and drink to their mouth and needs another person to do so. 10 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 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” means physical intervention by another person and does not include speech;
  • “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; 
  • “take nutrition” means - (a) cut food into pieces, convey food and drink to one's mouth and chew and swallow food and drink; or (b) take nutrition by using a therapeutic source; 
  • “therapeutic source” means parenteral or enteral tube feeding, using a rate-limiting device such as a delivery system or feed pump; 
  • “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 2 in section 2.3 of the Personal Independence Payment assessment guide for assessment providers.

Case law

Commentary:​ In [2016] UKUT 490 (AAC) Judge Wright finds that taking nutrition refers only to the physical and mental actions of eating and not the nutritious quality of the food. This is in contrast to [2015] UKUT 512 (AAC) where Judge Mark states that living on soup and coffee, even with the occasional sandwich, cannot be seen as taking nutrition to an acceptable standard. However, Judge Wright argues that Judge Mark's comments are 'obiter' - and therefore not legally binding - as the decision did not turn on that point. | Add commentary or suggest an edit.