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 -
- Can take nutrition unaided. 0 points
- 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
- Needs a therapeutic source to be able to take nutrition. 2 points
- Needs prompting to be able to take nutrition. 4 points
- Needs assistance to be able to manage a therapeutic source to take nutrition. 6 points
- Cannot convey food and drink to their mouth and needs another person to do so. 10 points
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 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 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 2 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 2 for ADP – taking nutrition.
Commentary: In  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  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.
- Over-eating can fall within the scope of PIP activity 2: ‘Taking nutrition’
-  UKUT 56 (AAC)
Claimants are not required to satisfy all of the elements of the definition of ‘take nutrition’ in order to score points under PIP daily living descriptor 2(b)
-  UKUT 281 (AAC)
Dentures do not need to assist with both chewing and swallowing in order to count as an aid or appliance for taking nutrition
-  UKUT 100 (AAC)
Assistance may qualify for activity 3 if required due to nature of therapy tasks rather than physical or mental impairment in performing tasks / activity 2 and prompting to eat sufficient quantity of food
-  UKUT 22 (AAC)
-  AACR 18
Whether consuming food in liquid form to avoid swallowing difficulties fits with defintion of ‘taking nutrition’ / relevance of pain and discomfort and reliability criterion ‘to an acceptable statndard’
-  UKUT 270 (AAC)
Inability to complete complex budgeting decisions where claimant has ability and motivation to complete other tasks / potential relevance of prompting in order to take nutrition
-  UKUT 169 (AAC)
Assistance to set up and remove a feeding line can amount to assistance with managing a therapeutic source to take nutrition
-  UKUT 102 (AAC)
- Plastic cutlery not an aid or device for the purposes of Activity 2
-  UKUT 160 (AAC)
Where points are awarded for assistance with a therapeutic source, they cannot also be awarded for assistance with therapy
-  UKUT 574 (AAC)
Activity 2 - taking nutrition - refers to the physical and mental actions of eating and drinking and not to the quality of nutrition
-  UKUT 490 (AAC)
-  AACR 17
Claimant who needed prompting to cook and eat qualified for PIP even though food was prepared for her
-  UKUT 512 (AAC)