To be assessed as able to carry out an activity to the level described in a descriptor, a claimant must satisfy the descriptor “reliably”, that is: safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly and in reasonable time.
The meaning of "reliably" is defined in regulations.
Regulation 4(2A) of the main PIP regulations provides -
Where [a claimant's] ability to carry out an activity is assessed, [the claimant] is to be assessed as satisfying a descriptor only if [the claimant] can do so - (a) safely; (b) to an acceptable standard; (c) repeatedly; and (d) within a reasonable time period.
Regulation 4(4) of the main PIP regulations provides -
- "safely” means in a manner unlikely to cause harm to [the claimant] or to another person, either during or after completion of the activity;
- “repeatedly” means as often as the activity being assessed is reasonably required to be completed; and
- “reasonable time period” means no more than twice as long as the maximum period that a person without a physical or mental condition which limits that person’s ability to carry out the activity in question would normally take to complete that activity.
Commentary: The undefined term ‘to an acceptable standard’ has been considered in a number of cases particularly in relation to how pain affects the ability to complete an activity reliably. In the unpublished case of CPIP/2377/2015 the effects of pain, its severity and frequency, and the extent of any rests, are all considered relevant to the question of whether a claimant can complete a mobility descriptor ‘to an acceptable standard’. The effects of pain are also considered in  UKUT 326 (AAC) where Judge Markus holds that even if someone may be able to carry out an activity repeatedly and within a reasonable time, they still may not be able to complete it ‘to an acceptable standard’ if they do so with difficulties such as pain or breathlessness.
The meaning of 'safely' was considered in  UKUT 105 (AAC) by a Three Judge Panel who found that it is not necessary to show that an occurrence of harm is 'more likely than not', but the likelihood of any harm should be weighed up against the severity of the consequences. | Add commentary or suggest an edit.
Alcohol dependence and factors to consider when assessing a claimant’s ability to perform PIP functions
-  UKUT 310 (AAC)
- Inability to read instructions or use timers may be relevant when considering activity 1
-  UKUT 272 (AAC)
Where a claimant satisfies a descriptor because they ‘cannot’ do something, then the ability to carry it out reliably does not apply
-  UKUT 217 (AAC)
Extra time choosing clothes on the basis of appearance can be relevant to the test for daily living activity 6
-  UKUT 171 (AAC)
- Anxiety and depression
- Dressing and undressing
- Eating disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
Choosing clean clothes and dressing to an acceptable standard / impulsive spending may satisfy descriptor for making complex budgeting decisions
-  UKUT 156 (AAC)
Limits of tribunal’s inquisitorial role when assessing prescribed medication / mobility activity 2 and requirement to consider reasonable wishes of claimant to move around
-  UKUT 154 (AAC)
Risk of harm need not be ‘more likely than not’ when assessing safety under regulation 4 and need for supervision
-  UKUT 105 (AAC)
Tribunals need not consider other descriptors once sufficient points have been added to award the enhanced rate of a PIP component
-  UKUT 444 (AAC)
Ability to mobilise to ‘an acceptable standard’ must include an assessment of the effects of pain
-  UKUT 326 (AAC)
Requirement to consider the ‘reliability’ criteria when assessing mobility descriptors / Whether a satnav can be an ‘orientation aid’ when following a route
-  UKUT 304 (AAC)
Effect of pauses and halts on ability to move around when applying PIP mobility descriptors
-  UKUT 261 (AAC)
Ability to carry out an activity safely under regulation 4 is a distinct concept from requiring supervision for that activity
-  UKUT 219 (AAC)
Use of microwave to heat ready prepared food is not sufficient / Importance of applying regulations 4 and 7
-  UKUT 150 (AAC)
Remote risk of adverse event does not mean activity cannot be carried out safely / PIP descriptors satisfied even if only apply for part of day
-  UKUT 643 (AAC)
- Meaning of ‘engage with other people’ in activity 9, and its interaction with regulations 4 and 7
-  UKUT 215 (AAC)
- Engaging with other people face to face
- Fluctuating conditions
- Learning disability
- Obsessive compulsive disorder