A number of the daily living activities ask whether supervision is needed to satisfy a particular descriptor. Additionally, a person only counts as being able to carry out a daily living or mobility activity unaided if they can do so without supervision.


The meaning of "supervision" is defined in regulations.

Schedule 1 of the main PIP regulations provides -

“supervision” means the continuous presence of another person for the purpose of ensuring [the claimant's] safety; 

"unaided” means without - (a) the use of an aid or appliance; or (b) supervision, prompting or assistance. 

Source: Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013 (SI.No.377/2013), and Part 1 of Schedule 1 to SR.No.217/2016 in Northern Ireland.

NB - in Scotland, adult disability payment is replacing personal independence payment and the meaning of reliably is found in Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Disability Assistance for Working Age People (Scotland) Regulations 2022 (SSI.No.54/2022).

See also Social Security Scotland's guidance Descriptor language for Adult Disability Payment.


Case law

Commentary:​ In [2017] UKUT 105 (AAC) a Three Judge Panel ruled that when assessing whether supervision is required, it is necessary to weigh up the likelihood of the harm occurring against the severity of the consequences - it is not necessary to show that the occurrence of harm is 'more likely than not'. | Add commentary or suggest an edit.