Created 01/12/2017
Concerning clients' ability to carry out the descriptors in PIP safely-
The government has said- '...Today I am publishing an updated version of the
guidance for Health Professionals carrying out PIP assessments on behalf of the
Department for Work and Pensions. The department routinely updates the Guide
to further clarify the policy intent and to bring it in line with legislative
requirements....The updated guidance will refect binding case law following an
Upper Tribunal judgment (CPIP/1599/2016 [2017] UKUT 105 (AAC) )handed down
on 9th March 2017 on how DWP considers a claimant to be carrying out an
activity safely and whether they need supervision to do so. This will increase
entitlement for a number of both new and existing claimants, largely those with
conditions such as epilepsy, which affect consciousness. The Department
estimates approximately 10,000 claims will benefit by £70 - £90 per week in
In the case of existing claimants the Department for Work and Pensions will
undertake an exercise to go through all existing cases and identify anyone who
may be entitled to more. We will then write to those people affected and all
payments will be backdated to the date of the change in case law...'
In the test case the Upper tribunal judges considered the interpretation of ‘safely’
as defined in regulation 4(4)(a) of the Social Security (Personal Independence
Payment) Regulations 2013.
at paragraph 56-'...‘… the meaning of ‘safely’ in regulation 4(2A) and as defned in
regulation 4(4) is apparent when one considers the legislation as a whole and with the assistance of the approach by the House of Lords to the likelihood of harm in the context of protecting people against future harm. An assessment that an activity
cannot be carried out safely does not require that the occurrence of harm is ‘more
likely than not’. In assessing whether a person can carry out an activity safely, a
tribunal must consider whether there is a real possibility that cannot be ignored of
harm occurring, having regard to the nature and gravity of the feared harm in the
particular case. It follows that both the likelihood of the harm occurring and the
severity of the consequences are relevant. The same approach applies to the
assessment of a need for supervision.’ (paragraph 56)'
Here's the new guidance on safety- 'Risk and Safety
(Para.) 2.1.15 When considering whether an activity can be undertaken safely, it is
necessary to consider the likelihood of harm occurring and the severity of the harm
that might occur. It is a common sense approach that when the severity of harm is
high a lower risk is acceptable. When the harm is minor it may be acceptable for the
likelihood of that harm occurring to be higher.'