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Neutral Citation Number: 2015 UKUT 554 AAC
Reported Number:
File Number: CPIP 1679 2015
Appellant: MF
Respondent: Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Judge/Commissioner: Judge D. Williams
Date Of Decision: 15/10/2015
Date Added: 27/10/2015
Main Category: Personal independence payment – daily living activities
Main Subcategory: Activity 3: managing therapy or monitoring a health condition
Secondary Category: Personal independence payment – daily living activities
Secondary Subcategory: Activity 5: managing toilet needs or incontinence
Notes: Reported as [2016] AACR 20. Personal independence payment – descriptor 3d – whether time period applies to the help needed or to the therapy – whether assistance provided can be taken into account under more than one activity The claimant claimed personal independence payment as she suffered, amongst other things, from vulva-vaginal-gingival syndrome which required her to use medically prescribed dilators daily for up to an hour to prevent the closure of her urethra, as well as applying creams during the day. The Secretary of State rejected her claim, awarding her only one point for daily living activity 3, managing therapy (descriptor 3b), and two points for activity 9, engaging with other people face to face (descriptor 9b). The claimant appealed that decision, submitting that descriptor 3d was appropriate, not 3b, because she needed “supervision, prompting or assistance to be able to manage therapy that takes more than 3.5 but no more than 7 hours a week” and that descriptor 5b also applied, as she used the dilator to manage her toilet needs. The First-tier Tribunal (F-tT) rejected her appeal: it accepted that her treatment was invasive and distressing but concluded that supervision, prompting or assistance was not required while she was doing it and that the dilator was not specifically required to manage toilet needs. The claimant appealed to the Upper Tribunal. Held, allowing the appeal, that: 1. the wording of descriptor 3d was ambiguous, but read as a whole, along with the definition of “therapy” in Schedule 1 to the Social Security (Personal Independence Payments) Regulations 2013, the time period referred to the duration of the supervision, prompting or assistance rather than the duration of the therapy (paragraphs 24 to 26); 2. there was no rule in the legislation that, because an individual’s problems fell to be assessed as creating limits within one activity, they could not also be assessed as creating limits within another activity; the matter of overlap was not to be decided by any argument about “double counting” but by whether the specific descriptors in issue did not permit it and the descriptors should be separately considered on all the evidence: see GP v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (PIP) [2015] UKUT 498 (AAC) at [30] (paragraph 28); 3. the F-tT erred when considering activity 5 as it failed to take account of the medical evidence of the claimant’s condition at the date of claim and it also failed properly to assess the process involved in the claimant evacuating her bladder. The immediacy of the connection between the claimant’s toilet needs and her therapy was essentially a question of fact which was insufficiently addressed by the F-tT (paragraphs 29 to 33). The judge set aside the decision of the F-tT and remitted the appeal to a differently constituted tribunal to be re decided in accordance with his directions.
Decision(s) to Download: [2016] AACR 20ws.doc [2016] AACR 20ws.doc