Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber), December 05, 2016, [2016] UKUT 542 (AAC)

Resolution Date:December 05, 2016
Issuing Organization:Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber)
Actores:JM v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (PIP) (Personal independence payment – daily living activities : Activity 6: dressing and undressing)
 
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JM v SSWP

[2016] UKUT 0542 (AAC)

CPIP/772/2016

IN THE UPPER TRIBUNAL Case No. CPIP/772/2016

ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS CHAMBER

Before: A. Rowley, Judge of the Upper Tribunal

Attendances:

For the Appellant: Mr. Billy Durrant, Welfare Rights Worker

For the Respondent: Mr. Stephen Cooper, solicitor

Decision:

I allow the appeal. As the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (made on 25 November 2015 under reference SC240/15/01726) involved the making of an error in point of law, it is set aside under section 12(2)(a) of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. It is appropriate for me to re-make the decision under section 12(2)(b)(ii) of the 2007 Act. My decision is that the claimant is entitled to the daily living component of PIP at the standard rate, and the mobility component at the standard rate from 17 April 2015 to 2 June 2017 (both dates included).

REASONS FOR DECISION

The issues

  1. The issues with which this appeal is primarily concerned arise in relation to activity 6 of the daily living component of PIP. I have decided that:

    (a) It is not necessary for a claimant to demonstrate that they have difficulties with both dressing and undressing themselves in order to be awarded points under descriptor 6b. The need to use an aid or appliance for one or the other will be enough.

    (b) If a claimant needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to put on socks (but not shoes) that is sufficient to score points under descriptor 6b.

  2. I have also expressed the view that:

    (a) A claimant who is able, unaided and unassisted, to put on slip-on shoes but not shoes that require fastening, does not score points under activity 6.

    (b) On the question of whether a bed can be an aid for the purposes of descriptor 6b, the approach set out in CW v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2016] UKUT 197 (AAC), as followed and expanded upon in AP v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2016] UKUT 501 (AAC), should be adopted.

  3. Furthermore, I have decided that the tribunal did not make sufficient findings upon activity 10 of the daily living component.

    The claim and the appeal to the First-tier Tribunal

  4. The claimant has a number of physical health problems, most of which are not directly relevant to this appeal. What is relevant is that she experience dizziness and loss of balance, particularly on a morning. She also has a long history of depression.

  5. In her claim for PIP the claimant identified how her health conditions affected her day to day activities in a number of areas. Following a decision dated 10 June 2015 under which she had been awarded 4 points in respect of each of the daily living and mobility activities, the claimant sought a mandatory reconsideration, as a result of which on 22 July 2015 it was decided that she scored 6 points under the daily living activities (having satisfied descriptors 1b, 4b and 9b) and 8 points under mobility activity 2c. That meant that, whilst she was entitled to an award of the mobility component at the standard rate, nonetheless despite the increased score under the daily living activities, she had still not reached the threshold of 8 points for the daily living component. The award of the mobility component was made for the period 17 April 2015 to 2 June 2017 (both dates included).

  6. The claimant appealed to the First-tier Tribunal. Mr. Durrant (a welfare rights worker) made written representations on her behalf in which he argued that she was entitled to the enhanced rate of both the daily living and mobility components. The First-tier Tribunal heard the appeal on 25 November 2015. The claimant attended the hearing and gave evidence. She was represented at the hearing by Mr. Durrant.

  7. The tribunal refused the claimant's appeal and, although not in so many words, confirmed the mandatory reconsideration decision of 22 July 2015.

    The proceedings in the Upper Tribunal

  8. The claimant appealed to the Upper Tribunal with my permission. I held an oral hearing of the appeal on 2 November 2016. Mr. Durrant represented the claimant, and Mr Stephen Cooper, solicitor, represented the Secretary of State. I must record my gratitude to them both, not only for their helpful, concise and clear submissions, but also for their exemplary co-operation with each other and the Upper Tribunal, particularly in discussing the appropriate disposal of the appeal.

    Daily Living Descriptor 6b

  9. The claimant's case is that she should score 2 points under descriptor 6b, the terms of which are:

    ``Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to dress or undress.''

  10. It should be noted that a claimant...

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