Descriptor 3 – Managing Meds & Needing Therapy (for claims decided before 18 March 2017)
Descriptor 10 – Physical impairments affecting budgeting
In decision CPIP/721/2016, the Upper Tribunal has made important changes to the meaning of PIP descriptors 3 (managing therapy or monitoring health conditions) and 10 (budgeting decisions).
DESCRIPTOR 3 CHANGES
Under PIP Descriptor 3 b (ii) you can score 1 point if you need supervision, prompting or assistance to manage medication OR monitor a health condition.
The Upper Tribunal has now said that if you need supervision, prompting or assistance to manage medication AND monitor a health condition, you should score 2 or more points under descriptor 3 (c) to 3 (f), depending on the length of time the supervision, prompting or assistance takes.
The Upper Tribunal has also said that supervision, prompting or assistance relating to the quality or character of your food intake is also therapy for the purposes of descriptor 3. (PS: You can also score points under Descriptor 2 for needing supervision, prompting or assistance with the physical or mental aspects of the process of eating and drinking, separate from points under Descriptor 3 for therapy relating to the quality of the food).
DESCRIPTOR 10 CHANGES
The DWP said that people should only get points under descriptor 10 because they need help with the mental or thinking process of calculating figures and budgets. The Upper Tribunal has overturned that view and said that sight, memory or reading difficulties (eg dyslexia) might also entitle people to points because they need prompting or assistance to overcome those physical issues.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU
Potentially, you could score more points under descriptor 3 and 10.
Look at www.pipinfo.net for details of the descriptors. If you need supervision, prompting or assistance from another person to safely and reliably manage your medication AND you need another person to help you safely and reliably monitor your health condition, you should tot up the number of hours a day in which you get that supervision, prompting or assistance and ask for the appropriate ‘managing therapy’ points under descriptor 3 (c) to 3 (f).
A classic gainer would be an insulin-dependent diabetic who needs someone else to help with their blood glucose tests (monitoring a health condition) AND who needs someone else to help them measure out their insulin doses (manage medication).
If you have to be helped to reliably and safely eat a special diet needed for your health, then you may be able to claim points under descriptor 3 (c) to 3 (f) for the amount of time that you get that support or help.
This is quite different from other points you might score under Descriptor 2 because you need assistance or prompting to eat any food or drink. Again, diabetics or people with liver or kidney disease would be potential gainers here.
If you have dyslexia or dyscalculia, or have dementia or other memory problems, or are blind or visually impaired, you can now make a case for needing help to make budgeting decisions as a result of those disabilities.
You will still need to be very detailed about why you need help, because obviously not all blind people (for example) cannot budget or calculate change. This analysis is brought to you free of charge by BuDS Benefit Information Team.
It is only general information and you should take advice on your own case.
You can read the full judgement here: http://administrativeappeals.decisions.tribunals.gov.uk//Aspx/view.aspx?id=5019