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PIP Activity 2 - taking nutrition “to an acceptable standard”

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Benefits specialist - South Somerset District Council

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I have a client who is LD and can feed himself but ususally makes a mess and has to change his clothing as a result. He avoids food that spills because he gets embarrassed and ususally sticks to dry food which is often eaten with his fingers (fish and chips etc).

I am wondering how to go about this activity, clearly he cannot convey food to mouth to an acceptable standard however would use of an aid be reasonable and if so, what would a suitable aid be?

I don’t think that 2f (10 points) would be appropriate in his situation.


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Epping Forest CAB

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If an aid or appliance might be the answer to the client’s difficulties then you have to be able to specify what that aid or appliance is. That would seem to me to follow from the UT decision (supported by the SoS) in JM v SSWP (PIP) [2017] UKUT 419 (AAC). If you and the client, and anyone who helps or supports him, can’t figure out what the appropriate aid or appliance is I think you’re entitled to conclude that there isn’t one, and so you can argue for 2(f).

Greg B
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Maggie's Centre Glasgow

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It sounds like 2f might be difficult* but worth arguing. He might convey dry food with fewer problems, but from how you describe this it sounds like he’s still dropping it and therefore arguably is not managing this to an acceptable standard, or he may at least be taking conceivably twice+ as long as it’d take someone without his disability (i.e. the reasonable time period).

But does he often spill drink as well as food?

I can’t find any good authority on whether the “and” in “food and drink” is thought to be used in a negative or positive sense: i.e. is the test that he can both eat AND drink reliably etc.? Or is difficulty with one or the other enough to qualify the applicable points? The ‘jury’ may still be out on this. There’s certainly no harm putting this detail in there if he does spill drinks, especially so if this is still happens when an aid/appliance (cup with lid, or straws, etc.) is used to try and prevent this. If he’d struggle with an aid/appliance in this regard then that’s useful information too.

Assistance definitely sounds more applicable than aid/appliance to me, but be aware that assistance to cut food attributes the same points as the aid/appliance descriptor. You’ll need to argue his needs are more significant than this, which does sound the case from here.

*But then what isn’t difficult with PIP?

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Welfare rights adviser - Social Inclusion Unit, Swansea

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Would some type of apron/bib allow him to take nutrition to an acceptable standard - sorry a bad thought on a depressing third day of the decade, but then it might not be suitable as he is already embarrassed eating
I agree with Gregg about the length of time, if he has limited hand to mouth coordination it is likely to take him much longer to take nutrition