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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Disability benefits  →  Thread

PIP activity 4 and cleaning teeth

JAS1
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Advice Worker, Gaddum Centre

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Just wanted to check -

“‘Washing’ means cleaning ones whole body, including removing dirt and sweat.”

Teeth are part of the body so assume they would be considered?

When I looked it up I found some draft regulations from 2011 mentioning grooming and teeth cleaning but nothing more recent.

A lot of people who struggle with teeth cleaning would likely struggle with other washing and bathing activities too anyway I suppose.

Va1der
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Welfare Support Worker - Community Renewal Edinburgh

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Haven’t seen anything in the legislation or guidance that suggests it should be considered - the wording in activity 4 is all to do with washing construed as an act taking place in a ‘shower or bath’.

Cleaning teeth (to an acceptable standard) requires finer motor skills, so you might be looking at points under activities 1 and 2 instead?

BC Welfare Rights
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The Brunswick Centre, Kirklees & Calderdale

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I have included it in submissions previously in support of prompting points, where we had evidence of poor dental hygeine. The tribunals asked about it (and went on to award points), so I think it can be considered as part of the activity of washing and bathing. Generally, I think that it adds to the picture (as you imply) rather than being a specific issue in itself, although I suppose that you could try arguing it if that was the only part of the body that someone had an issue with washing.

The Government’s response to the consultation on the Personal Independence Payment assessment criteria and regulations, 13.12.12, makes brief reference to brushing teeth being part of the original criteria which was then called ‘bathing and grooming’  and included brushing your hair. That this activity was renamed and changed substantially possibly supports VA1der’s point but I don’t think that the activity has to be completed in a bath or shower, it’s just that for most people it normally is (other than descriptor E, which is a theoretical test anyway). 
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/181181/pip-assessment-thresholds-and-consultation-response.pdf

Judge Jacobs said that tribunals have been wrong when they have treated cleaning teeth and washing as separate and sequential personal actions in relation to Activity 13 of the WCA, MPvSSWP 2015 UKUT 458 AAC, although I suppose that this was within a different context.
https://administrativeappeals.decisions.tribunals.gov.uk/Aspx/view.aspx?id=4637

Mike Hughes
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Senior welfare rights officer - Salford City Council Welfare Rights Service

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Probably not relevant to this discussion but worth noting that there are points to be scored in relation to dressing/undressing for people who cannot see their own face in a mirror and who consequently don’t necessarily spot things like toothpaste stains on clothing.

JAS1
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Advice Worker, Gaddum Centre

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Cheers all. I thought it may be one of those things worth sticking in even though it’s not specifically highlighted in the regs etc.

In terms of toothpaste stained clothes, that’s a shame, I would have thought that could have maybe come under ‘appropriate clothing’.