consideration of religious requirements in PIP assessment
I am completing a PIP appeal for a gentleman of the Muslim faith. The assessor failed to take into account that his religion requires him to wash after toileting (for which he needs assistance). Is anyone able to advise me on this matter please?
Amongst other things, PIP looks at activity 4 - washing and bathing - and activity 5 - managing toilet needs and incontinence.
Your client, to the extent that he has problems with washing, may be entitled to the appropriate points under activity 4. Religion needn’t come into it.
I think you might then be hinting at an argument that his ability to wash ought to have also been considered as part of activity 5 - on the basis that, for him, washing is a part of managing his ‘toilet needs’ due to his religious beliefs?
This argument doesn’t look likely to succeed for a number of reasons. First because “toilet needs” is a defined term in the regulations and washing is not part of the prescribed definition, second because this would just amount to double counting of needs already accounted for under activity 4 and third because caselaw has tended to suggest that the activities are understood on a notional or objective basis without looking at the particular claimant’s position in order to ensure everyone is assessed on the same footing.
So I would not think that his religious requirements are likely to have much bearing on the relevant parts of the PIP assessment.
Just to update, the appeal did allow the need for washing post toilet and awarded him 4 points for this as well as 2 points for needing assistance with washing.