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PIP decision says supervision need not be one to one

24 November 2017

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Personal independence payment

CPIP/1823/2017: “Supervision” does not require one-to-one relationship between claimant and supervisor  

Upper Tribunal Judge: Wright 

The tribunal did not award the claimant points for his need for supervision when preparing food or cooking on the following grounds: 

“… [the appellant] cooked mainly at school, requiring supervision to boil an egg …[he stated] that there were 2 teachers supervising a class of 8 students.  He used both a knife and a peeler, cooking cakes, apple crumble and pasta.  His concern was burning himself on the oven although this had never happened.  There were no special measures in place to ensure his safety”.   

Based on this evidence the tribunal concluded that descriptor 1e was not met because: 

“…. there was not one to one supervision in class (2 teachers for 8 students) nor were there any special measures in place to ensure [the appellant’s] safety … together with [the appellant] being safe and able to use a peeler and a knife … as he was able to cook without physical intervention, there not being one to one support, together with there being no safety issues and there being no special measures in place, … [the appellant] did not require assistance”.                                                 

 But In upholding the claimant’s appeal, Judge Wright days that the  essential flaw in the tribunal’s approach was to require, or at least appear to require, the statutory supervision in the PIP statutory scheme to be one-to-one supervision:

“That in my judgment is not a requirement of the statutory test and unnecessarily narrows the statutory language.  A person can be continuously present with the purpose of ensuring a claimant’s safety without needing to be in a one-to-one relationship with the claimant. 

It may be a question of fact and degree whether the number of people the supervisor is continuously present with means he or she can meet the purpose of ensuring an individual claimant’s safety.  But I can identify nothing in the statutory language that requires the one-to-one supervisory closeness that the tribunal seems to have considered was required.”                 

Ken Butler

24 November 2017

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