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«Updated on 28 July 2015 Foreword This document has been produced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to provide guidance for providers ...»

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Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to manage toilet needs or B incontinence.

For example: the claimant is unable to use a standard toilet due to their health condition or impairment. Suitable aids could include commodes, raised toilet seats, bottom wipers, incontinence pads or a stoma bag.

C Needs supervision or prompting to be able to manage toilet needs.

–  –  –

D Needs assistance to be able to manage toilet needs.

This descriptor only refers to claimants who require assistance to get on and off the toilet and/or to clean themselves afterwards, but not to claimants who require assistance due to incontinence. Claimants requiring assistance who are also incontinent are covered by descriptors 5E and 5F.

–  –  –

Activity 6 – Dressing and undressing This activity assesses a claimant’s ability to put on and take off culturally appropriate, un-adapted clothing that is suitable for the situation. This may include the need for fastenings, such as zips or buttons and considers the ability to put on/take off socks and shoes.

When considering whether a claimant requires an aid or appliance, HPs should

distinguish between:

• an aid or appliance that a claimant must use or could reasonably be expected to use, in order to carry out the activity safely, reliably, repeatedly and in a timely manner; and

• an aid or appliance that a claimant may be using or wish to use because it makes it easier to carry out the activity safely, reliably, repeatedly and in a timely manner.

Descriptor advice in favour of an aid or appliance should only be given in the former case. An aid or appliance is not required in the latter.

Where a claimant chooses not to use an aid or appliance that he or she could reasonably be expected to use and would enable them to carry out the activity without assistance, they should be assessed as needing an aid or appliance rather than a higher level of support.

A Can dress and undress unaided.

Within the assessment criteria, the ability to perform an activity ‘unaided’ means without either the use of aids or appliances; or help from another person.

B Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to dress or undress.

For example: modified buttons, zips, front fastening bras, trousers, Velcro fastenings and shoe aids. For the purposes of assessing this activity, chairs or beds are not considered aids.

–  –  –

‘Prompting’ means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person. For example: may apply to claimants who need to be encouraged to dress at appropriate times, e.g. when leaving the house or receiving visitors. Includes a consideration of whether the claimant can determine what is appropriate for the environment, such as time of day and the weather.

D Needs assistance to be able to dress or undress their lower body.

Applies to claimants who cannot dress or undress their lower body, even with the use of aids.

E Needs assistance to be able to dress or undress their upper body.

Applies to claimants who cannot dress or undress their upper body, even with the use of aids.

F Cannot dress or undress at all.

Activity 7 – Communicating verbally This activity considers a claimant’s ability to communicate verbally with regard to expressive (conveying) communication and receptive (receiving and understanding) communication in ones native language.

Clarity of the claimant’s speech should be considered. In some cases the other participant in the conversation may have to concentrate slightly harder than normal, for example after a certain type of stroke it can be hard to articulate some sounds in speech. The speech sounds different to normal but is understandable. This is to an acceptable standard in the meaning of the descriptor. If the claimant couldn’t make themselves understood and had to resort to hand gestures and writing notes this would not be to an acceptable standard.

Notes:

Basic verbal information is information conveyed in a simple sentence. Examples of a simple sentence: “Can I help you?”; “I would like tea please”; “I came home today”; “The time is 3 o’clock.” Complex verbal information is information conveyed in either more than one sentence or one complicated sentence, for example: “I would like tea please, just a splash of milk and no sugar, as I always have sweeteners with me for when I go out.” Verbal information can include information that is interpreted from verbal into nonverbal form or vice-versa – for example, speech interpreted through sign language or into written text.

Communication support means support from another person trained or experienced in communicating with people with specific communication needs (for example, a sign language interpreter); or someone directly experienced in communicating with the claimant themselves (for example, a family member).

Individuals who cannot express or understand verbal information and would need communication support to do so should receive the appropriate descriptor even if they do not have access to this support. For example, a deaf person who cannot communicate verbally and does not use sign language might need another person to support them in another way – such as by writing verbal information down – even if they do not routinely have such help.





The ability to lip read is not a consideration for this activity.

Note: The ability to remember and retain information is not within the scope of this activity e.g. relevant to those with dementia or learning disabilities.

When considering whether a claimant requires an aid or appliance, HPs should

distinguish between:

• an aid or appliance that a claimant must use or could reasonably be expected to use, in order to carry out the activity safely, reliably, repeatedly and in a timely manner; and

• an aid or appliance that a claimant may be using or wish to use because it makes it easier to carry out the activity safely, reliably, repeatedly and in a timely manner.

Descriptor advice in favour of an aid or appliance should only be given in the former case. An aid or appliance is not required in the latter.

Where a claimant chooses not to use an aid or appliance that he or she could reasonably be expected to use and would enable them to carry out the activity without assistance, they should be assessed as needing an aid or appliance rather than a higher level of support.

A Can express and understand verbal information unaided.

Within the assessment criteria, the ability to perform an activity ‘unaided’ means without either the use of aids or appliances; or help from another person.

B Needs to use an aid or appliance to be able to speak or hear.

For example: may apply to claimants who require a hearing aid or an electro larynx. If the claimant is not using a prescribed hearing aid, ask why. If there is a good medical reason such as chronic ear infection, function without the aid should be assessed. If there is not a good reason, expected function with the aid should be assessed.

Needs communication support to be able to express or understand C complex verbal information.

For example: may apply to claimants who require a sign language interpreter.

–  –  –

Activity 8 – Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words This activity considers the claimant’s capability to read and understand written or printed information in the person’s native language. To be considered able to read, claimants must be able to see the information - accessing information via Braille is not considered as reading for this activity.

If the claimant cannot read, this must be as a direct result of their health condition or impairment e.g. visual impairment, cognitive impairment or learning difficulties.

Illiteracy or lack of familiarity with written English are not health conditions and should not be considered.

Notes:

Basic information is signs, symbols or dates, e.g. a green exit sign on a door.

Complex information is more than one sentence of written or printed standard size text – e.g. “Your home may be at risk if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it. Subject to terms and conditions.” The ability to remember and retain information is not within the scope of this activity.

Consideration must be given to whether the claimant can read and understand information both indoors and outdoors. In doing so consideration should also be given to whether the claimant uses or could reasonably be expected to use aids or appliances, such as a blue screen to read text when indoors and a portable magnifying glass to do so when outdoors. If despite aids the claimant cannot read both indoors and outdoors, another descriptor may apply.

When considering whether a claimant requires an aid or appliance, HPs should

distinguish between:

• an aid or appliance that a claimant must use or could reasonably be expected to use, in order to carry out the activity safely, reliably, repeatedly and in a timely manner; and

–  –  –

Descriptor advice in favour of an aid or appliance should only be given in the former case. An aid or appliance is not required in the latter.

Where a claimant chooses not to use an aid or appliance that he or she could reasonably be expected to use and would enable them to carry out the activity without assistance, they should be assessed as needing an aid or appliance rather than a higher level of support.

Can read and understand basic and complex written information either A unaided or using spectacles or contact lenses.

Within the assessment criteria, the ability to perform an activity ‘unaided’ means without either the use of aids or appliances; or help from another person.

Needs to use an aid or appliance, other than spectacles or contact B lenses, to be able to read or understand either basic or complex written information.

For example: may apply to claimants who require vision aids.

Needs prompting to be able to read or understand complex written C information.

‘Prompting’ means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person. For example: may apply to claimants who require another person to explain complex written information due to a cognitive impairment.

Needs prompting to be able to read or understand basic written D information.

‘Prompting’ means reminding, encouraging or explaining by another person. For example: may apply to claimants who require another person to remind them of the meaning of basic information due to a cognitive impairment.

E Cannot read or understand signs, symbols or words at all.

For example: may apply to claimants who require another person to read everything for them due to a learning disability or severe visual impairment.

Activity 9 – Engaging with other people face to face This activity considers a claimant’s ability to engage with other people, which means to interact face-to-face in a contextually and socially appropriate manner, understand body language and establish relationships.

Notes:

An inability to engage face-to-face must be due to the impact of impairment and not simply a matter of preference by the claimant.

Social support means support from a person trained or experienced in assisting people to engage in social situations, or someone directly experienced in supporting the claimant themselves (for example a family member), who can compensate for limited ability to understand and respond to body language, other social cues and assist social integration.

Behaviour which would result in a substantial risk of harm to the claimant or another person must be as a result of an underlying health condition and the claimant’s inability to control their behaviour.

When considering whether claimants can engage with others, consideration should be given to whether they can engage with people generally, not just those people they know well.

Vulnerability to the actions of others is considered in this activity. For example, someone with Downs Syndrome or Autism may be less risk aware and vulnerable to manipulation or abuse.

A Can engage with other people unaided.



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