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    • Demerara
    • By Demerara 7th Jul 19, 8:14 PM
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    Demerara
    PIP MR request - Activity 9 - Clarification over case law
    • #1
    • 7th Jul 19, 8:14 PM
    PIP MR request - Activity 9 - Clarification over case law 7th Jul 19 at 8:14 PM
    Hi All,

    I am preparing my MR request as I think I should have been awarded points under Activity 9, engaging with others face to face.

    I have been looking at case law and was reading through CPIP/2685/2016 (SF v The Secretary of State [2016] UKUT 0543 (AAC)). There are some very knowledgeable people on the forum and I was wondering if anyone could confirm whether the judgment definitely stated that under this descriptor, the claimant can only be assessed in social situations and NOT professional ones? I have read through and did not interpret it this way but saw some articles saying so.

    Many thanks.
Page 1
    • venison
    • By venison 7th Jul 19, 9:08 PM
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    venison
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 19, 9:08 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 19, 9:08 PM
    I would have thought that "engaging with others face to face" would have been in all situations, after all you either have a problem with this or you don't.
    That would be my take on it anyway.
    Use your vote for real change vote Labour"for the many not the few"
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 7th Jul 19, 9:15 PM
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    calcotti
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 19, 9:15 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 19, 9:15 PM
    The ruling includes the statement “Descriptor 9c is therefore concerned with the support required by claimants in social situations......there is no reason to suppose that descriptors 9b and 9c are concerned with a claimant’s ability to engage with other people in different factual contexts.”

    However it goes on to say “...without wishing to express a concluded view on the issue in a case in which it has not been argued, I therefore consider that the whole of PIP Activity 9 is concerned with a claimant’s ability to engage with other people face to face in social situations.” (my emphasis)

    Seems to me it could be argued that other contexts could be looked at but I am not sure what you mean by professional situations - do you mean when interacting with professionals, such as doctors, or do you mean when acting oneself in a professional capacity. If the latter I cannot see the relevance anyway as PIP is not concerned with work.
    • Demerara
    • By Demerara 7th Jul 19, 9:18 PM
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    Demerara
    • #4
    • 7th Jul 19, 9:18 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Jul 19, 9:18 PM
    The ruling includes the statement “Descriptor 9c is therefore concerned with the support required by claimants in social situations......there is no reason to suppose that descriptors 9b and 9c are concerned with a claimant’s ability to engage with other people in different factual contexts.”

    However it goes on to say “...without wishing to express a concluded view on the issue in a case in which it has not been argued, I therefore consider that the whole of PIP Activity 9 is concerned with a claimant’s ability to engage with other people face to face in social situations.” (my emphasis)

    Seems to me it could be argued that other contexts could be looked at but I am not sure what you mean by professional situations - do you mean when interacting with professionals, such as doctors, or do you mean when acting oneself in a professional capacity. If the latter I cannot see the relevance anyway as PIP is not concerned with work.
    Originally posted by calcotti
    Thanks Calcotti, the DM stated in the award letter that they have decided I can engage with others because I do so on a daily basis - I work!!
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 7th Jul 19, 9:58 PM
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    poppy12345
    • #5
    • 7th Jul 19, 9:58 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Jul 19, 9:58 PM
    Thanks Calcotti, the DM stated in the award letter that they have decided I can engage with others because I do so on a daily basis - I work!!
    Originally posted by Demerara
    People do claim PIP and work but sometimes the work you do can go against you, if there's a contradiction.



    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.


    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 another 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 or carer), who can compensate for limited ability to understand and respond to body language, other social cues and assist social integration.
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 7th Jul 19, 10:05 PM
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    calcotti
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 19, 10:05 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 19, 10:05 PM
    Thanks Calcotti, the DM stated in the award letter that they have decided I can engage with others because I do so on a daily basis - I work!!
    Originally posted by Demerara
    Although the descriptor is about social situations I think it is reasonable to draw inferences from other situations about capability in a social situation - provided they are comparable. I think you would need to explain how you you have difficulty in social situations and how this difficulty is overcome or not present in a work context. For example if you sit at a computer all day with almost no interaction with others this clearly isn’t very informative about how you would be in a social setting. If however your work involved talking to people to people all day it would be hard to argue that you have difficulty in a social setting.

    Have you seen the assessment report that the DM has used to ‘inform’ their decision?
    Last edited by calcotti; 07-07-2019 at 10:08 PM.
    • Demerara
    • By Demerara 7th Jul 19, 10:22 PM
    • 154 Posts
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    Demerara
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 19, 10:22 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 19, 10:22 PM
    Although the descriptor is about social situations I think it is reasonable to draw inferences from other situations about capability in a social situation - provided they are comparable. I think you would need to explain how you you have difficulty in social situations and how this difficulty is overcome or not present in a work context. For example if you sit at a computer all day with almost no interaction with others this clearly isn’t very informative about how you would be in a social setting. If however your work involved talking to people to people all day it would be hard to argue that you have difficulty in a social setting.

    Have you seen the assessment report that the DM has used to ‘inform’ their decision?
    Originally posted by calcotti
    Yes, I have seen the Assessor's report and I feel there are contradictions as the HP did not award me any points but there are a couple of sentences which, by themselves, show that I have difficulties "engaging socially", as per Schedule 1 to the Social Security (PIP) regulations 2013 - that is, (a)interact with others in a contextually and socially appropriate manner; (b)understand body language; and (c) establish relationships.
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 7th Jul 19, 10:28 PM
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    poppy12345
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 19, 10:28 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 19, 10:28 PM
    What is your job?
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 7th Jul 19, 10:30 PM
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    Alice Holt
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 19, 10:30 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 19, 10:30 PM
    I would certainly view social interactions in a work / formal context as within the scope of the descriptor.

    What the descriptor doesn't include as a "social situation" is interactions with close family members in a (say) domestic setting.

    Often a tribunal will ask a claimant about GP and other professional appointments, interactions in shops, etc. As venison states the descriptor is about engagement with others face to face.

    What work do you do?
    What difficulty with engaging face to face do you have (in addition to the points scored on the communication activity)?
    What work adaptations have been made to help you to better engage face to face at work (per calcotti)?
    How many days a week do you work?
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 07-07-2019 at 10:40 PM.
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • Demerara
    • By Demerara 7th Jul 19, 10:39 PM
    • 154 Posts
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    Demerara
    I would certainly view social interactions in a work / formal context as within the scope of the descriptor.

    What the descriptor doesn't include as a "social situation" is interactions with close family members in a (say) domestic setting.

    Often a tribunal will ask a claimant about GP and other professional appointments, interactions in shops, etc. As venison states the descriptor is about engagement with others face to face.

    What work do you do?
    What difficulty with engaging face to face do you have (in addition to the points scored on the communication activity)?
    What work adaptations have been made to help you to better engage face to face at work (per calcotti)?
    Originally posted by Alice Holt
    What would you make of this then?
    SF v The Secretary of State [2016] UKUT 0543 (AAC) (CPIP/2685/2016):
    That construction of Activity 9 explains why ‘engage socially’ is defined in Schedule 1, and without wishing to express a concluded view on the issue in a case in which it has not been argued, I therefore consider that the whole of PIP Activity 9 is concerned with a claimant’s ability to engage with other people face to face in social situations. It would follow that in all cases in which Activity 9 is in issue decision makers should apply the definition of ‘engage socially’ in Schedule 1 and should consider a claimant’s ability to interact with others in a contextually and socially appropriate manner, the claimant’s ability to understand body language, and the claimant’s ability to establish relationships in a social context.' (paragraph 6)

    Also, DV v SSWP (PIP) [2017] UKUT 0244 (AAC) (CPIP/3707/2016) - judge said that tribunal erred in considering that claimant could engage socially based on their presentation at tribunal and that this was an error. I think there was also something about someone being on ESA and being on the workgroup and the judge said they couldn't make a decision based on his interactions within the workgroup requirements?

    I am anxious (though not recorded in medical records) in social situations, if I have people I feel "safe" with, I can do ok-ish but there is a fear that I am seen like an idiot because of my communication difficulties.

    I have special equipment and the line of work I do (don't feel comfortable posting here) requires colleagues to be inclusive/supportive plus there are a few other reasonable adjustments made.
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 7th Jul 19, 10:45 PM
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    poppy12345
    What work do you do?
    What difficulty with engaging face to face do you have (in addition to the points scored on the communication activity)?
    What work adaptations have been made to help you to better engage face to face at work (per calcotti)?
    How many days a week do you work?
    Originally posted by Alice Holt
    You need to answer these questions.
    • Demerara
    • By Demerara 7th Jul 19, 11:13 PM
    • 154 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Demerara

    What work do you do?
    What difficulty with engaging face to face do you have (in addition to the points scored on the communication activity)?
    What work adaptations have been made to help you to better engage face to face at work (per calcotti)?
    How many days a week do you work?

    Support worker, full time
    I am anxious (though not recorded in medical records) in social situations, if I have people I feel "safe" with, I can do ok-ish but there is a fear that I am seen like an idiot because of my communication difficulties which means I withdraw when in social situations.
    I have special equipment, specific meeting rooms and the line of work I do requires colleagues to be inclusive/supportive plus there are a few other reasonable adjustments made (breaks)
    • Csmk
    • By Csmk 8th Jul 19, 8:19 AM
    • 26 Posts
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    Csmk
    @Demera you can look on the pipinfo.net for all up to date case law on PIP which includes legislation on all activities and any issues surrounding the benefit. It's accepted that engaging with others looks at your ability to interact with others in a contextually and socially appropriate manner, understand body language and establish relationships. It does not just look at people you know (HJ v sswp 2016 UKUT 0487 (AAC), it should be considered in terms of your daily life EG v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2017] UKUT 101 (AAC) and it should be done reliably (all the acceptable standard, in a reasonable time etc).

    I'd say they would definitely look at your work interactions, so you need to look at what help you get, whether you'd be able to engage without this help, whether you get encouraged to engage with other people or you get more support. Look at all aspects when dealing with others if those you know well and don't and ask if you didn't have the help, would you be able to complete the activity without any difficulty.

    I'm a little concerned that the OP is being pressured into providing personal details about themselves on a very public forum to get help. The OP has every right to withhold information, particularly as it's not a confidential setting. Demera has asked for some information on a case and the general rules for the activity, not a full advice session on their needs; it seems they're capable of searching and understanding case law themselves.
    • Demerara
    • By Demerara 8th Jul 19, 10:32 AM
    • 154 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Demerara
    @Demera you can look on the pipinfo.net for all up to date case law on PIP which includes legislation on all activities and any issues surrounding the benefit. It's accepted that engaging with others looks at your ability to interact with others in a contextually and socially appropriate manner, understand body language and establish relationships. It does not just look at people you know (HJ v sswp 2016 UKUT 0487 (AAC), it should be considered in terms of your daily life EG v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2017] UKUT 101 (AAC) and it should be done reliably (all the acceptable standard, in a reasonable time etc).

    I'd say they would definitely look at your work interactions, so you need to look at what help you get, whether you'd be able to engage without this help, whether you get encouraged to engage with other people or you get more support. Look at all aspects when dealing with others if those you know well and don't and ask if you didn't have the help, would you be able to complete the activity without any difficulty.

    I'm a little concerned that the OP is being pressured into providing personal details about themselves on a very public forum to get help. The OP has every right to withhold information, particularly as it's not a confidential setting. Demera has asked for some information on a case and the general rules for the activity, not a full advice session on their needs; it seems they're capable of searching and understanding case law themselves.
    Originally posted by Csmk
    Thank you so much csmk for the guidance and your empathy around my position, much appreciated.
    • Csmk
    • By Csmk 8th Jul 19, 11:49 AM
    • 26 Posts
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    Csmk
    Hope it helps! Sorry kept getting your username wrong (I'm definitely thinking of getting a sugary lunch today!)
    • Demerara
    • By Demerara 8th Jul 19, 12:38 PM
    • 154 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Demerara
    Hope it helps! Sorry kept getting your username wrong (I'm definitely thinking of getting a sugary lunch today!)
    Originally posted by Csmk
    Yes, it does help, thank you I has helped me rethink about how I put things in writing.

    Go for sugary lunch
    • Demerara
    • By Demerara 17th Sep 19, 9:36 PM
    • 154 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Demerara
    Update

    Finally got a response but as to be expected, they maintained their original decision.

    What is infuriating is that their decision was just a rewording of the original decision letter. They did not address any of the points or evidence I offered or points that I contested.

    Anyway, if anyone can clarify the following, I would be extremely grateful. Regarding Activity 9, engaging with others face to face, am I misguided to think that descriptors 9a, 9b and 9c do NOT have to be related to mental health?
    • calcotti
    • By calcotti 17th Sep 19, 10:12 PM
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    calcotti
    ...am I misguided to think that descriptors 9a, 9b and 9c do NOT have to be related to mental health?
    Originally posted by Demerara
    I don’t think these descriptors have to be related to mental health. See for example CPIP/3707/2016 which looks at the relevance of the difficulty understanding body language and other visual cues when assessing whether a claimant with severe visual impairment can engage socially.

    Also CPIP/2559/2015 paragraph 17 “There is, in my judgment, no limit to the type of impairment which limits a person’s ability to engage with other people face to face” which goes on to paragraph 18 “Thus, for example, activity 9 may fall to be considered in respect of a claimant whose physical impairment (hearing loss) causes communication difficulties, and who is, as a result, anxious about meeting other people and being in social situations”.

    You may find useful information picking through this https://pipinfo.net/activities/engaging-with-other-people-face-to-face
    Last edited by calcotti; 17-09-2019 at 10:14 PM.
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 17th Sep 19, 10:12 PM
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    poppy12345
    Update

    Finally got a response but as to be expected, they maintained their original decision.

    What is infuriating is that their decision was just a rewording of the original decision letter. They did not address any of the points or evidence I offered or points that I contested.

    Anyway, if anyone can clarify the following, I would be extremely grateful. Regarding Activity 9, engaging with others face to face, am I misguided to think that descriptors 9a, 9b and 9c do NOT have to be related to mental health?
    Originally posted by Demerara
    That's usually what happens with the MR decision, it's a copy and paste of the original decision.


    No, engaging with others isn't just related to mental health. It's totally depends on how your conditions affect your ability to carry out daily activity based on the PIP descriptors.



    My daughter has ASD and a learning disability, needs support when engaging with others and scored 2 points for this activity.


    As your job is a support worker, this may well have gone against you.
    • Spoonie Turtle
    • By Spoonie Turtle 18th Sep 19, 12:31 AM
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    Spoonie Turtle
    As your job is a support worker, this may well have gone against you.
    Originally posted by poppy12345
    I agree - as a layman without any specific knowledge of your job, I would assume that a support worker would be trained in giving other people social support and would therefore need to know themselves how to interact appropriately with others before they can then give help to anyone else.

    I am NOT saying that is definitely the case (and please do feel free to correct me, but also please don't feel obliged to it you'd prefer not to), but it could be what the DWP assumed and why they made the decision they did. So if you do give social support, you'd have to detail exactly what you do, why you can do that and then why that doesn't mean you don't have difficulty in your own social situations. If you don't give social support in your line of work, make sure that's very clear.

    (I have seen something referred to as 'the mum-friend override': in a restaurant you're too anxious to make a small request such as for extra seasoning, but have no problem complaining on your friend's behalf if their food is awful and they're too anxious to do it themselves. Basically like parents who are afraid of an activity will put their fears aside if their child needs support to do it.)
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