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TOPIC: PIP points for Communicating & Mixing with people?

PIP points for Communicating & Mixing with people? 5 months 3 weeks ago #220337

I’m Appointee for my son who has ‘high functioning’ autism and anxiety. He had to move from DLA to PIP. He has just been awarded standard rate for daily living and same for mobility. He scored 11 points for daily living needs. He received 4 points for mixing with other people, but none for communicating. The decision letter says that ‘restrictions engaging with others are not considered within the communicating activity and have been considered within the engaging with other people face to face activity’. Which makes sense.

The decision maker then says as my son has no cognitive or sensory restrictions that affect his ability to express and receive verbal communication, she has decided he can manage this unaided. My son’s difficulties with verbal communication are because of his autism and anxiety and I explained this on the form - and that he needs support in communicating- from me or his placement support worker. Should the decision maker have considered this or can she just say that this support is for engaging with other people and not for communicating?

PIP points for Communicating & Mixing with people? 5 months 3 weeks ago #220340


The Communicating activity is about the claimant's ability to speak to speak in a way that people will understand and also to understand what other people are saying to them. An obvious example would be someone who is deaf or mute but it is possible to score due to cognitive or mental health issues as well.

there are also definitions for Basic and Complex verbal information, with the former being a simple sentence and the latter covering a complex sentence or multiple sentences.

The context is not considered, just the capability.

So when with you, is your son able to talk to you and understand what you are saying to him?


PIP points for Communicating & Mixing with people? 5 months 3 weeks ago #220356

When my son is just with me he can generally speak and understand me, because I’m used to his needs. His difficulties with communication are greater with other people because of his anxiety. I gave examples on the form that because he takes time to process what is being said to him and he gets anxious about how to respond, he often loses the thread of what is being said to him. He can’t manage being asked several different things at once or being given too many options (eg Would you like to eat now? Or maybe just a snack and we’ll eat later?) He’d get flustered and not manage to respond at all. I don’t know if that counts as finding it difficult to understand verbal information. He likes to have instructions written down so he can look at them as he may have missed some of what was said. He struggles with verbal communication because he’s also trying to work out non verbal stuff like body language at the same time.

My son needs me to attend appointments like F2F assessments with him - he is anxious about engaging with other people and much of that anxiety is because of difficulties communicating with them.

PIP points for Communicating & Mixing with people? 5 months 3 weeks ago #220378


You may be able to make a case for problems with Complex verbal information or perhaps Communication Support but you will need evidence to support his scoring, your testimony is not going to be sufficient on its own.

The following user(s) said Thank You: Becca

PIP points for Communicating & Mixing with people? 5 months 3 weeks ago #220392

Thanks Gordon. I’ve only got limited evidence of my son’s communication difficulties (in his EHCP) so I’m not going to challenge the award of no points for this activity . It just seems that the DWP’s definition of communication is limited to those with cognitive or sensory impairments, and it doesn’t recognise the very real difficulties individuals on the autistic spectrum can have.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gordon
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