What are the ‘reliability’ criteria that are used during the PIP consultation?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit aimed at helping people to live an independent life. PIP assesses your ability to perform 12 daily living and mobility activities, such as preparing food, communicating verbally, and planning and following journeys. It is not sufficient to be able to complete these activities once, or occasionally; PIP assesses your ability to undertake tasks “reliably”.

Reliability has four components each of which must be satisfied in order for an activity to be undertaken ‘reliably’. The four components are:

  • Safely
  • To an acceptable standard
  • Repeatedly
  • In a reasonable time

Activities must be performed safely. This means you must be able to undertake them in a way that is unlikely to cause harm to you or anyone else. This could be either during or after you have done the activity. For the purpose of PIP, something is unsafe only if harm is likely to occur; it is not sufficient for you to feel harm may occur.

They must be performed to an acceptable standard. This means that the task must be done to a standard that would reasonably be acceptable to most people.

It should be possible to undertake the activity repeatedly. This means as often as reasonably required. For example if you are able to prepare a meal once without help, but the exhaustion from doing this means that you could not prepare another meal that day, you would be treated as being unable to prepare a meal unaided. This is because it is reasonable to expect someone to be able to prepare more than one meal a day.

The activities can be completed in a reasonable time. This means not more than twice as long as the maximum amount of time that a person without your health condition or impairment would normally take to complete that activity.

The ‘reliability’ criteria must be considered for each activity and will be considered as an integral part of the information-gathering process whether at a consultation or during a paper-based review.