Personal Independence Payment – daily living activities – activity one – preparing food – preparing and cooking a simple meal – objective test of ability without reference to any cultural or religious requirements
The claimant, who suffered from various disabilities including back problems and loss of sensation in his feet, claimed personal independence payment and was awarded the standard rate of the mobility component but refused an award of the daily living component. On appeal, a First-tier Tribunal confirmed the award of mobility component and awarded the standard rate of the daily living component. The claimant’s evidence was that did not cook but knew how to. In relation to the activity of preparing food as set out as activity one in Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013, the tribunal rejected the argument that it was necessary to take into account the claimant’s cultural cuisine and found that with a perching stool to relieve his weight bearing difficulties he could prepare and cook a simple meal as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 1: “a cooked one-course meal for one using fresh ingredients”. The First-tier Tribunal granted the claimant permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal on the limited issue of whether the meal to be considered had to be one which respected the claimant’s cultural cuisine.
Held, dismissing the appeal, that:
the nature of a cooked main meal for the purposes of activity one must, in all material respects, be the same for all claimants, irrespective of cultural, religious or ethnic differences. Otherwise different claimants would face different disability thresholds which cannot have been the intention of Parliament: R(DLA) 2/95 considered and AI v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (DLA)  UKUT 176 (AAC) applied (paragraphs 13 and 14).