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Mobility activities

Photo: The information below will help you complete your application

The 'daily living' activities are:

  • Preparing food.
  • Eating and drinking.
  • Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition, including taking medication.
  • Washing and bathing.
  • Managing toilet needs or incontinence.
  • Dressing and undressing.
  • Communicating verbally.
  • Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words.
  • Dealing with other people face to face.
  • Making decisions about money.

Mobility component

The mobility activities are:

  • Planning and following journeys.
  • Moving around.

Make sure you list the people who support you, this can include teachers, social workers, support workers as well as your audiologist. These should be the people who best know how your deafness affects you. Make sure you tell the people you list you have applied for PIP as they may be contacted to provide more information. 

List all of your health conditions and disabilities which mean you find things difficult. You don’t need to put down things like having a cold, but if you often get illnesses because of your disabilities (like ear infections) you may want to include this because it’s caused by your hearing aid and means you can’t wear them.

Make sure you list all of your medicines, aids and therapies. This can include things you have been told to do at home like speech exercises. Include all the technology you use as well, including hearing aids, cochlear implants or radio aids. 

The form will ask questions about activities, remember this is about what you need, not whether you actually get help with it currently. So if you find it difficult tick 'yes'.

You should only say you can do something if:

  • You can do it safely.
  • You can do it as often as you need to.
  • It doesn’t take you longer than someone without a disability.
  • You can do it well enough.

Give as much detail as you can. Some of the activities you're asked about may be similar but you should repeat them.

Examples need to be linked to your disability for example “I need to be able to see someone’s face so that I can lip-read because I have difficulty hearing certain sounds”.

You should think about how well you can carry out an activity when using your hearing equipment and how useful the equipment is such as if it is affected by background noise, or when it can’t be worn due to damage or an ear infection. For example, “I have hearing aids but if it isn’t quiet I can't hear what's being said by someone close to me.”

Daily activity  - Questions 3 to 15

This is where you can give the detail about how you're affected. Remember points are given for activities you have difficulty with and you need 8 or 12 points to qualify. You might find it helpful to look at and answer question 9 about communicating first, as this is likely to be the most important question for most deaf people. Thinking about communication may help you to think about how your communication difficulties affect your ability to do other activities.

This question is about preparing a simple meal for one person using fresh ingredients. Think about any problems you might have with preparing food such as peeling or chopping, using a cooker hob or microwave, or following instructions in a recipe. Do you have problems with following steps or doing more than one thing at a time because you get tired?

You should also explain about any special equipment you use in the kitchen and any help or supervision you need from another person when preparing food.  

This is about the physical act of eating and drinking. It's usually only relevant if you have another condition for example anorexia, physical problems with eating or swallowing. 

This question is about any medication you take, and any treatment or therapy you have at home. This can include speech and language therapy you may do with someone at home. It's usually only likely to be relevant if you have additional needs, for example if you take medication for depression and need to be reminded.

Explain if you wouldn't be able to wash or bathe safely because you aren’t wearing your hearing aid or cochlear implant/with the door shut/with the noise of running water, you wouldn’t hear a smoke alarm or a bang on the door, or a warning shout in an emergency. If you have balance problems and could slip make you explain this too.

This is only likely to be relevant if you have additional needs for example a weak bladder, physical problems getting on and off toilets or a colostomy bag.

This is only likely to be relevant if you have additional needs for example if you have a condition which causes pain trying to dress or need prompting.

This question is likely to be relevant for most deaf people as it is about difficulty hearing, understanding, making yourself understood and taking part in conversations, in your home/first language.

To score points you must show:

  • You need an aid or appliance to be able to hear (2 points) or
  • You need communication support from another person to be able to express or understand basic or complex verbal information (4 or 8 points) or
  • You cannot express or understand verbal information at all even with communication support (12 points).

‘Basic verbal information’ means a simple sentence. ‘Complex verbal information’ means more than one sentence or one complicated sentence.


Make sure you give details of all aids or appliances you use, including hearing aids, cochlear implants, and any adaptations or technology such as radio aids, phone adaptations, loop systems, textphones, flashing doorbells and smoke alarms. Remember to explain if they cause any difficulties or they are unreliable. 

This could be an interpreter if you use BSL. It can also be 'a person trained or experienced in communicating with people with specific communication needs', so this could include a family member or friend you are familiar with who helps you to communicate.

Make sure you give details here of any informal help you get with communicating, for example, from friends or family members who repeat or explain what other people have been saying or any announcements that have been made.

Include any communication support you receive at school, college or work. For example, interpreters, lipspeakers, note-takers, teaching assistants or anyone who interprets voice systems from computer systems. You should also give details of any help you need but don’t get – this should still count.

Use this section to explain all the things which make it difficult for you to communicate

It can count as needing help (and therefore scoring points) if you can’t manage communication safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly and in a reasonable time.

For example, you should give details if any of the following applies to you:

  • You are a British Sign Language (BSL) user and need someone to interpret if communicating with a non-BSL user.
  • You can’t hear and need things repeated or explained if there is background noise - you should give details of what sort of background noise affects you.
  • You can’t hear and need things repeated or explained if there is a poor acoustic environment, for example a room where sounds echo, or outdoors.
  • You need to lipread and have difficulty following lip patterns of people not facing you, turning away, in poor light, if they have beards or an accent. You will need to explain that lipreading is largely guesswork, that different people have different lip patterns for the same words, and that different words have similar lip patterns. You should explain if it's much easier for you to follow the lip patterns of someone familiar to you and give examples if you rely on people familiar to you to repeat what others have said.
  • You have difficulty following speech without lip patterns so need someone to repeat ‘disembodied’ speech such as tannoy announcements face-to-face.
  • You have difficulty and need help following group conversations. You should explain what makes it difficult, for example, not being able to hear and understand when more than one person speaks at once, difficulty keeping up with changes of speaker so missing the beginning of what each speaker says, making it harder to lipread.
  • It takes you longer to process what you hear, so you need the speaker to speak more slowly and possibly in smaller chunks, or you need time after the speaker has finished to work out what they have said and to respond.
  • Your speech is hard for other people to understand so you need someone to repeat or explain what you've said.
  • You get tired with the extra concentration you have to put into communicating so find it harder towards the end of the day or at any other time.
  • You should give details of activities you would like to take part in but can’t because of your communication difficulties.

It’s useful to give examples of times when things have gone wrong. For example, missing or misunderstanding homework that has been set verbally because you didn’t hear or misheard, problems understanding shop assistants in shops, perhaps being persuaded to buy something unsuitable because you didn’t understand what was being said.

This is about being able to read and understand words, signs and symbols in your home language. You should explain any problems you have understanding written language. It is useful for you to give examples of situations where your difficulties with language caused problems, for example if you are given extra time or a reader in exams.

This question is about communicating and socialising with other people, understanding their behaviour and behaving appropriately.

You may score points on this if you can show:

  • You need prompting to engage with other people (2 points) or
  • You need support from another person to engage with other people (4 points) or
  • You can’t engage with other people because this either causes you overwhelming psychological distress or it causes you to behave in a way that would result in a substantial risk of harm to yourself or other people (8 points).

You may feel frustrated and upset because of your difficulties with communication. You'll need to explain how this affects you (for example, if you get depressed, angry, aggressive, withdrawn, anxious or panicky). This may cause you to have a lack of motivation and mean you need someone to encourage you to engage with other people.

  • If you have extra support at school, college, university, or work, does that make you feel different?
  • Do you find it hard to make friends?
  • Do you find that you avoid some social situations because of your communication difficulties?

It's useful if you can give examples of situations where you have difficulty, for example: “My friends all go to a club on Friday nights, but I don’t go because the music is too loud and I get upset because I can’t communicate with anyone”. You should give details if you find it difficult to engage with strangers.


This is about making decisions on spending and managing your money. Points can be given if you need help with simple budgeting decisions like calculating the cost of goods and the change due (2 points, or with more complex decisions, such as calculating personal budgets, managing and paying bills and planning future purchases (4 points).

Give examples of times you have had difficulty with money, for example if you didn’t realise you had not been given the right amount of change because you weren’t sure how much you should get.

This question is about your ability to plan and follow a route safely and reliably. It includes using public transport like buses or trains as well as walking but not driving. Think think about getting to places you know well and unfamiliar places.

  • When you're walking in the street can you judge the direction, speed and distance of traffic?
  • Have you had any accidents or near misses where you have not been aware of an approaching vehicle till the last minute?
  • Would you hear a bike, skater or runner coming up behind you on the pavement?
  • Would you be able to hear a warning shout? 
  • Can you hear announcements in a train station, such as platform changes.
  • Do you need someone to accompany you on familiar or unfamiliar journeys due to anxiety?

This question is about your ability to physically move around. This is only likely to be relevant if you have additional needs that mean you have difficulty standing and walking.

You should use this box to add anything you think might be important that you haven’t already mentioned. This can include if you get tired easily because of your deafness and how this affects you.


Never assume the decision maker will ‘fill in the gaps’ – you need to explain everything clearly and in detail.

Remember decision makers aren’t experts on deafness. You should explain things like concentration fatigue and that hearing technology doesn’t mean you can hear ‘normally’.

If your needs change from day to day, or during the course of a day, that’s OK. You can tick yes or sometimes and explain more in the ‘extra information’ box.

You might find it helpful to keep a diary to help you understand what sort of things you find difficult/need help with and how often.

Each question has tick boxes for your answers, then an extra information box for you to explain your answer in more detail.


  • Keep a copy of the form and any extra pages.
  • Don’t just put the form in a post box, go to the post office and ask for a certificate of posting.
  • The DWP should let you know when they get your form. If it’s more than two weeks since you sent your form in and the DWP haven’t told you they have it, it’s a good idea to contact them to make sure they got it.

Top tips:

  • Keep a record of any calls or contacts you make with the department dealing with your claim including the date and what was agreed.
  • Keep a copy of your form and any documents you send in.
  • Make sure you put your name and national insurance number on the top of any documents you send in.
  • Make sure you tell any professionals you have named on your form that you applied for PIP and how your deafness affects you.
  • Keep a diary of your needs and the difficulties you face for two weeks to help you explain what you find hard.
  • Before an assessment, make notes of what you want to say – it’s easy to forget things.
  • Make sure you include everything that you find difficult because of your deafness.
  • Read through your copy of your ‘How your disability affects you’ (PIP2) form to remind yourself of what you said.

If someone is coming with you to the assessment, think about what you want them to do:

  • Not say anything, just being with you is enough.
  • Chip in if it looks like you’re stuck on a question or forgotten something.
  • Let you answer, but then add their answer.
  • Make notes for you.

A day or two before the assessment contact the assessment centre to check an interpreter has been booked for you if you need one and check any access needs.

If you normally wear hearing aids or cochlear implants, you should wear these for the assessment.

It's important to be honest and to show the assessor what your needs are.