"This activity considers the claimant’s capability to read and understand written or printed information in the person’s native language. To be considered able to read, claimants must be able to see the information ­ accessing information via Braille is not considered as reading for this activity.

If the claimant cannot read, this must be as a direct result of their health condition or impairment e.g. visual impairment, cognitive impairment or learning difficulties. Illiteracy or lack of familiarity with written English are not health conditions and should not be considered."

"The ability to remember and retain information is not within the scope of this activity.

Consideration must be given to whether the claimant can read and understand information both indoors and outdoors. In doing so consideration should also be given to whether the claimant uses or could reasonably be expected to use aids or appliances, such as a blue screen to read text when indoors and a portable magnifying glass to do so when outdoors. If despite aids the claimant cannot read both indoors and outdoors, another descriptor may apply. "

Complex information

"Complex information
is more than one sentence of written or printed standard size text – e.g. 'Your home may be at risk if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it. Subject to terms and conditions.' "

Help with this may include "requir[ing] another person to explain complex written information due to a cognitive impairment"

Basic information

"Basic information
is signs, symbols or dates, e.g. a green exit sign on a door. "

Help with this may include "requir[ing] another person to remind them of the meaning of basic information due to a cognitive impairment."

Aids and Appliances

When considering whether a claimant requires an aid or appliance, [Healthcare Professionals] should distinguish between:
[A] Descriptor...in favour of an aid or appliance should only be given in the former case. An aid or appliance is not required in the latter."

Last updated October 2015