Aids and appliances

Aids and appliances might improve, provide or replace an impaired bodily function. Examples include: incontinence pads, walking stick, crutches, prostheses, wheelchair, support splints, dentures, spectacles and hearing aids. If an aid or appliance is not normally used to help with an activity, it is only taken into account if it is reasonable to expect its use.


The rules about aids and appliances are in regulations -

… the claimant is to be assessed as if … fitted with or wearing any prosthesis with which the claimant is normally fitted, or normally wears, or, as the case may be ... wearing or using any aid or appliance which is normally, or could reasonably be expected to be, worn or used.


  • Regulation 19(4) and 34(3) of the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008 (SI.No.794/2008) (applies to income-related and contributory ESA in a universal credit live service area).
  • Regulation 15(4) and 30(3) of the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2013 (SI.No.379/2013) (applies to contributory ESA in a universal credit full service area).
  • Regulation 42(2) of the Universal Credit Regulations 2013 (SI.No.376/2013) (applies to universal credit).

Case law

Commentary:​ In [2018] UKUT 9 (AAC) Judge Wikeley ruled that aids and appliances do not apply to the descriptors relating to mental, cognitive and intellectual function as regulation 19(4) of the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008 specifically refers to the descriptors listed in Part 1 of Schedule 2 - those relating to physical disabilities. | Add commentary or suggest an edit.