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Q1 - moving around and using steps

This advice applies to England

This question is on page 8 of the form - see what it looks like

ESA50 page 8

How to answer the question

If you usually need to use something to help you walk (like crutches or a walking stick), base your answer on how you walk when you're using it. If you use a wheelchair, base your answer on how you get around when you're using it.

Don't feel embarrassed about your answers - it's important for the DWP to know what you can manage without anyone else's help.

"How far can you move safely and repeatedly on level ground without needing to stop?"

  • 50 metres
  • 100 metres
  • 200 metres or more
  • It varies

Think about what would happen if you tried to get around an office, or along a supermarket aisle - whether you'd need to lean on a shopping trolley, for example.

It's ok if you don't know what to tick straight away. Try moving and see how far you get.

50 metres is about the length of 5 double-decker buses.

If you use an electric wheelchair, try to imagine getting around using a manual wheelchair. Think how far you could get without someone pushing you around.

What to write in the box

It's important you tell the DWP more by explaining your situation in the box.

You should explain in the box:

  • how long it usually takes you to move 50 metres, 100 metres and 200 metres (or more) - if you can't move those distances, you should explain that
  • whether moving causes you pain and roughly how long for
  • whether it makes you out of breath
  • if it makes you dizzy or unsteady on your feet
  • whether you've fallen in the past - remember to say how often this happens, and whether you needed someone else to help you to get up
  • whether you'd be able to move that distance again throughout the day
  • if you have good and bad days, and what the differences are
  • how you manage when you leave the house If you can only move around within your home

If you use something to help you get around (for example crutches or a walking stick), it's important to explain how and why you use it.

"Can you go up or down two steps without help from another person, if there is a rail to hold on to?"

  • Yes
  • No
  • It varies

Don't feel embarrassed about saying "no" - for example you should tick "no" if you wouldn't be able to go up or down 2 steps, or it'd leave you exhausted or in pain for the rest of the day. It's important for the DWP to know this.

It's important you tell the DWP more by explaining your situation in the box.

Think about what would happen if you tried to get up or down steps in a public place - somewhere like a local hospital or shopping centre. Try to imagine that lots of other people are around.

What to write in the box

If using steps would cause you pain, you should explain in the box:

  • how bad the pain would be, for example so bad that you couldn't move
  • the nature of the pain, for example throbbing, stomach pain or sharp pain
  • how long you'd be in pain for, for example about 4 hours
  • whether it'd stop you doing anything else and for how long, for example you'd have to lie down for the rest of the day

If going up and down steps would make you tired or breathless, you should say:

  • how tired you'd be, for example whether you'd need to sit or lie down
  • how long you'd be tired for (you can estimate this)
  • whether being tired would stop you doing other things, and for how long
  • how it'd affect the rest of your day, for example you'd be too tired to talk to someone

Example

Simon says: "I have arthritis in my right knee and hip, and also in both wrists. On a good day I can walk 100m slowly - I'd have to rest a couple of times though, as I'd be in pain. I can't use a stick or crutches or a wheelchair because the arthritis in my wrists means I can't grip and don't have much strength. On a bad day, I can just about get around my flat but would usually stay in bed so I don't have to move much."

How the DWP assess this question

The DWP look at a list of statements called 'descriptors'. They'll give you a number of points depending on which descriptor applies to you.

The DWP add together all the points you get from the whole form. This means you can qualify for ESA even if you don't get all the points for this question.

Descriptors for question 1

DescriptorsPoints

1 (a) Cannot unaided by another person either:

(i) mobilise more than 50 metres on level ground without stopping in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion; or

(ii) repeatedly mobilise 50 metres within a reasonable timescale because of significant discomfort or exhaustion.

15
(b) Cannot unaided by another person mount or descend two steps even with the support of a handrail. 9

(c) Cannot unaided by another person either:

(i) mobilise more than 100 metres on level ground without stopping in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion; or

(ii) repeatedly mobilise 100 metres within a reasonable timescale because of significant discomfort or exhaustion.

9

(d) Cannot unaided by another person either:

(i) mobilise more than 200 metres on level ground without stopping in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion; or

(ii) repeatedly mobilise 200 metres within a reasonable timescale because of significant discomfort or exhaustion.

6
(e) None of the above applies.

0

Next steps

Question 2: Standing and sitting

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