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Q1 - moving around and using steps

This advice applies to Scotland

This question is on page 7 of the form - see what it looks like

ESA50 example form

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.

  1. Try moving 50 metres (about the length of 5 double-decker buses). If you need to stop, make a note of why - for example because you're in pain, tired or breathless.
  2. If you didn't need to stop in the first 50 metres, try another 50 metres. If you need to stop, tick "100 metres".
  3. Try another 100 metres.

If you use an electric wheelchair, try to imagine getting around using a manual wheelchair. If you don't think you can use one without someone pushing you around, tick "50 metres" and explain why in the box.

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."

Next steps

Question 2: Standing and sitting

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