Q14: moving around
What this question means
This question is about how your condition makes it difficult for you to:
- stand safely without help
- walk safely without stopping and without help
How far can you walk taking into account any aids you use?
- less than 20 metres
- between 20 and 50 metres
- between 50 and 200 metres
- 200 metres or more
- it varies
Base your answer on what distance you can manage most of the time (that is, on a regular and repeated basis) with or without an aid, such as a walking stick.
Don't overestimate your ability. For example, if you can't regularly and repeatedly walk 50 metres then don't say you can.
If pain and breathlessness affect how far you walk, take that into account.
You should probably tick "less than 20 metres" if you can't stand up or walk.
How far is 20, 50 or 200 metres?
To give you a rough idea of distance:
- 20 metres is the length of 2 buses
- 50 metres is the length of 5 buses
- 200 metres is the length of 20 buses
Do you use an aid or appliance to walk?
You should probably tick "yes" if:
- you use a prosthesis, swing crutch or similar
- you take rest breaks while walking any distance
- you use an aid all the time or sometimes
Do you use a wheelchair or similar device to move around safely, reliably and repeatedly and in a reasonable time period?
Tick "yes" if you use a wheelchair, mobility scooter or similar.
Extra information: what to write
It’s important you tell the DWP more by explaining your situation in the box.
It’s your chance to give the DWP a true picture of how your condition affects your ability to stand and walk. They'll use this to decide if you get PIP.
You can also use this space to explain what help you need but don't get.
Aids that help you stand and move
List the items you use to help you stand, walk and move around.
Never miss any aids off your list because you think they're obvious, and always:
- explain how they help you
- make it clear if a health professional advised you to use them
- include any that would help you if you had them
- include any that your condition prevents you from using - for example, you can't grip a walking stick because of arthritis in your hands
Explain if you use an aid to reduce mental or physical feelings (like pain, discomfort or tiredness) when standing or walking. Make it clear if it only reduces that feeling and that you still experience something.
Rest breaks and symptoms such as pain or dizziness
Explain if you need to rest while walking or if you can't stand or walk at all.
Make it clear if the reason is because:
- you feel tired
- you're in pain
- you're out of breath
- you risk an injury - for example, falling, slipping, losing your balance or feeling dizzy
It's important to explain symptoms such as pain or discomfort and explain how they affect you, including:
- how often you get them
- how long they last
- if they're likely to increase the risk of an accident
- if they mean it takes you longer to walk somewhere
- if they affect your ability to walk any further
- if they affect your ability to carry out any of the other activities on your PIP claim form
If symptoms such as pain or breathlessness affect your walking most of the time, make that clear.
Alan lost his balance walking to the bathroom and fell over. Since the accident he's gone outside less and no longer visits his local shops because he's worried about falling over again.
Good days and bad days
Explain how you cope on both good days and bad and how you manage over a longer period of time (like a week). This gives the DWP a better picture of how you cope most of the time.
Make it clear:
- if you have good days and bad days
- how often you have bad days
- if you have bad days more often than not
- how your difficulties and symptoms differ on good days and bad - for example, you can't walk as far or stand at all or the level of pain you feel is greater
It's ok to estimate your bad days but say if you are. If it's too difficult to estimate - explain why. For example, because your condition fluctuates.
Time it takes
Think about whether it takes you at least twice as long as someone without your condition to walk the same distance as you.
Try to explain how long it takes. It's ok to estimate but say if you are. If it's too hard to estimate explain why - for example, because the level of pain you experience is difficult to manage with medication or pain relief.
- include time for breaks if you need them
- explain if it takes you even longer on a bad day
- say how walking that distance on a repeated basis would affect you - for example, you'd feel more tired, it would take you longer or cause you more pain
Safety: accidents and risk of injury
Tell the DWP if you have or might injure yourself walking or standing.
It's helpful to give an example and explain:
- why it can happen
- how often it can happen
- how badly it could affect you
- what effect it has on your physical and mental health
- if it's because you can't judge for yourself when you to stop and rest
- if it's because you don't get help from someone
You should mention a risk even if it doesn't happen regularly.
Someone helps or assists you
Make it clear if you need help but don't get it.
if you get help, say who helps you (for example, a relative or friend) and explain:
- why they help
- how they help
- how often they help
Make it clear if you need them to:
- help you all of the time or just sometimes
- physically assist you
- be on hand - for example, just in case you need help
- prevent an injury or accident
Always explain what happens (or would happen) if you don't get help. For example:
- you're more likely to have an accident
- you're more likely to suffer physical or mental symptoms like pain or dizziness
- you're less likely to go outside or socialise because you're afraid of falling or slipping