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Q4 - picking up and moving things

This advice applies to Wales

This question is on page 9 of the form - see what it looks like

ESA50 example form

How to answer the question

Think about your stronger hand if one hand's stronger than the other.

"Can you pick up and move a half-litre (one pint) carton full of liquid?"

  • No
  • Yes
  • It varies

Try picking up a pint of milk or a pint glass of water. Don't feel embarrassed if you have to tick "no", for example if:

  • you can't pick it up - maybe you have to pull it towards you instead
  • it causes you pain - for example in your hands, fingers, shoulders or neck
  • you can't move it smoothly - you'd end up dropping it

"Can you pick up and move a litre (two pint) carton full of liquid?"

  • No
  • Yes
  • It varies

Again, don't feel embarrassed about ticking "no". Try picking up a 2-pint carton of milk if you're not sure.

"Can you pick up and move a large, light object like an empty cardboard box?"

  • No
  • Yes
  • It varies

It's fine if you can't do this - but it's important to tick "no".

This question isn't just about empty cardboard boxes. The DWP wants to know how easy it is for you to move anything that's large and light, so try thinking about:

  • moving a box of tissues closer to you
  • shifting a pillow from one side of the bed to the other

What to write in the box

You should explain in the box:

  • how you usually pick up and move things
  • whether picking up or moving things causes you pain or discomfort - for example in your hands, fingers, shoulders or neck
  • how long the pain lasts, and how severe it is (if picking up and moving things causes you pain)
  • whether picking up and moving things causes you to be short of breath, feel dizzy or tired

You should also think about (and explain):

  • what happens if you pick up and move things more than once, not just as a one-off
  • what happens on good and bad days
  • whether you drop things - you could give an example, and say what happened after you dropped something (eg you had to go to A&E)
  • if you have problems moving things smoothly, and how this affects whether you pick things up

Example

Denise says: "I had a stroke 2 years ago and lost the use of my left arm, I also have arthritis in my other wrist. This makes it hard for me to pick things up, especially small things like coins. Last week I tried to pour myself a drink from a carton that my husband had opened. I managed to pick it up but had a shooting pain in my wrist and dropped the carton on the floor. The juice went everywhere and I had to wait for my husband to come home to clean it up."

Next steps

Question 5: Manual dexterity (using your hands)

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