The ESA Points System

The DWP uses a points system to assess whether you have limited capability for work, and therefore whether you are entitled to ESA. If you score 15 points or more over the following 17 activities, you will be entitled to ESA. The DWP will also look at whether you have limited capability for work related activity, also known as the support group

Physical functions 

1. Moving around 

 

Cannot, without the aid of another person, mobilise more than 50 metres - 15 points

 

Cannot, without the aid of another person, climb or descend 2 steps, even with a handrail - 9 points

Cannot, without the aid of another person, mobilise more than 100 metres- 9 points

Cannot, without the aid of another person, mobilise more than 200 metres- 6 points

None of the above apply- 0 points

2. Standing and sitting 

Cannot, without the aid of another person, stand up from a chair and move to a chair next to it - 15 points

Cannot, for the majority of the time, stand, sit, or a combination of both for more than 30 minutes- 9 points

Cannot, for the majority of the time, stand, sit, or a combination of both for more than 1 hour- 6 points

 

None of the above apply- 0 points

3. Reaching

Cannot raise either arm, for example to put something in the top pocket of a coat - 15 points

Cannot raise either arm to your head, for example to put a hat on- 9 points

 

Cannot raise either arm above your head, for example to put something on a shelf above you- 6 points

 

None of the above apply- 0 points

4. Picking up and moving an object

 

Cannot pick up and move a 0.5 litre carton full of liquid, for example a pint of milk- 15 points

Cannot pick up and move a 1 litre carton full of liquid- 9 points

Cannot pick up and move a light bulky object like a cardboard box- 6 points 

None of the above apply- 0 points

5. Manual dexterity 

Cannot press a button with either hand, or cannot turn a page of a book with either hand- 15 points

Cannot pick up something the size of a £1 coin with either hand- 15 points

Cannot use a pen or pencil to make a meaningful mark- 9 points

Cannot use a keyboard or mouse with either hand- 6 points

None of the above apply- 0 points

6. Communicating  

Cannot, by speaking, writing or typing, convey a simple message, for example, 'Stop! There's a car coming'- 15 points

Has significant difficulty conveying a simple message to a stranger through speaking, writing or typing- 9 points

Has some difficulty conveying a simple message to a stranger through speaking, writing or typing- 6 points 

None of the above apply- 0 points 

7. Understanding

Cannot understand information, such as a fire escape sign- 15 points

Has significant difficulty understanding a simple message from a stranger due to sensory impairment- 15 points

Has some difficulty understanding a simple message from a stranger due to sensory impairment- 6 points

None of the above apply- 0 points

8. Getting around safely

Cannot navigate around familiar surroundings, without being accompanied by another person, due to sensory impairment.- 15 points

Cannot safely complete a potentially hazardous task such as crossing the road, without being accompanied by another person, due to sensory impairment- 15 points

Cannot navigate around unfamiliar surroundings, without being accompanied by another person, due to sensory impairment- 9 points

None of the above apply- 0 points

9. Controlling bowels and bladder

Experiences either loss of control leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or voiding of the bladder, or substantial leakage of the contents of a collecting device, sufficient to require cleaning and a change in clothing at least once per month- 15 points

The majority of time is at risk of loss of control leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or voiding of the bladder, sufficient to require cleaning and a change of clothing, if not able to reach a toilet quickly- 6 points

None of the above apply- 0 points

10. Staying conscious when awake 

At least once a week, has an involuntary episode of lost or altered consciousness resulting in significantly disrupted awareness or concentration- 15 points

At least once a month, has an involuntary episode of lost or altered consciousness resulting in significantly disrupted awareness or concentration- 6 points

 

None of the above apply- 0 points

 

Mental functions

1. Learning tasks

 

Cannot learn how to complete a simple task, such as making a phone call- 15 points

Cannot learn anything beyond a simple task, such as making a phone call- 9 points

Cannot learn anything beyond a moderately complex task, such as the steps involved in operating a washing machine to clean clothes- 6 points

None of the above apply- 0 points 

2. Hazard awareness

Reduced awareness of everyday hazards leads to a significant risk of injury to self or others, or damage to property or possessions meaning that the claimant requires supervision for the majority of the time to maintain safety- 15 points

 

Reduced awareness of everyday hazards leads to a significant risk of injury to self or others, or damage to property or possessions meaning that the claimant frequently requires supervision to maintain safety- 9 points

Reduced awareness of everyday hazards leads to a significant risk of injury to self or others, or damage to property or possessions meaning that the claimant occasionally requires supervision to maintain safety- 6 points

None of the above apply- 0 points

3. Starting and finishing tasks

Cannot reliably start or complete two personal actions one after the other, because of impaired mental function- 15 points

 

Cannot reliably start or complete two personal actions one after the other, because of impaired mental function, for the majority of the time- 9 points

Frequently cannot start or complete two personal actions one after the other, because of impaired mental function- 6 points

None of the above apply- 0 points

4. Coping with change

Cannot cope with any change which means that you cannot manage day-to-day life- 15 points

 

Cannot cope with minor planned change, for example a pre-arranged change to an appointment time, which means that day-to-day life is significantly more difficult- 9 points

Cannot cope with minor unplanned change, for example an appointment time changing on the day, which means that day-to-day life is significantly more difficult - 6 points

None of the above apply- 0 points

5. Getting about  

Cannot get to any place outside of the home, even if it's familiar- 15 points

 

Cannot get to any place outside of the home, even if it's familiar, without being accompanied by another person- 9 points

Cannot get to an unfamiliar place without being accompanied by another person- 6 points

None of the above apply- 0 points

6. Coping with social engagement 

No social engagement is possible because of difficulty relating to others or significant distress- 15 points

 

Social engagement with someone unfamiliar is not possible because of difficult relating to others or significant distress- 9 points

Social engagement with someone unfamiliar is usually not possible because of difficulty relating to others or significant distress- 6 points

None of the above apply- 0 points

7. Behaving appropriately  

On a daily basis has uncontrollable episodes of aggressive or disinhibited behaviour- 15 points

 

Frequently has uncontrollable episodes of aggressive or disinhibited behaviour- 15 points

Occasionally has uncontrollable episodes of aggressive or disinhibited behaviour- 9 points

None of the above apply- 0 points

For more information, or for help claiming benefits, please get in touch with our benefits team. We provide initial information and advice to everyone. We provide members of the Sheffield ME and Fibromyalgia Group with more detailed advice, casework and representation. 

Email: benefits@sheffieldmegroup.co.uk

Tel: +44 114 253 6700

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