Qualifying for the support group of employment and support allowance (ESA) is not about scoring points. Instead, if the decision maker accepts that any of the following descriptors apply to you, then you will be placed in the support group.
1. Mobilising unaided by another person with or without a walking stick, manual wheelchair or other aid if such aid can reasonably be used.
- mobilise more than 50 metres on level ground without stopping in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion or
- repeatedly mobilise 50 metres within a reasonable timescale because of significant discomfort or exhaustion.
2. Transferring from one seated position to another.
Cannot move between one seated position and another seated position located next to one another without receiving physical assistance from another person.
Cannot raise either arm as if to put something in the top pocket of a coat or jacket.
4. Picking up and moving or transferring by the use of the upper body and arms (excluding standing, sitting, bending or kneeling and all other activities specified in this Schedule).
Cannot pick up and move a 0.5 litre carton full of liquid.
5. Manual dexterity.
(a) press a button, such as a telephone keypad or;
(b) turn the pages of a book
with either hand.
6. Making self understood through speaking, writing, typing, or other means normally used.
Cannot convey a simple message, such as the presence of a hazard.
7. Understanding communication by—
(a) verbal means (such as hearing or lip reading) alone,
(b) non-verbal means (such as reading 16 point print or Braille) alone, or
(c) a combination of (a) and (b),
using any aid that is normally, or could reasonably be, used, unaided by another person.
Cannot understand a simple message due to sensory impairment, such as the location of a fire escape.
8. Absence or loss of control whilst conscious leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or bladder, other than enuresis (bed-wetting), despite the wearing or use of any aids or adaptations which are normally, or could reasonably be, worn or used.
At least once a week experiences
- 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.
9. Learning tasks.
- Cannot learn how to complete a simple task, such as setting an alarm clock, due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder.
10. Awareness of everyday hazards (such as boiling water or sharp objects).
- Reduced awareness of everyday hazards leads to a significant risk of:
- injury to self or others; or
- damage to property or possessions,
such that they require supervision for the majority of the time to maintain safety.
11. Initiating and completing personal action (which means planning, organisation, problem solving, prioritising or switching tasks).
Cannot, due to impaired mental function, reliably initiate or complete at least 2 sequential personal actions.
12. Coping with change.
- Cannot cope with any change, due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder, to the extent that day to day life cannot be managed.
13. Coping with social engagement due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder.
Engagement in social contact is always precluded due to difficulty relating to others or significant distress experienced by the individual.
14. Appropriateness of behaviour with other people, due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder.
Has, on a daily basis, uncontrollable episodes of aggressive or disinhibited behaviour that would be unreasonable in any workplace.
15. Conveying food or drink to the mouth.
- Cannot convey food or drink to the claimant’s own mouth without receiving physical assistance from someone else;
- Cannot convey food or drink to the claimant’s own mouth without repeatedly stopping, experiencing breathlessness or severe discomfort;
- Cannot convey food or drink to the claimant’s own mouth without receiving regular prompting given by someone else in the claimant’s physical presence; or
- Owing to a severe disorder of mood or behaviour, fails to convey food or drink to the claimant’s own mouth without receiving —
- physical assistance from someone else; or
- regular prompting given by someone else in the claimant’s presence.
16. Chewing or swallowing food or drink.
- Cannot chew or swallow food or drink;
- Cannot chew or swallow food or drink without repeatedly stopping, experiencing breathlessness or severe discomfort;
- Cannot chew or swallow food or drink without repeatedly receiving regular prompting given by someone else in the claimant’s presence; or
- Owing to a severe disorder of mood or behaviour, fails to —
- chew or swallow food or drink; or
- chew or swallow food or drink without regular prompting given by another person in the physical presence of the claimant.