Activity 8: Evacuation of the bowel and/or bladder

Activity 8 is defined in regulations as - 

Absence or loss of control whilst conscious leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or voiding of the 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.

Activity 8 considers the ability to maintain continence of bladder or bowel, or prevent leakage from a collecting device. The descriptors take into account loss of continence while a claimant is awake/conscious and the loss of continence must lead to 'extensive' leakage of urine or faeces which is likely to require the person to have to wash and change clothing.


The descriptor relating to Activity 8 is -

At least once a week experiences: (a) loss of control leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or voiding of the bladder; or (b) substantial leakage of the contents of a collecting device sufficient to require the individual to clean themselves and change clothing.


  • Schedule 3 to the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008 (SI.No.794/2008) (applies to income-related and contributory ESA in a universal credit live service area).
  • Schedule 3 to the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2013 (SI.No.379/2013) (applies to contributory ESA in a universal credit full service area).
  • Schedule 7 to the Universal Credit Regulations 2013 (SI.No.376/2013) (applies to universal credit).

See also section of the DWP’s Work Capability Assessment handbook: for healthcare professionals.

Case law

The Upper Tribunal is yet to publish any significant case law in relation to Activity 8.