Activity 6: Making self understood

Activity 6 is defined in regulations as - 

Making self understood through speaking, writing, typing, or other means which are normally, or could reasonably be, used unaided by another person.

Activity 6 assesses the ability to express yourself rather than simply speech. The scope of the activity includes impediment to communication such as an inability to express thoughts, resulting from brain injury or generalised neurological conditions causing problems with speech and manual dexterity such as Motor Neurone Disease and advanced Parkinson’s Disease. The ability to write, type or text needs to be considered in cases of speech difficulties.


The descriptor relating to Activity 6 is -

Cannot convey a simple message, such as the presence of a hazard.


  • 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 6.