Activity 5: Manual dexterity
Activity 5 is defined in regulations as -
Activity 5 assesses hand and wrist function and the level of ability to manipulate objects that a claimant would need in order to carry out work-related tasks. Ability to use a pen or pencil is intended to reflect the ability to make a purposeful mark such as a cross or a tick. The same concept applies to use of a computer keyboard. A claimant will be assessed as able to use a keyboard or mouse if they can use either of them.
The descriptors that relate to Activity 5 are -
(a) Cannot press a button (such as a telephone keypad) with either hand or cannot turn the pages of a book with either hand. 15 points
(b) Cannot pick up a £1 coin or equivalent with either hand. 15 points
(c) Cannot use a pen or pencil to make a meaningful mark with either hand. 9 points
(d) Cannot use a suitable keyboard or mouse single-handedly. 9 points
(e) None of the above applies. 0 points
- Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008 (SI.No.794/2008) and Part 1 of Schedule 2 to SR.No.280/2008 in Northern Ireland (apply to income-related and old-style contributory ESA).
- Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2013 (SI.No.379/2013) and Part 1 of Schedule 2 to SR.No.219/2016 in Northern Ireland (apply to new-style contributory ESA).
- Part 1 of Schedule 6 to the Universal Credit Regulations 2013 (SI.No.376/2013) and Part 1 of Schedule 6 to SR.No.216/2016 in Northern Ireland (apply to universal credit).
See also section 3.2.6 of the DWP’s Work Capability Assessment handbook: for healthcare professionals.
Commentary: In  UKUT 455 (AAC) Judge Mark highlights that there are conflicting decisions relating to whether 'cannot use a suitable keyboard or mouse' means inability to do both tasks - as advocated by Judge Wright in  UKUT 100 (AAC) - or inability to do one of the tasks. It is therefore open to tribunal judges to decide which to follow. | Add commentary or suggest an edit.
Correct approach to assessing ESA descriptor 5c - Cannot use a pen or pencil to make a meaningful mark with either hand
-  UKUT 399 (AAC)
Whether ESA descriptor 5b should assess grip with reference to the current version of a £1 coin / adequacy of tribunal reasons for preferring one source of evidence to another
-  UKUT 326 (AAC)
Definition of ‘meaningful mark’ in ‘Cannot use a pen or pencil to make a meaningful mark with either hand’
-  UKUT 475 (2017)
Tribunal failed to properly consider ESA regulation 29(2)(b) by indicating type of work claimant may be able to do
-  UKUT 617 (AAC)
Claimant with use of one hand was able to use a suitable keyboard or mouse, but unable to transfer a light but bulky object
-  UKUT 455 (AAC)
- ‘Cannot use a suitable keyboard or mouse’ means inability to do both tasks
-  UKUT 100 (AAC)