Activity 5: Manual dexterity

Activity 5 is defined in regulations as - 

Manual dexterity.

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



See also section 3.2.6 of the DWP’s Work Capability Assessment handbook: for healthcare professionals.

Case law

Commentary:​ In [2014] 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 [2014] 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.