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TOPIC: How is the refusal of meds or tests viewed?

Answers with or without medication? 6 years 9 months ago #67766

Would be grateful for any thoughts on the following:

Side effects aside, when answering questions on an ESA50 are you obliged to answer with what your difficulties/disabilities are like with or without medication? For instance, I take a very strong prescription pain medication that doesn't have to be taken all the time for pain relief, but can be taken 'as and when necessary' according to its instructions of use (the pain relieving effects wear off after a few hours). I dislike taking the medication as it gives me hard to handle side effects so I take it as little as possible...Anyway, the point is that with taking this very strong pain killer I can walk 100m without having to stop but without the pain killer I can only walk 50m. If I were to have to go outside and walk twice in one day, I would only take these very strong pain killers once, so on one of the two occasions I would be able to walk 100m and on the other I would only be able to walk 50m...

I appreciate that I can explain all this on the form just as I've explained it on here, but it's occurred to me that on the DLA and ESA forms it generally doesn't ask about what you can do with medication and/or without medication, whereas there are questions that are concerned with what you can do with an aid (walking stick or whatever) and other questions that don't ask about doing a particular activity with an aid.

When I applied for DLA last year they took it that I could walk a 100m without stopping (and I think that I could have challenged the decision, but in appealing I didn't want to endanger the care component I had been awarded) - And, I suppose from that I should conclude that the assessment must be on what you can do with having taken your prescription medications, even if you don't take them all the time.

I suspect this aspect may not come up as an issue too often as most medications have to be taken on a regular basis so claimants are continually medicated. Anyway, any experiences or general thoughts about this gratefully received (especially as I'm now applying for ESA). Many thanks.

Re:How is the refusal of meds or tests viewed? 6 years 9 months ago #67788


Regarding medication, this is where there is a huge difference between the "Capability" test, and falling under the definition of being "Disabled" under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

In deciding if "Disability" exists under DDA, "Deduced Effect" is taken into account.

i.e. How would the person in question be with regards to disability, without any medication or tharapies etc?.

Being classed as disabled under DDA, may help with any requests for "Reasonable Adjustments" to the DWP, ATOS, or Works Programme Providers, etc (any service provider).

See link below :




Re:How is the refusal of meds or tests viewed? 6 years 9 months ago #67823

Hi Bro58,

A good point, i.e. the distinction between the capability test and 'disability' as defined under the DDAct. Throws a clearer light on this for me.



Re:How is the refusal of meds or tests viewed? 6 years 9 months ago #67825


The guidance is to explain your disabilities, as they are, for the majority of the time.

If, as you say, you take this medication as little as possible, and therefore benefit from its effects rarely, you should not feel obliged to include it on the ESA50, unless specifically requested to do so.

If the topic is raised, then you should also include the negative affects of taking the medecine as part of your answer, as the pros and cons go together and should not be seperated.


Re:How is the refusal of meds or tests viewed? 6 years 9 months ago #67870

Hi Gordon

Thank you, that's a good point, i.e. about not mentioning the medication unless specifically asked to do so. I take the particular drug in question at two strengths and it's the stronger pills that help reduce the pain when I walk but, unfortunately, they also give me the most side effects...

As Crazydiamond said in this thread - for which I was grateful too - it's about being between a rock and hard place, i.e. because having the stronger pain med prescribed for me and mentioning it to the DWP seems to go some way toward showing the profoundness of my physical pain...

As you say though, it's about painting the full picture for assessment and appealing if they don't take into account the downside of things, e.g. side effects etc.

Thanks again,
Kind regards,

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Moderators: bro58GordonMrs HurtybackIzzy1010LisaJenny Clarke