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ESA case victory

C7/10-11(ESA)

This is one of the first ESA appeals to reach Commissioner level in Northern Ireland.

Commissioner Mullan allowed the appeal and decided that the appellant, who was represented by Law Centre (NI), did pass the stringent ESA test for Limited Capability for Work.

Our client had a serious injury to his right hand which left him unable to grip and to form a fist with that hand.  The Department did not dispute the very real problem that he had with his right hand.

It is possible to score points under the Limited Capability for Work test for the Activity of Picking up and moving or transferring by the use of the upper body and arms (excluding all other activities specified in this Part of the Schedule.)

A person will score 6 points if s/he cannot pick up and move a light but bulky object, such as a cardboard box, requiring use of both hands together.

The tribunal which heard the appeal gave our client 0 points for this descriptor as it decided that it could not consider his manual dexterity when it was considering his ability to pick up.

Commissioner Mullan concluded that the tribunal was wrong and that manual dexterity would be relevant to a decision on a person’s ability to pick up an object.

The appeals process has taken two years, but our client is delighted that his perseverance has led to a positive outcome.

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