Question 13 on ESA50?

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RedAndBlue

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Question 13 on ESA50?

  • on: 09 Jun 2012 02:34PM
Sorry if this isn't in the right place. I've been here a month and I still haven't figured out where everything should go!

Erm, basically, the question is for Mental, Cognitive and Intellectual Functions, but nowhere else does the "Quesstionnaire" ask about being capable and safe in the kitchen. It asks from the angle of mental awareness, but I have physical problems being safe in the kitchen, so I've answered it anyway. Because I need them to know I'm unable to make a meal for myself, do my washing etc etc. How else am i meant to answer that question or get that point across?

If I leave it blank, they'll think I am fully capable of being in a kitchen, won't they?

But it's really annoyed me how they've grouped a bunch of questions together. Now, i've answered it with my mum's help, so it's too late to change it now. She does all of my forms with me, because my writing is too dodgy for forms. So I can't change it now.

But any input? Have I done wrong?

Is this grouping of questions annoying any one else? It's not the only one. I found the question about "sitting AND standing" and "Are you capable of picking up things with both hands, here are some examples" difficult to answer, because all the detail has to be in the box below, but there's so many variables and never enough space. It gets me all tangled up sometimes.
A man got sick because of officiate.

seegee

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Re: Question 13 on ESA50?

  • on: 09 Jun 2012 04:08PM
It depends why you aren't safe and capable.

If you're not safe because of balance/ coordination/ grip problems or because you faint/ have seizures... that should be clear from the earlier questions about sitting or standing(Q2)/ reaching(Q3)/ picking up & moving things(Q4)/ manual dexterity(Q5)/ staying conscious when awake(Q10).  If it's because of visual problems, that's in Q8.

Q13 isn't about whether you'd be physically capable (it's intended that physical stuff has been covered in the first set of questions) but about whether you can think it through, make a plan for a sequence of actions and concentrate for the time needed to carry out the plan. 
So if you can make a perfectly good plan in your mind or on paper but lose the plot halfway through doing it and wander off leaving the pan on (and forget to come back before it burns dry) that would go here. 
If you can't make the kind of plan that takes a few actions in order (for instance, if you might put cheese in the toaster & turn it on while you slice the bread rather than the other way about), that can be explained here. 
If thinking about the plan makes you tired or confused so you never get started, that belongs here. 
If you start several different things in a day but never finish most of them because you are easily distracted (so you are mostly-dressed with washing-up water gone cold but pots not finished and a few other half-done things), write that here.

The boxes in the online form look tiny; if they are like that on the actual paper form I can see I'll need to attach lots of extra sheets to mine when it comes. :(
If you do need to attach extra sheets to the form, make sure your full name, date-of-birth and NI number are on every sheet of paper so that if they get separated it's clear whose claim they belong with.

If you have things in more than one place on the form that should be OK anyway - if, for example, someone has epilepsy it might be mentioned in "staying conscious", in "standing and sitting" (because of changed/ lost consciousness and falls) and again in "awareness of hazard" and in "initiating actions" (because many people have some confusion and can't think clearly for a while before/ after a seizure, so might do things that are unsafe and fail to remember important things they intended to do).

How long have you got to complete the form and return it? 
You can put anything you think is missing on extra sheets, so it's only too late to add things if it's already in the post. :)

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Question 13 on ESA50?

  • on: 09 Jun 2012 05:52PM
Hi RedandBlue - unfortunately I caught this just before I go out for the evening, but I didn't want you to think I was online and ignoring it  ;-)

Seegee has made some excellent points there, and I'm sure the answer lies somewhere in the ESA stuff I will have time to look through when I get back tomorrow - but can you clarify something for me?  Are you claiming ESA on both mental and physical health grounds, or one of them?

seegee

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Re: Question 13 on ESA50?

  • on: 09 Jun 2012 07:07PM
I missed some important things though didn't I?  I nearly always do.  >lol<

Things like fatigue and repeatability... so if you can do something for a few minutes but then have to rest for an hour before you could do it again (and it's something that an average person could expect to do easily for much longer periods such as walk/ type/ write/ move small items/ sit in a chair) it's helpful to explain that.  Also if it takes much longer to do things than most people might expect.

For example, you might say, "I have a shower, then wait 15 minutes before I can dry myself - another 15 minutes before I can before I can begin to get dressed - after that I have to lie down for half an hour before I can go to get breakfast. That's one reason I don't shower every day, though I'd like to, it's too exhausting." (only if that's true most times you shower, of course). 
I have no idea how long an average person takes but I guess that most non-disabled people could get that done in well under half the time of someone with fatigue, pain or concentration problems.

RedAndBlue

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Re: Question 13 on ESA50?

  • on: 09 Jun 2012 08:00PM
I think what makes answering these forms difficult, is that due to past bad experiences, I can never jusy assume they'll take what I'm writing down (or dictating, to be more specific) and apply common sense to it. Because there's always the risk that if you don't spell everything out for them, they'll take it at the minimum value.

So even though I've used the earlier questions to say "I mostly use a wheelchair, I walk minimally with crutchers, I can't lift/reach up/bend down reliably and that my grips messed up", and that they should see the bigger picture when putting all of those answers together, I feel like it's too easy for the DWP to say "That doesn't explain why you can't do this in This other scenario".

It's clear now from reading what you're saying, Seegee, that I've unneccessarily filled in that block. I've made it clear why I've filled it in, I just hope I don't get points docked for that :/

Mine are all physical limitations due to my condition, the pain it causes and the (still unofficially diagnosed but there's no other explanation for it-) nerve damage. Anytime I can't complete a task, it's either because of the pain or the pain killers washing me out. When I have to stop, I have to stop and there's no "Just five more minutes" about it, you know?

I know I probably sound ridiculous. I've been dealing with these forms all of my life, but each year the questions get more... iffy. Like the answers are even more up for interpretation, even with the (shrinking) dialogue boxes underneath to tell them more.

I've got two weeks before the deadline, and me and my mum are going to go through it all again tomorrow. We always end up using extra sheets, because there's never enough room for all the medications and clinics. And for the third time in as many years , I have to explain how i'm waiting for news on whether or not I'm having an operation within three months and all the info that needs.

Kizzy - Just one of them - Physical. Even on that question I answered, I made it clear that all issues with completing tasks in the kitchen are due to physical limitations.

Seegee, I heard this crazy rumour that some people can get showered, washed and dressed in less than five minutes. It blew my mind, I think they're having me on!

Good point, though. I never thought to include that. I can only shower twice a week because any more than that, and i'd be done in. As good as a hot shower is on my back, it still hurts to sit up long enough to get a shower. Takes up many spoons, you might say.

Thank you so much for replying, I really appreciate it <3
A man got sick because of officiate.

Danslatete

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Re: Question 13 on ESA50?

  • on: 09 Jun 2012 08:03PM
Nice one seegee i sometimes get the conditioner on my hair but forget to wash it off, ive used hairspry on my underarms and squeezed facial cleanser on my toothbrush last week, all because i was tired and was having difficulty with concentration. olay stuff does not taste nice!
I also have trouble with planning as my time is difficult, i can have appointments on the same day and think its fine, but forget to take into consideration about travel time and time spent at the appointment.
I literally cannot function without my planner, yet i hear so many other people say they would be lost without thier diary, when they mean they would find life difficult for a day. I would end up at home doing nothing.
I also strugglr finding my around if the normal roads are closed.

seegee

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Re: Question 13 on ESA50?

  • on: 09 Jun 2012 08:45PM
It may be that the side-effects of the painkillers (or of the pain) fit fairly well in both physical and cognitive.  They make you more tired and if you are tired & washed-out it definitely affects your mental processes; it's harder to think, harder to stay alert for long, easier to get confused and more likely you'll forget stuff.
Mental/ cognitive effects of a physical problem (if the painkillers weren't having those effects the pain might well have similar effects anyway), most of which are very common in chronic pain conditions or as side-effects of several types of medication.
Awareness of hazard/ concentration/ alertness can be impaired by chronic pain and fatigue too.

I'm sure Kizzy will come back tomorrow to check if my thoughts are accurate and to explain whether it's necessary to choose either physical or mental, cognitive and intellectual. 
I wouldn't have thought so but you never know, the DWP might be daft enough to think that physical health doesn't have any impact on thinking or concentration.  >whistle<

Monic1511

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Re: Question 13 on ESA50?

  • on: 09 Jun 2012 08:50PM
Hi Redand Blue

When Im filling this in I tend to answer from the "can you concentrate enough to safely cook a meal or do a task" From memory the question is in the mental health section and says Doyou require supervision. 

This is the points scale for no 13>
13. Initiating and completing personal action (which means planning, organisation, problem solving, prioritising or switching tasks)
a)   Cannot, due to impaired mental function, reliably initiate or complete at least 2 sequential personal actions.   15 points
b)   Cannot, due to impaired mental function, reliably initiate or complete at least 2 personal actions for the majority of the time.   9 points
c)   Frequently cannot, due to impaired mental function, reliably initiate or complete at least 2 personal actions.   6 points


So from that I answer along the lines of I am not able to concentrate (if fatigue is the problem)  It it is a mental health problem then I'd put a note that "Although I can start to plan a meal or put food in the oven, I become distracted and forget what I am doing, this means I frequently fail to complete a task and often put myself at risk while trying to do this - i forget the item is hot and touch the wrong bit ending up burnt"


it depends on the person whos form Im doing & their problems, I look at the criteria and try to draft an answer that covers some of the points - not sure if thats what other do but I think it works  >erm<
monic

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Question 13 on ESA50?

  • on: 10 Jun 2012 10:28AM
Adding further information in separate posts:

Seegee in reply #6 - you are on the right track, so to speak, regarding mental functions affected by physical impairments. I've just included those circumstances applying to those without a separate mental health disability:

Guidance given to health professionals in the ESA Handbook (3.6.1) states that:

The mental function assessment should be applied in all cases where a specific mental disease or disability affecting mental function has been diagnosed or when there is a condition, whether mental, physical or sensory, resulting in apparent impairment of cognitive or intellectual function.

This definition would include the following circumstances:

-  Where the claimant is taking any medication which impairs cognitive function to a degree that causes impairment of
   mental function.

-  Where there is evidence of a physical or sensory disability such as tinnitus or Chronic Fatigue that may impact on mental
   function.




KizzyKazaer

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Re: Question 13 on ESA50?

  • on: 10 Jun 2012 10:38AM
Here's a useful sample of what the same guide for practitioners has to say about pain, fatigue and variable conditions:

The claimant must be able to undertake all activities safely. If a person with vertigo is physically able to bend to touch his knees but in so doing falls over due to giddiness, then he should be considered incapable of performing that activity. The activities do not have to be performed without any discomfort or pain.

However if the claimant cannot perform an activity effectively because of pain, they should be considered incapable of performing that activity.

When considering the effect of pain, take into account the predictability of onset, and the effectiveness of treatment. Pain which starts without warning and requires analgesia is very different from predictable angina of effort which can be
forestalled, or rapidly remedied, with appropriate treatment.


(You should certainly always argue that if you canít carry out an activity with reasonable regularity or only with pain, then it shoudn't count.)

Note:   'Repeated' simply means more than once in a day.

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Question 13 on ESA50?

  • on: 10 Jun 2012 11:00AM
- Having checked an online copy of the ESA50, Monic is indeed correct about question 13 relating to ability to start, sustain and complete tasks - including cooking a meal, which is specifically mentioned in the question, so - to sum up your initial concerns and in the light of having checked out the guide - you've answered in the right place as far as your difficulties in the kitchen are concerned  >thumbsup<

Always make use of the 'other information' box on page 18 if you feel you want to clarify something further.  The more that you fill in, and thoroughly explain, the more chance there is of the decision-maker having enough information to make an award without a medical being involved!

Hope this helps  :-)


(edited for missing words)
« Last Edit: 10 Jun 2012 11:03AM by KizzyKazaer »

RedAndBlue

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Re: Question 13 on ESA50?

  • on: 12 Jun 2012 07:06PM
Sorry for the dalay in responses, people! The weekend me and my family all came down with food poisoning and then I had appointments. So this is the first time I've had a chance to come back on and reply properly. D:


However if the claimant cannot perform an activity effectively because of pain, they should be considered incapable of performing that activity.

When considering the effect of pain, take into account the predictability of onset, and the effectiveness of treatment. Pain which starts without warning and requires analgesia is very different from predictable angina of effort which can be
forestalled, or rapidly remedied, with appropriate treatment.[/color]

(You should certainly always argue that if you canít carry out an activity with reasonable regularity or only with pain, then it shoudn't count.)

Note:   'Repeated' simply means more than once in a day.

Oh, Kizzy, I feel a bit of relief at that. That's what I was aiming for in my explanations, and if they understand that that's what I'm trying to say for my fitness and reliability due to pain and how the flare ups are just frequent and unpredictable, without even the interference of the medication, which is all being messed with right now anyway, then hopefully the assessor will agree with me.


Always make use of the 'other information' box on page 18 if you feel you want to clarify something further.  The more that you fill in, and thoroughly explain, the more chance there is of the decision-maker having enough information to make an award without a medical being involved!

Hope this helps  :-)


(edited for missing words)
Thank you SO much, it really does. And not just for reassurance purposes. We haven't sent it off yet, we'll be giving it another going through tomorrow. We've already filled up the extra box and half an extra page, but there's really some extra points that I would like to hammer home.

I know everyone says it, but these questions are a joke. They never represent the true nature of a disability, and they never do a person's actual abilities justice. It's all or nothing.

It's frightening how they think the answers given can correlate directly into a workplace atmosphere.
« Last Edit: 12 Jun 2012 07:17PM by RedAndBlue »
A man got sick because of officiate.