Please note: these are just examples of the kinds of information you may wish to give – they aren’t ‘correct’ answers of any sort. But it is vital that you give detailed evidence rather than just ticking boxes.
PIP SAMPLE ANSWER FOR QUESTION 6 ON 'HOW YOUR DISABILITY AFFECTS YOU' FORM
Q6 Washing and bathing
Because of my obsessive compulsive disorder I have certain actions and rituals that I have to perform when I wash or bathe. This means it takes me a very long time to wash or bathe. It takes me over an hour to wash every morning because I have to wash my body in a certain order and clean each part of my body a certain number of times. If I am not sure I have done it correctly I have to start again from the beginning, something which always happens several times. I don’t need any aids or appliances. Help from another person would make things worse as it would mean I was not doing things in the way that I feel compelled to do them. I only ever have a bath in the morning, but I also have to wash my hands in the correct way many times a day and this can take anywhere from two minutes to ten minutes. I have to be very careful that I don’t touch certain things in the bathroom and that different things don’t touch each other. If I do touch them or get too close to them I have to wash my hands very carefully and start again. I always have this level of problems.
PIP SAMPLE ANSWER FOR QUESTION 13 ON 'HOW YOUR DISABILITY AFFECTS YOU' FORM
Q13 Going out
Because of agoraphobia I have great difficulty going outdoors. I cannot go anywhere on my own and just thinking about doing so makes me very anxious indeed. If I even leave my front door I start shaking uncontrollably, my chest gets tight and I believe I’m going to stop breathing, my heart races and I break out in a sweat. The only way to control the panic is to go back inside my house. There is no aid or appliance I can use to help me. My doctor visits me at home because I cannot go to the surgery and I have not seen a dentist for 4 years. I do all my shopping online or get friends and family to pick things (e.g. medication) up for me. I have these problems at all times of the day and every day.
ESA SAMPLE ANSWER FOR QUESTION 12 ON ESA50 FORM
How to explain problems with: 12. Awareness of hazards or danger
I have problems with this activity because of severe depression and because I self-medicate with alcohol. As a result of the effects of prescription drugs and alcohol I am frequently confused, have poor concentration and do not realise when I am putting myself in danger. I have fallen down stairs and cracked a rib, nearly been hit by cars, taken accidental overdoses of prescription medication leading to hospitalisation and burnt myself with hot drinks and hot pans. I frequently leave the iron, cooker or electric fire on and fall asleep with cigarettes burning. It’s really only by luck that the house hasn’t burnt down. My flatmate keeps an eye on me most of the time. I have accidents or near misses on most days.
ESA SAMPLE ANSWER FOR QUESTION 13 ON ESA50 FORM
How to explain problems with: 13. Starting and finishing tasks
Because of my CFS/ME, I get very ‘foggy’ and confused so that I forget to do things and can’t concentrate when I do attempt to do things. I very often start things and then don’t finish them because of poor concentration. I need prompting or reminding in person, by phone and by using notes and alarms. I have a pill dispenser with a timer which my husband fills and sets for me every morning. My husband also writes on a pad on the fridge anything I need to remember for that day, such as bringing the wheelie bin in or being home for a delivery. We have an arrangement that my husband will ring me from work several times a day to remind me to do things like let the dog into the garden. My husband comes home to find piles of clothes where I have started to sort some washing and then forgotten about it. I often leave washing out in the rain because I forget it is there. I frequently find that it is the middle of the afternoon before I remember to eat, dress or bathe. I can no longer drive a car because my concentration is much too poor for me to be able to do so. If I was left by myself I would not be able to cope. I am like this on the majority of days although I have some better days and I have days when I am so bad I can’t even get out of bed except to go to the toilet.
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