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Q12 - awareness of hazards or danger

This advice applies to England

The question is on page 15 of the form - see what it looks like

ESA50 page 15

How to answer the question

This question is about how your mental health or cognitive impairment affects your awareness of hazards or danger. Think about:

  • whether you understand the risks in everyday tasks like boiling water and using sharp objects
  • whether you can stay safe sometimes, but sometimes have accidents - think about why they happen, such as if you've cut yourself on a sharp object, or burned yourself in the kitchen or with an iron
  • whether you know how to avoid danger, for example you don't worry about traffic or crossing roads
  • if you've ever fallen or injured yourself in the street (think about how it affected you afterwards) - such as you hurt yourself and now avoid certain streets

"Do you need supervision (someone to stay with you) for most of the time to stay safe?"

  • No

  • Yes

  • It varies

If you don't have anyone to supervise you, you should still put down why you're at risk.

Don't feel embarrassed about saying "yes" - if you need someone with you, it's important to say this.

It's important you tell the DWP more by explaining your situation in the box.

What to write in the box

You should explain in the box (and give examples):

  • if you're at risk of hurting yourself - for example you don't always notice when something is dangerous because of depression or anxiety
  • if you sometimes act on impulse and only realise how dangerous it was afterwards - for example you have bipolar and take risks when you're on a high
  • if you forget to be careful, behave irrationally or take sudden risks in an unpredictable way

Example

Ashley says: "I feel really low about 6 days out of 7. When I feel really low, I forget what I'm supposed to be doing, and I'm not really aware of time. I don't take my medication properly and I don't know if I've taken not enough or too many of my pills. I can't concentrate or remember things so I've made myself ill from forgetting to eat and taking too many pills. I forgot to feed my cat and he got quite thin, so now my neighbour comes round every afternoon to give him some food."

How the DWP assess this question

The DWP look at a list of statements called 'descriptors'. They'll give you a number of points depending on which descriptor applies to you.

The DWP add together all the points you get from the whole form. This means you can qualify for ESA even if you don't get all the points for this question.

Descriptors for question 12

DescriptorsPoints

12 (a) Reduced awareness of everyday hazards leads to a significant risk of:

(i) injury to self or others; or

(ii) damage to property or possessions

such that the claimant requires supervision for the majority of the time to maintain safety.

15

(b) Reduced awareness of everyday hazards leads to a significant risk of

(i) injury to self or others; or

(ii) damage to property or possessions

such that the claimant frequently requires supervision to maintain safety.

9

(c) Reduced awareness of everyday hazards leads to a significant risk of:

(i) injury to self or others; or

(ii) damage to property or possessions

such that the claimant occasionally requires supervision to maintain safety.

6

(d) None of the above apply.

0

Next steps

Question 13: Starting and finishing tasks

Back to Help filling in your ESA form

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