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Q14 - coping with changes

This advice applies to Scotland

This question is on page 14 of the form - see what it looks like

ESA50 example form

How to answer the question

This question is about what happens and how you feel if your routine or plans change.

"Can you cope with small changes to your routine if you know about them before they happen?"

  • no
  • yes
  • it varies

Think about having to eat lunch at a different time to usual - or a planned bus diversion which takes you on a different route home.

Don't feel embarrassed if you have to tick "no", for example if:

  • you can't deal with change at all - even if you're warned about it
  • change makes you withdraw and refuse help
  • change affects your behaviour
  • change stops you from being your normal self afterwards, for example you need someone to calm you down and it affects you all day

"Can you cope with small changes to your routine if they are unexpected?"

  • no
  • yes
  • it varies

Think about your bus or train being 15 minutes late, or a friend or carer coming to your house earlier or later than planned.

Don't feel embarrassed if you have to tick "no", for example if it takes a lot of planning and mental preparation to get ready for something - and you find it hard to cope if it gets cancelled.

What to write in the box

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

You should explain things like:

  • whether you have problems coping with planned changes to your day
  • whether you can't cope with sudden changes
  • whether your medication affects how you cope with change
  • how you cope with change - use examples, if you can
  • how your day would be affected if your routine changed, for example whether you'd be able to do what you'd planned
  • how often you'd be affected by change in this way
  • anything you avoid doing because of potential problems, for example you avoid meeting friends for a meal because you'd be upset if you couldn't sit in a window seat

Example

Jennifer says: "I find it really hard to cope with change. For example I was supposed to go to my friend Jane's house to see her, but my bus got cancelled - I was anxious for the rest of the day and couldn't eat, so my friend Jane had to come over to calm me down and cook for me.

Also last week I ran out of my favourite cereal and went to my local shop - they didn't have any left, and I couldn't do anything for the rest of the day because I was so upset."

Next steps

Question 15: Going out

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