Q5: managing treatments
What this question means
This question is about how your health condition makes it difficult for you to:
- manage your treatments
- monitor your own health condition, including your mental health
- take action to stop your condition getting worse
Tell the DWP about treatments you have in your home that have been prescribed or recommended by a medical professional.
If you need someone to help you with therapy, for example physiotherapy exercises or home dialysis, the DWP wants to know the amount of time they help you for in an average week. It's important to be as specific as you can about how much time someone helps you so the DWP has a better picture of how you cope.
Remember to think about all the medications, treatments and therapies you use for your conditions or disabilities, for example:
inhalers and nebulisers
creams and lotions
injections (eg insulin if you’re diabetic)
ear and eye drops
a dressing for a wound or ulcer
- a TENS machine to help relieve pain
- exercises to prevent complications
Tick box question 5a
Does your condition affect you managing your treatments?
You should probably tick “Yes” if you:
- use a dosette box (a pill box with compartments) to make sure you take the right medicines at the right time
- need an alarm or someone to remind you to make sure you take your medication at the right time
- need help from another person to monitor your health conditions or take medication
Tell us about the difficulties you have with monitoring changes in your health condition or disability and taking medication, and how you manage them.
It’s important you tell the DWP more by explaining your situation in the box.
It’s your chance to give the DWP a true picture of how your condition affects your ability to manage your treatments. They'll use this to decide if you get PIP.
You can also use this space to explain what help you need but don't get.
Aids you use
List the aids you use to help you including things like dosette boxes and alarms.
Never miss an aid off your list because you think it's obvious, and always:
explain how they help you
- explain what would happen if you didn't use them
make it clear if a health professional advised you to use them
list any items that would help you if you had them
- include any that your condition prevents you from using
Someone reminds, supervises or assists you
Make it clear if you need help but don’t get it.
If you do get help, say who helps you (for example, carer or friend) and explain:
why they help
how they help - for example, they might sort your medication out or help you with exercises
how often they help and how long for
Make it clear if you need them to:
remind you to manage your treatments
physically help you
help all of the time, just sometimes or say if it's too difficult to predict
be on hand - for example, in case you need them to help or to make sure you're safe
Always explain what happens (or would happen) if you don't get help. For example:
you're more likely to have an accident or injury
you're more likely to experience physical or mental symptoms like pain, discomfort or confusion
- it will take you at least twice as long to manage your treatments as someone without your condition
Safety: accidents and risk of injury
Explain if you have ever:
taken the wrong amount of medication - either too much or too little
forgotten to take your medication
made your condition worse by not having the recommended treatment or therapy
Make it clear if these problems happened because:
you didn't get help or supervision
you have trouble concentrating
- you get confused
You should also say if you think you might do this in the future. You should mention:
how often a risk happens, even if it doesn’t happen regularly
how badly you could be harmed
whether there’s anything you can do to prevent it happening
Good days and bad days
Explain how you cope on both good days and bad days and how you manage over a longer period of time (like a week). This gives the DWP a better picture of how you cope most of the time.
Make it clear:
if you have good days and bad days
- how often you have bad days
if you have bad days more often than not
- how your difficulties and symptoms differ on good days and bad days
Side effects like pain, discomfort, tiredness or confusion
Explain whether the difficulties you have managing your treatments cause you any physical or mental symptoms (like pain, discomfort, tiredness or lack of motivation).
It's helpful to explain the symptoms and give an example, including:
how often you have them
how long they last
if they're likely to increase the risk of an accident
- if they affect your ability to carry out any of the other activities on your PIP claim form
Tell us about any therapies you take at home that need the help of another person.
List any therapies that you get at home which have been prescribed or recommended by a doctor, nurse or health professional. For example, physiotherapy or dialysis.
For each therapy you should explain:
- how often you get it
- how long it takes
- if you need someone else to help you with it and for how long
You should also explain what help you need with your therapy but don't get.
Example answer for question 5c
“I have to do physiotherapy for 40 minutes every day. A physiotherapist comes to my house every month to help me with my exercises.
My friend helps me when the physiotherapist isn't around. She has to hold my legs in a certain position while I do the exercises - it's not something I can do by myself.
After doing my exercises I am usually in pain for a couple of hours. My GP advised me to use a TENS machine to help manage the pain and my friend spends 10 minutes a day helping me use the machine.”