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Q13 - starting and finishing tasks

This advice applies to Wales

This question is at the bottom of page 15 on the form - see what it looks like

ESA50 page 15

How to answer the question

This question is about whether you can plan, organise and complete at least 2 routine tasks, one after the other.

The DWP isn't asking about your physical problems in this question. They want to know whether you have a mental health condition that affects your ability to start and finish routine tasks.

"Can you manage to plan, start and finish daily tasks?"

  • Never
  • Sometimes
  • It varies

Routine tasks are things including:

  • showering
  • dressing
  • collecting a prescription
  • preparing a basic meal
  • ironing clothes
  • paying a bill
  • making appointments

Think about whether you could complete 2 of these tasks, one after the other, for example before you leave the house to go to an appointment.

For example, imagine you're making a cup of tea and the phone rings. Would you be able to stop making the tea, answer the phone and then finish making the tea after the phone call?

Think about whether you'd be able to do these and other routine tasks repeatedly during the same day.

What to write in the box

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

It's important to explain whether:

  • your condition makes it hard for you to concentrate
  • you need to be reminded or encouraged
  • you get confused
  • you get distracted
  • you forget what you're doing
  • your medication affects how you complete tasks
  • your condition makes you lack motivation
  • your condition makes you lack energy or you get tired

  • you have good days and bad days


Subhi says: "I have bipolar disorder, and often find it hard to do simple things like pay my telephone bill. I spend all of my money on the wrong things, so I often can't pay for the things I really have to - and it gets me in trouble.

"I sometimes think about paying my bill, and even get my credit card details ready, but I just never do it as I've spent all my money on something else. I paid it really late and got fined last month, as by the time I'd got enough money together, it was overdue."

Next steps

Question 14: Coping with changes

Back to Help filling in your ESA form

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