Memory or ability to concentrate, learn or understand

You need to consider your ability to remember, organise thoughts, plan a course of action and carry it out, take in new knowledge, understand spoken or written instructions, as well as the speed at which you are able to learn. You should also think about your ability to read and use numbers.

Examples of a substantial adverse effect include:

  • random loss of consciousness and confused behaviour
  • persistent difficulty remembering the names of family or friends
  • difficulty coping with minor changes in routine after a reasonable time
  • not being able to write a cheque without help
  • big problems following a short sequence such as a cooking recipe or a brief list of things to do in the house
  • difficulty taking part in normal social interaction.

It is not reasonable to say there is a substantial adverse effect if you:

  • sometimes forget the name of a familiar person
  • are not able to concentrate on a task for several hours are not able to fill in a long, detailed, technical document without help
  • are not able to read faster than normal speed
  • have minor problems with writing or spelling.

Last Updated: 29 Jun 2009