Disability Rights UK’s work capability assessment factsheet

The work capability assessment is very important for universal credit and central to employment and support allowance (ESA). Disability Rights UK’s factsheet F71 explains the work capability assessment in a detailed but simple way.

The work capability assessment has two parts.

The first part is the limited capability for work assessment. For universal credit, if you are found to have a limited capability for work, your work-related responsibilities will be limited. For ESA, if you are found to have a limited capability for work, you can stay on the benefit.

In each case, a points system is used to see how well you can carry out a range of activities. Each activity is divided into different ‘descriptors’, which explain related tasks of varying degrees of difficulty. You score points when you are not able to perform a task described safely, to an acceptable standard, as often as you need to and in a reasonable time. If you score 15 points, you qualify as having a limited capability for work. The descriptors and the points that you get from each are listed in the factsheet.

The second part is the limited capability for work-related activity assessment. If it is decided that you have a limited capability for work-related activity, no work-related responsibilities will apply to you and you will be entitled to a higher level of universal credit and/or ESA. The assessment has a list of descriptors, relating to both physical and mental functions. If you meet at least one of them, you will have a limited capability for work-related activity.

As well as explaining the two parts of the assessment, the factsheet also covers the following:

You can download the factsheet for free in word or pdf formats.

For a full list of all their other factsheets, visit the Disability Rights UK website.