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:
- when will the work capability assessment take place?
- how is the work capability assessment applied? and
- challenging work capability assessment decisions.
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.