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Universal Credit - Work Capability Assessment

Information about how your capability for work or work-related activity is assessed.

Limited capability for work

To find out if you have limited capability for work you will have an assessment called the Work Capability Assessment (WCA). This is to see whether your mental or physical health affects your ability to carry out certain activities.

The activities relevant to the physical assessment:

  • Mobilising unaided
  • Standing and sitting
  • Reaching
  • Picking up and moving or transferring by the use of the upper body and arms
  • Manual dexterity (using hands to complete tasks)
  • Making self understood
  • Understanding communication
  • Navigation and maintaining safety
  • Continence (control of bowel and/or bladder)
  • Consciousness during waking moments.

to the mental, cognitive and intellectual function assessment:

  • Learning tasks
  • Awareness of everyday hazards
  • Initiating and completing personal action
  • Coping with change
  • Getting about
  • Coping with social engagement
  • Appropriateness of behaviour with other people.

Points are awarded based on what you are capable of doing and these are added together. A score of 15 or more means you have been found to have limited capability for work. The points can be scored in one or more activities.

If you are found to have limited capability for work the next step in the assessment process is to find out if you also have limited capability for work-related activity (LCWRA).

Limited capability for work-related activity

If your health affects your ability to carry out any one of the LCWRA activities (or 'descriptors') you will be assessed as having LCWRA.

The activities relevant for the Limited capability for work-related activity assessment:

  • Mobilising unaided
  • Transferring from one seated position to another
  • Reaching
  • Picking up and moving or transferring by the use of the upper body and arms
  • Manual dexterity (using hands to complete tasks)
  • Making self understood through speaking, writing, typing or other means unaided
  • Understanding communication
  • Continence (control of bowel and/or bladder)
  • Learning tasks
  • Awareness of hazards
  • Initiating and completing personal action
  • Coping with change
  • Coping with social engagement
  • Appropriateness of behaviour with other people
  • Conveying food or drink to the mouth
  • Chewing or swallowing food or drink

Limited capability for work and work-related activity

You will be found to have limited capability for work and work-related activity if:

  • at least one of the LCWRA descriptors applies to you for the majority of the time or on the majority of the occasions that you try to carry out the activity;
  • your capability for work and work-related activity is limited; and
  • it is not reasonable for you to carry out the activity.

Information requirement

When determining whether you have limited capability for work, or for work and work-related activity, a decision maker will use any information relating to the descriptors in the questionnaire and any additional information that may have been requested.

If you fail without a good reason to complete and return the questionnaire or provide other information asked for, even after a further request has been made, you will be treated as not having limited capability for work or work-related activity.

Medical examinations

You may be invited to attend a medical examination as part of the assessment process. If you fail without a good reason to attend the examination, you will be treated as not having limited capability for work or work-related activity.