Work Capability Assessment
You may find this section helpful if you have put in a claim for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) use a test called the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) to decide whether you can claim this benefit.
You may find it helpful to read this factsheet with a copy of the ESA50 questionnaire in front of you.
- To qualify for ESA the DWP have to decide that you are too unwell to work.
- They do this by asking you to complete a Work Capability Assessment (WCA).
- You will be sent an ESA50 questionnaire which asks you questions about how you manage everyday tasks.
- It is important to fill this in with correctinformation.
- You may also need to go to a medical assessment to explain how your symptoms or conditionaffect your life and ability to work.
- If the DWP decide you are well enough to work you can not continue to get ESA.
- It is possible to appeal this decision but you only have 1 month to do so.
- If the DWP decide you are not well enough to work you will either be placed in the support group or the work related activity group.
- If you are placed in the support group you don’t have to take part in any further interviews or assessments until your claim is renewed again.
- If you are in the work related activity group you will have to take part in 6 work focused interviews.
- These interviews are to help you think about how you may get back to work.
This section covers:
- Limited capability for work
- The ESA50 questionnaire
- Will I have to go for a medical assessment?
- What happens next?
- Evidence letter for ESA claims
Don’t feel like you have to read this section all at once. Take your time. Keep coming back to it as you work through the ESA50 questionnaire.
These pages are created by the Rethink Mental Illness Advice Service in accordance with the Information Standard. Last reviewed in April 2014. Next review April 2015.
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