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Last updated:
13/11/2017

Will I need a Work Capability Assessment to claim benefits?

Health questionnaire descriptors

  1. Overview
  2. What is the Work Capability Assessment?
  3. How do I fill in the health questionnaire?
  4. Will I have to go for a medical assessment?
  5. What happens next?
  6. What is the support group or the limited capability for work-related activity element?
  7. What is the work-related activity group (WRAG)?
  8. Health questionnaire descriptors
  9. Assessment for limited capability for work-related activity
  10. Sample letter
  11. Next steps

As part of the health questionnaire, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will give you ‘points’ for the answers – this is called the ESA50 or UC50 form. In this section, you can see how many points the DWP will give you. You can read more about the questionnaire in the How do I fill in the health questionnaire? section.

Question 11 – Learning how to do tasks

  • Cannot learn how to do a simple task, such as setting an alarm clock (15 points).
  • Cannot learn anything beyond a simple task such as setting an alarm clock (9 points).
  • Cannot learn anything beyond a moderately simple task such as the steps involved in operating a washing machine to clean clothes (6 points).

Question 12 – Awareness of hazards or danger

Reduced awareness of everyday hazards leads to a significant risk of injury to self or others, or damage to property or possessions requiring supervision to maintain safety:                     

  • The majority of the time (15 points).
  • Frequently (9 points).
  • Occasionally (6 points).

Question 13 - Initiating Actions (planning, organisation, problem solving, prioritising or switching tasks)

Cannot, due to impaired mental function, reliably initiate or complete at least two personal actions         

  • Always (15 points).
  • Most of the time (9 points).
  • Frequently (6 points).

Question 14 - Coping with change

  • Cannot cope with any change to the extent that day-to-day life cannot be managed (15 points).
  • Cannot cope with minor planned change to the extent that day-to-day life is significantly more difficult (9 points).
  • Cannot cope with minor unplanned change to the extent that day-to-day life is significantly more difficult (6 points).

Question 15 - Getting about

  • Cannot get to any place outside the claimant’s home with which the claimant is familiar (15 points).
  • Cannot get to a familiar specified place without being accompanied (9 points).
  • Cannot get to an unfamiliar specified place without being accompanied (6 points).

Question 16 - Coping with social situations

  • Engaging in social contact is always impossible due to difficulty in relating to others / significant distress (15 points).
  • Social contact with an unfamiliar person is always impossible due to difficulty relating to others / significant distress to the individual (9 points).
  • Social contact with an unfamiliar person is not possible most of the time due to difficulty relating to others / significant distress to the individual (6 points).

Question 17 - Behaving appropriately with other people

Has uncontrollable episodes of aggressive or disinhibited behaviour that would be unreasonable in any workplace

  • On a daily basis (15 points).
  • Frequently (15 points).
  • Occasionally (9 points).

Within this subject

  1. Overview
  2. What is the Work Capability Assessment?
  3. How do I fill in the health questionnaire?
  4. Will I have to go for a medical assessment?
  5. What happens next?
  6. What is the support group or the limited capability for work-related activity element?
  7. What is the work-related activity group (WRAG)?
  8. Health questionnaire descriptors
  9. Assessment for limited capability for work-related activity
  10. Sample letter
  11. Next steps

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