Work capability assessment

For employment and support allowance, the limited capability for work-related activity assessment is used to decide whether you are put in the support group of claimants or the work-related activity group

For universal credit, the same assessment is used to find out if you are entitled to the work capability amount and exactly what restrictions can be applied to the work-related responsibilities that you must meet to keep getting the benefit in full.

The assessment has a list of descriptors, relating to both physical functions and mental, cognitive or intellectual functions. If you satisfy at least one of them, you will have a limited capability for work-related activity.

You will be automatically treated as having a limited capability for work-related activity in some circumstances.

Work-related activity group

If it is decided at the work capability assessment that you do not have a limited capability for work-related activity, you will be put in the work-related activity group of claimants. You will get a lower rate of employment and support allowance (ESA) than if put in the support group. You will have to meet strict work-related conditions to continue getting the benefit in full. This will involve attending a series of work-focused interviews and possibly taking part in ‘work-related activity’. You cannot be required, as part of work-related activity, to apply for a job, do work or undergo medical treatment.

If you are getting contributory ESA, the award of this will be limited to 12 months, although you may be able to claim income-related ESA once the award has come to an end