Consultation outcome

Work Capability Assessment: activities and descriptors

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Detail of outcome

The government published its response to this consultation on 22 November 2023.

Original consultation


This consultation seeks views on changes to the activities and descriptors in the Work Capability Assessment.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

The Work Capability Assessment (WCA) is how we assess people’s capability to work and the support they receive. While working practices that support disabled people have changed significantly, the WCA has not. The WCA activities and descriptors were last comprehensively reviewed in 2011.

We are now seeking views on:

  • amending the activities and descriptors in the Work Capability Assessment so that assessments reflect greater flexibility and availability of reasonable adjustments in work, particularly home working

  • the application of Risk to Self or Others under the Universal Credit (UC) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) circumstances in which a claimant is to be treated as having limited capability for work and work related activity (LCWRA)

Who this consultation is aimed at

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is keen to hear views from a wide group of citizens, especially disabled people and disability organisations.

This consultation applies to England, Wales and Scotland. Social security is devolved in Northern Ireland however we welcome comments from individuals and organisations in Northern Ireland, which will then be shared with the Department for Communities.

Stakeholder events

To seek the views of disabled people and their representatives DWP will be running a number of accessible virtual events on specific parts of the consultation:

  • Mobilising
  • Continence
  • Getting About and Social Engagement
  • Substantial Risk

DWP will also be holding 5 face to face stakeholder events which will cover multiple topics for those unable to engage in the virtual events in the following locations:

  • Birmingham - Wednesday 20 September 2023
  • Leeds - Wednesday 27 September 2023
  • Edinburgh - Thursday 5 October 2023
  • Cardiff - Wednesday 11 October 2023
  • London - Wednesday 18 October 2023

If you would like to attend one of the events please register by email at:

Please tell us:

  • your name
  • your preference topic(s) for virtual events
  • your location preference if attending a face to face event
  • any accessibility needs you may have
  • if you will be accompanied by anyone, this could be your carer or appointee

Please be aware places at the events are limited – we will provide venue addresses once we receive your email request to attend.

We will reimburse reasonable travel costs for those attending a face-to-face event in a personal capacity.

Request copies of consultation documents

To request hard copies of the consultation documents specifying the format you would like to receive it in please contact us via


Published 5 September 2023
Last updated 22 November 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added Government Response to the Work Capability Assessment: Activities and Descriptors Consultation.

  2. Updated Work Capability Assessment: activities and descriptors audio and BSL consultation page links.

  3. Added a note that reasonable travel costs will be reimbursed for those attending a face-to-face stakeholder event in a personal capacity.

  4. Added British Sign Language version of the consultation.

  5. First published.