Guidance

Work Capability Assessment handbook: for healthcare professionals

This guidance is for healthcare professionals who undertake Work Capability Assessments on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

Documents

Work Capability Assessment (WCA) handbook

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(ODT version: Word-compatible) Work Capability Assessment (WCA) handbook

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Details

This guidance is for healthcare professionals approved or appointed by the Department for Work and Pensions Chief Medical Adviser to undertake Work Capability Assessments on behalf of the department.

Work Capability Assessments are carried out in connection with claims for Employment and Support Allowance.

This handbook is only a part of the training that a healthcare professional receives. Disability assessment is a practical occupation and much of the guidance involves verbal information and coaching.

Some of the information may not be readily understood without background medical knowledge and an awareness of the other training that healthcare professionals receive.

Why we publish this guide

We publish this guide to help people understand how we make decisions.

Information for claimants

See www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance

Published 19 March 2013
Last updated 1 August 2017 + show all updates
  1. Published revised version of the handbook. The changes are listed on page 3.
  2. Published revised version. Main changes include: updated guidance on coping with social engagement activity; updated guidance on assessing substantial risk in claimants with a mental health condition; background information on work-related activity; aligning benefit terminology to that used in Universal Credit.
  3. Published revised version. Main changes include: guidelines on substantial risk in claimants with a mental health problem – new guidance on consideration of mobility problems when assessing incontinence – background information on Universal Credit – more information on assessment and consideration of people with visual problems – more guidance on mobilising distances within the home and supermarkets – updated guidance on Activity 5
  4. First published.