Universal Credit and Work Capability Assessments
Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with living costs. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income or out of work.
If you have a health condition or disability you might get an extra amount of Universal Credit if you have a health condition or disability that prevents you from working or preparing for work.
Your monthly payment is based on your circumstances, for example your health condition or disability, income and housing costs.
If you made a new Universal Credit claim on or after 3 April 2017 and have limited capability for work, you won’t get the extra amount.
After you apply for Universal Credit(link is external), you need to complete the Universal Credit capability for work questionnaire UC50(link is external). You’ll be sent a paper copy of the form with your appointment letter or you can fill it in online and print it.
Fill in the form and send it to the Health Assessment Advisory Service. The address will be on your appointment letter.
You’ll then have a Work Capability Assessment. This is to see to what extent your illness or disability affects your ability to work.
Based on the outcome of the assessment, you’ll be placed in one of 3 groups:
- fit for work
- limited capability for work – you can’t work now, but you can prepare to work in the future, for example by writing a CV
- limited capability for work and work related activity – you can’t work now and you’re not expected to prepare for work in the future
What to Expect
The assessment will look at the effects of any health condition or disability on your ability to carry out a range of everyday activities. It will be carried out by a Healthcare Professional.
The Healthcare Professional will discuss your medical history and activities you undertake in a typical day. This information will be recorded but will not be a word-for-word record.
You can bring extra information or medical information with you to assist the Healthcare Professional with their report. You can bring a companion for help and support who can also supply information.
Where appropriate, you may have a physical examination which is designed to assess your function and is not the same as an examination in a diagnostic or treatment setting with a GP or Consultant.
Your verbal consent will be obtained for any physical examination to proceed, should it be necessary. You are encouraged to do as much of the examination as you feel comfortable with. You will not need to remove items of intimate clothing. A physical examination is not always required.
Once the Healthcare Professional has all the necessary information, your face-to-face interview ends. The Healthcare Professional will then evaluate the information, suggesting the most appropriate descriptors (phrases defined by DWP), and writing a justification of their choices, to complete the Assessment Report for DWP.
The Assessment Report is known as an UC85 and will be sent to the DWP.