Universal Credit: Uplift being ‘actively considered’ says Coffey
Universal Credit can help people financially if they are struggling with unemployment or a low income. Claimants of Universal Credit are usually asked to make an agreement called a ‘Claimant Commitment’ with their designated work coach. This means claimants may have to undergo certain activities, such as looking for and applying for jobs. But in some cases, people will not have to do this if it is decided they have a limited capability for work (LCW) or a limited capability for work and work-related activity (LCWRA).
What is the Work Capability Assessment?
During the claim process for Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance (ESA), claimants can decide to undergo a Work Capability Assessment.
The Work Capability Assessment determines how much someone’s health condition or disability affects their ability to work.
The claimant will need to fill in a questionnaire as part of the assessment, and there may also be a medical assessment to follow.
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The questionnaire will ask questions about the claimant’s ability to carry out certain physical activities.
Questions will also be asked about the claimant’s intellectual and mental functions.
Turn2Us explain these questions relate to mental health conditions, learning difficulties or the effects of head injuries.
Turn2Us add: “The questionnaire will be read by the health care professional before your medical assessment, the Jobcentre Plus decision maker, and (if you appeal the decision) by the Tribunal Appeal panel. You must therefore be as thorough as possible in answering the questions.
“When answering the questions think about whether you can do the activity safely, reliably and repeatedly.
“Consider the side effects of any medication you take on the performance of the activities.
“It can be helpful to keep a diary for a week or two before completing the form so you can get a clearer picture of your problems – but make sure you return the form within the deadline.”
After the questionnaire has been submitted by the claimant, a healthcare professional may carry out a medical assessment.
Their assessment will then be sent as a report to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and a decision will be made on whether someone has a limited capability for work and work-related activity.
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What does limited capability for work mean?
The Government guidance outlines people who are determined as having a limited capability for work (LCW) “are not expected to look for work right away”.
The Government guidance states: “You will need to discuss with your work coach the activities you agree to do to prepare for work with the aim of working at some time in the future.
“Your work coach will take into account your health condition or disability when considering what work preparation activities to include in your Claimant Commitment.”
What does limited capability for work and work-related activity mean?
If it is decided someone has a limited capability for work and work-related activity (LCWRA), they are not expected to look for or prepare for work.
People who have a limited capability for work and work-related activity can still volunteer if they choose to.
Universal Credit claimants who have a limited capability for work and work-related activity may get an extra £341.92 per month on top of their Universal Credit payment.
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