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Incapacity for work on mental health grounds cover

You can no longer make a new claim or a linked claim for incapacity benefit or income support as incapable of work. Most people now have to claim employment and support allowance (ESA) or universal credit instead.

 You can find out a lot more about making an effective ESA or UC claim here.

Incapacity for work guides

  • The Best Possible Incapacity for Work Claims on Mental Health Grounds (43 page A4 guide)
  • The Best Possible Incapacity for Work Claims on Physical Health Grounds (46 page A4 guide)
  • Exempt but sent a questionnaire? (7 page A4 guide)
  • 60 questions you’re likely to be asked at your incapacity medical (3 page A4 guide)
  • The Best Possible Incapacity for Work Appeals (25 page A4 guide)

Incapacity for work on physical grounds coverOur step-by-step guides tell you:

  • how to show whether you should be exempt from the Personal Capability Assessment
  • how to complete the questionnaire
  • how to assess yourself for points under the physical and mental health tests
  • how to show whether you should be covered by the exceptional circumstances safety net
  • what happens at the medical, including the types of questions asked and the kinds of assumptions made
  • how to gather supporting evidence

The guide to 60 question you're likely to be asked at your incapacity medical is a valuable aid to preparing for an incapacity medical. In addition, Exempt but sent a questionnaire? explains the three reasons why this might have happened and what you can do about it.

Incapacity for work appealsOur appeals guide tells you:

  • how to choose between a revision or an appeal
  • how to complete an appeal form
  • how to fill in the enquiry form
  • what happens at an appeal

Use the appeals guide in conjunction with the incapacity for work guides to provide detailed, accurate and compelling evidence to tribunals.

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Incapacity for Work Briefs
A selection of letters you may find useful in the course of an appeal.

  • Letter to be handed in by claimant at the end of personal capability medical assessment, requesting a copy of the report.
  • Letter from claimant to appeal panel where no response is received
  • Letter to decision maker requesting reconsideration because of additional evidence, incapacity for work
  • Letter from claimant found incapable of work in the past asking if the report had been altered
  • Letter to decision maker by claimant prior to appeal asking if the report has been altered
  • Letter from claimant to tribunal chair requesting disclosure of LiMA software
  • Letter from claimant requesting copies of documents considered by the decision maker

Jobcentre Plus Managers Updates DWP RESOURCES
Some of the many resources we've obtained from the DWP using the Freedom of Information Act.

Incapacity Benefit Handbook (139 pages A5, Downloadable as a single .pdf file)
Very detailed (and seldom fully followed) guidance for Medical Services doctors carrying out the personal capability assessment, used to decide if a claimant is capable of work.

JobCentre Plus Managers updates
Confidential monthly updates sent out to all Jobcentre Plus managers.

Common diseases (62 pages A4, Downloadable as a single .pdf file).
This is guidance given to decision makers on precisely what action to take take when an individual becomes incapable of work, depending on which condition is given on the Med3 sick note.

Lima Technical Manual (55 A4 pages .pdf document)
This document is vital for anyone wanting to understand how Lima assessments work in order to better understand what happens at the medical and how to challenge the subsequent report. D In CIB/664/2005 Commissioner Williams held that:
"Only with the benefit of the Manual’s explanation can one gain a full understanding of the way in which boxes 32-56 of an electronic IB85 report are presented. The Manual should therefore be available to all appeal tribunals that wish to consider it and, to ensure 'equality of arms', to all claimants and representatives."

Lima v2 screenshots (150 pages A4 .pdf document)
These screenshots show what the doctor sees when completing a computer generated medical report, although the software has undergone changes since this document was created, many of the multiple choice generated answers are still very familiar today.

Glossary of LIMA examination findings (49 page A4 .pdf document)
The purpose of this document is to explain the significance of each of the clinical findings, both physical and mental, of the computer generated Lima Personal Capability Assessment reports. The meaning of physical terms such as 'Wrist supination' and visual 'Acuity 6/18' are clearly explained. Equally, the relevance to mental health - in the opinion of Atos Medical Services - of such things as skin tanning, dress, eye contact, fiddling and rocking are all set out. The terms are organised in the same order that they appear in Lima medical reports, making it easy to look them up.

Clinical Skills Review and LiMA Application Technical Manual (29 pages A4 .pdf document)
A valuable guide for anyone trying to gain a clearer understanding of the workings of the Lima software used to carry out incapacity for work medicals. This guide takes the doctor step-by-step through how to enter information into the software in relation to both the physical and mental health test. It should be noted, however, that the software has gone through changes since this guide was produced, so it will give an indication of what the doctor sees and does, but no longer a precise description.

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