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3 March 2009
Our uniquely comprehensive guide to limited capability for work on mental heath and learning difficulties grounds is now available online.

Employment and Support allowance limited capability for work on mental heath and learning difficulties groundsWe strongly advise you to download a copy before completing the ESA50 questionnaire or attending a medical. A 17 page sample is available to non-members.

In the opinion of Holiday Whitehead, barrister and co-author of the guide:

“There has never been a more badly designed, confusingly drafted or complex assessment procedure for benefits entitlement than the work capability assessment for Employment and Support Allowance.”

Our guide is the first of three which will cover all aspects of the WCA. At almost 90 pages, it is by far the longest we have ever produced. But given the complexity of the test, anything shorter would not have been fit for purpose.

The guide is full of hints, tips and sample answers. It takes you step-by-step through the entire limited capability for work mental, cognitive and intellectual functions assessment procedure.

It explains as precisely as is possible what the descriptors are about.

It warns you about the many places in which the ESA50 questionnaire fails to give you the opportunity to give the information needed to show that you are entitled.

It covers the vitally important exceptional circumstances regulations in detail. It also warns you where evidence is most likely to be used to try to reduce or remove any DLA award you have or may apply for.

In addition, it highlights opportunities to give evidence relating to the higher paying support group.

There’s also a detailed list of the issues which will be covered in the work-focused health-related assessment that most claimants will have immediately after their medical and which is designed to begin the process of moving you back into work. How you answer these questions will have a direct bearing on what is included in your action plan at the six work-focused interviews most claimants will have to attend.

If you're an advice worker or support worker, find out about out training day in June devoted entirely to claiming ESA on mental health and learning difficulties grounds.

If you aren’t yet a member of Benefits and Work, you can download a 17 page sample from this link.

Members can download the full guide from this page.

Guides to physical health claims, the support group and to appeals will be published in the next few months.

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