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Limited capability for work (LCW) group

Claimants who are placed in the limited capability for work (LCW) group are those who the DWP consider are not currently capable of work, but who may be capable of work at some time in the future.

A claimant with a health condition or disability who makes a claim for UC on or after 3 April 2017, and who is placed in the LCW group following a Work Capability Assessment, will not get any additional payment of UC.

However, you will not be subject to the same degree of conditionality as claimants on JSA. You are required to attend work focused interviews and may be required to undertake work-focused activity but you cannot be required to apply for jobs or attend work experience schemes.

To be placed in the LCW group after WCA, you need to show that you score at least 15 points in the limited capability for work assessment.

Alternatively, you may be exempt from the assessment or covered by the exceptional circumstances rules, generally known as Reg 29.

The points can come from either the physical or mental health assessment or from a combination of the two. So, for example, 9 points from the physical health test and 6 points from, the mental health test would be sufficient for you to be found to have limited capability for work.

Each test is divided into a number of activities and each activity is divided into a number of descriptors, each of which scores points ranging from 15 down to zero.

Only one descriptor from each activity, the highest scoring one that applies to you, counts towards your score. So if, for example both 1(b) and 1(c) applied to you, then you would only score 9 points – not 18 - even though one is about using steps and the other is about mobilising. This is because both descriptors are from the same activity.

The easiest way to assess how many points you think you should score and whether you should be covered by the exemptions or exceptional circumstances rules is to take our free online test.

Limited capability for work, physical disabilities assessment

1. Mobilising unaided by another person with or without a walking stick, manual wheelchair or other aid if such aid is normally or could reasonably be worn or used.
(a) Cannot, unaided by another person, either
(i) mobilise more than 50 metres on level ground without stopping in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion;
or
(ii) repeatedly mobilise 50 metres within a reasonable timescale because of significant discomfort or exhaustion. 15 points
(b) Cannot, unaided by another person, mount or descend two steps even with the support of a handrail. 9 points
(c) Cannot, unaided by another person, either
(i) mobilise more than 100 metres on level ground without stopping in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion;
or
(ii) repeatedly mobilise 100 metres within a reasonable timescale because of significant discomfort or exhaustion. 9 points
(d) Cannot, unaided by another person, either
(i) mobilise more than 200 metres on level ground without stopping in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion;
or
(ii) repeatedly mobilise 200 metres within a reasonable timescale because of significant discomfort or exhaustion. 6 points
(e) None of the above applies. 0 points

2. Standing and sitting.
(a) Cannot move between one seated position and another seated position which are located next to one another without receiving physical assistance from another person. 15 points

(b) Cannot, for the majority of the time, remain at a work station:
(i) standing unassisted by another person (even if free to move around); or
(ii) sitting (even in an adjustable chair); or
(iii) a combination of (i) and (ii),
for more than 30 minutes, before needing to move away in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion. 9 points.

(c) Cannot, for the majority of the time, remain at a work station:
(i) standing unassisted by another person (even if free to move around) or;
(ii) sitting (even in an adjustable chair); or
(iii) a combination of (i) and (ii),
for more than an hour, before needing to move away in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion. 6 points.
(d) None of the above applies. 0 points

3. Reaching.

(a) Cannot raise either arm as if to put something in the top pocket of a coat or jacket. 15 points
(b) Cannot raise either arm to top of head as if to put on a hat. 9 points
(c) Cannot raise either arm above head height as if to reach for something. 6 points.
(d) None of the above applies. 0 points

4. Picking up and moving or transferring by the use of the upper body and arms.
(a) Cannot pick up and move a 0.5 litre carton full of liquid. 15 points
(b) Cannot pick up and move a one litre carton full of liquid. 9 points
(c) Cannot transfer a light but bulky object such as an empty cardboard box. 6
(d) None of the above applies. 0 points

5. Manual dexterity.
(a) Cannot press a button (such as a telephone keypad) with either hand or cannot turn the pages of a book with either hand. 15 points
(b) Cannot pick up a £1 coin or equivalent with either hand. 15 points
(c) Cannot use a pen or pencil to make a meaningful mark with either hand. 9 points
(d) Cannot single-handedly use a suitable keyboard or mouse. 9 points
(e) None of the above applies. 0 points

6. Making self understood through speaking, writing, typing, or other means which are normally or could reasonably be used, unaided by another person.
(a) Cannot convey a simple message, such as the presence of a hazard. 15 points
(b) Has significant difficulty conveying a simple message to strangers. 15 points
(c) Has some difficulty conveying a simple message to strangers. 6 points
(d) None of the above applies. 0 points

7. Understanding communication by—
(i) verbal means (such as hearing or lip reading) alone,
(ii) non-verbal means (such as reading 16-point print or Braille) alone, or
(c) a combination of (i) and (ii), using any aid that is normally or could reasonably be, used, unaided unaided by another person.
(a) Cannot understand a simple message due to sensory impairment, such as the location of a fire escape. 15 points
(b) Has significant difficulty understanding a simple message from a stranger due to sensory impairment. 15 points
(c) Has some difficulty understanding a simple message from a stranger due to sensory impairment. 6 points
(d) None of the above applies. 0 points

8. Navigation and maintaining safety using a guide dog or other aid if either or both are normally used or could reasonably be used.
(a) Unable to navigate around familiar surroundings, without being accompanied by another person, due to sensory impairment. 15 points
(b) Cannot safely complete a potentially hazardous task such as crossing the road, without being accompanied by another person, due to sensory impairment. 15 points
(c) Unable to navigate around unfamiliar surroundings, without being accompanied by another person, due to sensory impairment. 9 points
(d) None of the above applies. 0 points

9. Absence or loss of control whilst conscious leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or bladder, other than enuresis (bed-wetting), despite the wearing or use of any aids or adaptations which are normally or could reasonably be worn or used.
(a) At least once a month experiences:
(i) loss of control leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or voiding of the bladder; or
(ii) substantial leakage of the contents of a collecting device, sufficient to require cleaning and a change in clothing. 15 points
(b) The majority of the time is at risk of loss of control leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or voiding of the bladder, sufficient to require cleaning and a change in clothing, if not able to reach a toilet quickly. 6 points.
(c) None of the above applies. 0 points

10. Consciousness during waking moments.
(a) At least once a week, has an involuntary episode of lost or altered consciousness resulting in significantly disrupted awareness or concentration. 15 points
(b) At least once a month, has an involuntary episode of lost or altered consciousness resulting in significantly disrupted awareness or concentration. 6 points
(c) Neither of the above applies. 0 points

Limited capability for work – mental, cognitive and intellectual function assessment

11. Learning tasks.
(a) Cannot learn how to complete a simple task, such as setting an alarm clock. 15 points
(b) Cannot learn anything beyond a simple task, such as setting an alarm clock. 9 points
(c) Cannot learn anything beyond a moderately complex task, such as the steps involved in operating a washing machine to clean clothes. 6 points
(d) None of the above applies. 0 points

12. Awareness of everyday hazards (such as boiling water or sharp objects).
(a) Reduced awareness of everyday hazards leads to a significant risk of:
(i) injury to self or others; or
(ii) damage to property or possessions,
such that they require supervision for the majority of the time to maintain safety. 15 points
(b) Reduced awareness of everyday hazards leads to a significant risk of:
(i) injury to self or others; or
(ii) damage to property or possessions such that the claimant frequently require supervision to maintain safety. 9 points
(c) Reduced awareness of everyday hazards leads to a significant risk of:
(i) injury to self or others; or
(ii) damage to property or possessions,
such that the claimant occasionally require supervision to maintain safety. 6 points.
(d) None of the above applies. 0 points

13. Initiating and completing personal action (which means planning, organisation, problem solving, prioritising or switching tasks).

(a) Cannot, due to impaired mental function, reliably initiate or complete at least 2 sequential personal actions. 15 points
(b) Cannot, due to impaired mental function, reliably initiate or complete at least 2 sequential personal actions for the majority of the time. 9 points
(c) Frequently cannot, due to impaired mental function, reliably initiate or complete at least 2 sequential personal actions. 6 points
(d) None of the above applies. 0 points

14. Coping with change
(a) Cannot cope with any change to the extent that day to day life cannot be managed. 15 points
(b) Cannot cope with minor planned change (such as a pre-arranged change to the routine time scheduled for a lunch break), to the extent that overall day-to-day life is made significantly more difficult. 9 points
(c) Cannot cope with minor unplanned change (such as the timing of an appointment on the day it is due to occur), to the extent that, overall, day-to-day life is made significantly more difficult. 6 points
(d) None of the above applies. 0 points

15. Getting about

(a) Cannot get to any place outside the claimant’s home with which the claimant is familiar. 15 points.
(b) Is unable to get to a specified place with which the claimant is familiar, without being accompanied by another person 9 points
(c) Is unable to get to a specified place with which the claimant is unfamiliar without being accompanied by another person. 6 points
(d) None of the above applies. 0 points

16. Coping with social engagement due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder

(a) Engagement in social contact is always precluded due to difficulty relating to others or significant distress experienced by the claimant. 15 points
(b) Engagement in social contact with someone unfamiliar to the claimant is always precluded due to difficulty relating to others or significant distress experienced by the claimant. 9 points
(c) Engagement in social contact with someone unfamiliar to the claimant is not possible for the majority of the time due to difficulty relating to others or significant distress experienced by the individual. 6 points
(d) None of the above applies. 0 points

17. Appropriateness of behaviour with other people, due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder
(a) Has, on a daily basis, uncontrollable episodes of aggressive or disinhibited behaviour that would be unreasonable in any workplace. 15 points
(b) Frequently has uncontrollable episodes of aggressive or disinhibited behaviour that would be unreasonable in any workplace. 15 points
(c) Occasionally has uncontrollable episodes of aggressive or disinhibited behaviour that would be unreasonable in any workplace. 9 points
(d) None of the above applies. 0 points