If you claim UC because you are unable to work due to sickness or disability, you will need to obtain and supply a fit note to the Jobcentre from your GP confirming your medical condition.
You will enter a 13-week assessment phase and receive UC at the standard allowance rate. If you are awarded UC on the grounds of terminal illness, you will be awarded a work capability from the outset of your claim without the need to go through a work capability assessment.
During this time, you will be subject to work-related requirements, although you can ask your work coach to modify your claimant commitment due to your health condition.
Around a month after you submit your first fit note, you will be sent a self-assessment Capability for Work questionnaire – UC50 - to complete. It is a test of your ability to perform certain activities and points are awarded based on your ability to carry them out.
You normally have four weeks to return the form to the Health Assessment Advisory Service (HAAS).
If it is not returned by this deadline, you will be treated as being capable of work, unless you can show that you have good cause for not returning the questionnaire.
Once the UC50 has been returned, you are likely to be required to attend a medical assessment carried out by a HAAS health professionals. In March 2020 these face-to-face assessments were suspended as a consequence of Covid19. In May 2021 the DWP announced that assessments would take place over the phone, on the papers or by video. You would only get a face-to-face if the other methods were not possible. For information on to how to prepare for your assessment, see our guide here