If you are claiming Universal Credit with a health condition or disability that prevents you from working or ESA, you may be required to attend an assessment to assess your capability for work.
This is called the Work Capability Assessment and involves completing a questionnaire and attending a face-to-face assessment with a healthcare professional.
It determines whether you have limited capability for work or limited capability for work related activity.
The face-to-face assessment
These are carried out on behalf of the DWP by an organisation called the Health Assessment Advisory Service. Assessments are usually carried out at an Assessment Centre in either Perth, Dundee or Stirling. If you cannot attend your appointment, or if you would like it changed to another Assessment Centre, you must get in touch with the Health Assessment Advisory Service Customer Enquiries Team on 0800 288 8777. You will be offered another appointment only once so it is important that you attend. You can also phone if you need to make special arrangements such as an interpreter or a special chair.
Some medical conditions can make travelling difficult. Home visits are offered automatically to people where it is obvious that their medical condition causes them problems travelling. If you cannot travel because of your medical condition, please contact the Customer Enquiries Team on 0800 288 8777 as soon as possible. You will probably have to provide supporting information, including confirmation from a medical professional who is treating you, before a home visit can be arranged.
You can have a friend or family member present for support. You will be assessed by a Healthcare Professional who will either be a doctor, nurse or physiotherapist. They will ask you questions about your health condition. The assessment may also include a physical examination. The assessment can last from 20 minutes up to an hour.
The assessment report
The Healthcare Professional will provide a report to the DWP who will then make a decision on your claim for benefit. It is important to know that the Health Assessment Advisory Service does not make a decision on your claim and will not know what the outcome is going to be. If you are unhappy with the decision on your claim, you can challenge the decision through the mandatory reconsideration and appeal processes.
If you are unhappy at the way your assessment was carried out, you can make a complaint to the Health Assessment Advisory Service by emailing them on firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to them at:
Customer Relations Team
Health Assessment Advisory Service
Room 4E04, Quarry House, Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7UA
The Health Assessment Advisory Service provides information about the assessment process including what happens before, during and after your face-to-face assessment.