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It involves the completion of a face-to-face medical evaluation as well as a questionnaire.
Its aim is to determine the extent to which an employee’s illness or disability affects their ability to work. It's conducted by a pre-approved healthcare professional acting on behalf of the DWP.
These assessments are central to the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). It provides individuals with financial support if they’re deemed unfit for work and personalised help so they can return to work.
It's the test used to decide a claimant's ESA eligibility. The assessment comes in two parts:
In most cases, a healthcare professional will conduct both assessments at the same time. Eligible employees may receive a limited capability for work-related activity or limited capability for work payment due every month.
A fit for work assessment entitles employees to ESA if their illness or disability affects their ability to work and they’re:
People may apply for ESA if they fall into any of the following categories:
Applicants must complete and return a capability for work questionnaire (ESA50). It begins by asking for the name, address, doctor’s details, description of illness or disability and treatment history of the claimant.
The questionnaire is then divided into two sections. The first involves questions about their ability to carry out certain physical activities (sitting, standing etc.).
The second is about the intellectual functions needed to carry out day to day activities. The questions relate to several mental health conditions linked to depression, learning difficulties etc.
Employees need to score at least 15 points in total to get an ESA allowance. The DWP add up the points from activities in the physical and mental disability categories to form the total score.
Examples of activities involved in the physical category of the assessment include:
Examples of activities involved in a work capability assessment for mental health include:
To qualify for ESA support group, the DWP need to decide that the claimant isn’t able to work and aren’t expected to do anything to improve their chances of finding work. However, it’s worth noting, if they’d like to take part in work-related activities, they’ll have to contact the DWP first to make suitable arrangements.
You can bring in a specialist health adviser if you have concerns about the effects of work on your employees’ health.
A medically-qualified professional performs the assessment with the aim to address issues around the workplace. You're then provided with a report of the findings which will also include recommendations for changes and reasonable adjustments.
These assessments are optional. But they’re beneficial for employees working in high-risk roles, as well as for employers to meet the legal requirements of a work environment.
If you’d like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on 0844 892 2493
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