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Descriptors for LCW and LCWRA

The following explains how Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) assess someone's capability to work as part of work capability. This does not apply to people who fall under ESA transition, pension age with disabilityterminally ill or specific circumstances.

 

It is important to remember that this is not an assessment measuring how ill or disabled you are. UC will look at your physical, mental health and cognitive capabilities within the range of set activities.

When being assessed, the following will be taken into consideration:

  • Aids and appliances - as though you are using/wearing aids or appliances (or prosthesis)  which you would normally use/wear or could reasonably be expected to use/wear.

  • Repeatedly, reliably and safely:

    • If a person can perform a task but is unable to repeat it within a reasonable timescale the person should be considered unable to perform the task.​

    • The safety of the person must also be considered in each of the activities. If a person is unable to perform an activity or task safely, they must be considered incapable of the task.

    • A task must also be completed reasonably. If a person can complete a task but suffers significant pain or distress in doing so, they should be considered incapable of the activity.

To be awarded limited capability for work (LCW)

You need to score 15 points or more from the limited capability for work schedule 2 activities below. Only the highest score for each activity can be counted.

There are circumstances that someone can be treated as LCW without the need to score points.

To be awarded limited capability for work and work-related activity (LCWRA)

You need to score 15 points or more from the limited capability for work Schedule 2 activities below. Only the highest score for each activity can be counted. You must also satisfy at least one of the limited capability for work-related activity Schedule 3 descriptors below.

There are circumstances that someone can be treated as LCWRA without the need to score points.

TIP: Click any relevant activities to view the descriptors and scores

Limited capability for work (Schedule 2)

Part 1: Physical functions

Activity 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. 

Activity 2 - Standing and sitting.

Activity 3 - Reaching.

Activity 4 - Picking up and moving or transferring by the use of the upper body and arms. 

Activity 5 - Manual dexterity.

Activity 6 - Making self understood through speaking, writing, typing, or other means which are normally or could reasonably be used, unaided by another person.

Activity 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 (iii)  a combination of (i) and (ii), using any aid that is normally or could reasonably be used, unaided  by another person.

Activity 8 - Navigation and maintaining safety using a guide dog or other aid if either or both are normally or could reasonably be used.

Activity 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.

Activity 10 - Consciousness during waking moments.

Part 2: Mental, cognitive and intellectual functions

Activity 11 - Learning tasks.

Activity 12 - Awareness of everyday hazards (such as boiling water or sharp objects).

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

Activity 14 - Coping with change.

Activity 15 - Getting about.

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

Activity 17 - Appropriateness of behaviour with other people, due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder.

 
 

TIP: This category does not have scores. You must satisfy at least one descriptor and score 15 points or more from the limited capability for work Schedule 2 above.

 

Limited capability for work-related activity (Schedule 3)

Activity 1: Mobilising unaided by another person with or without a walking stick, manual wheelchair or other aid if such aid can reasonably be used
Cannot either:
(a) mobilise more than 50 metres on level ground without stopping in order to
avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion;

or
(b) repeatedly mobilise 50 metres within a reasonable timescale because of
significant discomfort or exhaustion.

Activity 2: Transferring from one seated position to another
Cannot move between one seated position and another seated position located
next to one another without receiving physical assistance from another person.

Activity 3: Reaching
Cannot raise either arm as if to put something in the top pocket of a coat or
jacket.

Activity 4: Picking up and moving or transferring by the use of the upper body and arms (excluding standing, sitting, bending or kneeling and all other activities specified in this Schedule)
Cannot pick up and move a 0.5 litre carton full of liquid.

Activity 5: Manual dexterity

Cannot either:
(a) press a button, such as a telephone keypad; or
(b) turn the pages of a book with either hand.

Activity 6: Making self understood through speaking, writing, typing, or other means normally used

Cannot convey a simple message, such as the presence of a hazard.

Activity 7: Understanding communication by hearing, lip reading, reading 16 point print or using any aid if reasonably used

Cannot understand a simple message due to sensory impairment, such as the location of a fire escape.

Activity 8: Absence or loss of control over extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or voiding of the bladder, other than enuresis (bed-wetting), despite the presence of any aids or adaptations normally used

At least once a week experiences:
(a) loss of control leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or voiding of the bladder; or
(b) substantial leakage of the contents of a collecting device sufficient to require the individual to clean themselves and change clothing.

Activity 9: Learning tasks

Cannot learn how to complete a simple task, such as setting an alarm clock, due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder.

Activity 10: Awareness of hazard

Reduced awareness of everyday hazards, due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder, leads to a significant risk of:
(a) injury to self or others; or
(b) damage to property or possessions such that they require supervision for the majority of the time to maintain safety.

Activity 11: Initiating and completing personal action (which means planning, organisation, problem solving, prioritising or switching tasks)

Cannot, due to impaired mental function, reliably initiate or complete at least two sequential personal actions.

Activity 12: Coping with change

Cannot cope with any change, due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder, to the extent that day to day life cannot be managed.

Activity 13: Coping with social engagement, due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder

Engagement in social contact is always precluded due to difficulty relating to others or significant distress experienced by the individual.

Activity 14: Appropriateness of behaviour with other people, due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder

Has, on a daily basis, uncontrollable episodes of aggressive or disinhibited behaviour that would be unreasonable in any workplace.

Activity 15: Conveying food or drink to the mouth

(a) Cannot convey food or drink to the claimant's own mouth without receiving physical assistance from someone else;
(b) Cannot convey food or drink to the claimant's own mouth without repeatedly stopping, experiencing breathlessness or severe discomfort;
(c) Cannot convey food or drink to the claimant's own mouth without receiving regular prompting given by someone else in the claimant's physical presence; or
(d) Owing to a severe disorder of mood or behaviour, fails to convey food or drink to the claimant's own mouth without receiving:

(i) physical assistance from someone else; or

(ii) regular prompting given by someone else in the claimant's presence.

Activity 16: Chewing or swallowing food or drink

(a) Cannot chew or swallow food or drink;
(b) Cannot chew or swallow food or drink without repeatedly stopping, experiencing breathlessness or severe discomfort;
(c) Cannot chew or swallow food or drink without repeatedly receiving regular prompting given by someone else in the claimant's presence; or
(d) Owing to a severe disorder of mood or behaviour, fails to:

(i) chew or swallow food or drink; or

(ii) chew or swallow food or drink without regular prompting given by someone else in the claimant's presence.