Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to reduce waiting times for working capability referrals for universal credit.
Statistics on Work Capability Assessments for Universal Credit are currently under development for future publication and have not previously been published as official statistics. We will issue them in due course as an official statistics release in accordance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. Whilst the initial statistics will not have median clearance times, these will be developed for publication in due course. There are no plans to provide these statistics by medical condition.
Statistics on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Work Capability Assessment (WCA) outcomes are published quarterly. The latest figures covering the median end-to-end clearance time, which includes ‘claim registration to WCA referral’ by month of clearance up to March 2020, can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/
Guidance for users is available at:
UC claimants are generally referred for a work capability assessment at day 29 of their health-related claim. If the claimant has certain conditions (e.g. pregnant and risk to self or child) or are undergoing certain treatments (e.g. chemotherapy) they will be referred for a WCA earlier.
Once referred claimants are issued a capability for work questionnaire (UC50). Claimants have 4 weeks to complete and return this along with any supporting evidence to the Health Assessment Advisory Service (HAAS).
Once received at HAAS, the information is reviewed by a Healthcare Professional (HCP). The HCP will determine if there is enough information to enable the case to be cleared on scrutiny. This may include contacting other professionals who support the claimant, such as their GP or Consultant, for supporting evidence. If the HCP is unable to clear by paper scrutiny a face-to-face assessment is scheduled.
Due to Coronavirus restrictions claimants may experience a longer wait for their assessment, and may be asked to attend a telephone assessment while face-to-face assessments remain suspended. If, following an assessment, we decide that the claimant is entitled to extra benefit, we will pay any arrears owed.
1. Opposition Day Debate: Universal Credit
16/10/2018 - Parliamentary Research
Found: 16 October 2018 Opposition Day Debate: Universal Credit By Steven Kennedy Richard Keen Roderick McInnes
2. Ten years of the work capability assessment in relation to employment support allowance and universal credit
18/04/2019 - Parliamentary Research
Found: CDP-2019-0092, 18 April 2019 Ten years of the Work Capability Assessment By Steven Kennedy Andrew Mackley
Found: Work and Pensions Committee
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel 020 7219 8976 Email
4. Universal Credit and Debt
03/06/2019 - Parliamentary Research
Found: PACK Number CDP-2019-0131, 3 June 2019 Universal Credit and Debt By Steven Kennedy Andrew Mackley
5. Poverty in Liverpool
23/10/2018 - Parliamentary Research
Found: incomes before taking into account housing costs, and 29% based on incomes after taking into account housing
1. Oral Answers to Questions
13/05/2019 - Commons Chamber
1: looking into this area. I want to do and want my Department to do more to make sure we gather more information - Speech Link
2: regularly on concussion watch and wakes up several times every night. Her mother needs help. In August, Jessica’s - Speech Link
3: couple of weeks ago. Stephen Smith was found fit for work, and by the time he went through the appeals system - Speech Link
2. Universal Credit and Welfare Changes
21/06/2018 - Commons Chamber
1: are delivering the biggest changes to the welfare state in a generation. We are building a benefits system - Speech Link
3. Oral Answers to Questions
27/01/2020 - Commons Chamber
1: made on pension funds addressing climate change and ask the Minister to meet me concerning a constituent - Speech Link
2: Front-Bench discussions, including on convening a pensions summit of all those with power, urging them to - Speech Link
3: that there is cross-party working on things that are as long term as pensions, but will the Minister assure - Speech Link
4. Oral Answers to Questions
28/06/2021 - Commons Chamber
1: safety support for working-age people. Our ambition is to help parents return to work as quickly as possible - Speech Link
2: support grants does not make up for the cuts to universal credit, which will mean that families are £1,000 - Speech Link
3: including £7.4 billion on covid-related measures, on working-age welfare in 2020-21. In addition, as the hon - Speech Link
5. Oral Answers to Questions
01/07/2019 - Commons Chamber
1: national roll-out of universal credit was completed in December 2018. As of May 2019, there are now more - Speech Link
2: hon. Lady’s Government promised that“universal credit should not leave councils out of pocket.”Yet - Speech Link
3: When we met the work coaches and the other staff of the Department of Work and Pensions team at Randolphfield - Speech Link