Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Elements: Limited Capability for Work/Related Activity
Where a claimant (or joint claimant ie partner) is unfit work they may be entitled to a Limited Capability for Work (LCW) Element or a Limited Capability for Work Related Activity Element.

If entitled one of the following Elements is included in their UC assessment:

Limited Capability for Work (LCW)


Limited Capability for Work Related Activity (LCWRA)


    Eligibility for a LCW Element is based purely on whether the claimant (or joint claimant ie partner) has been found to have a Limited Capability for Work by the DWP AND is entitled to have the LCW Element included in their award. The LCW Element was abolished from 3rd April 2017  -  complex rules exist for claimants who became unfit for work before this date - click here for single claimants, and here for couples.

    Eligibility for a LCWRA Element is based purely on whether the claimant (or joint claimant ie partner) has been found to have a Limited Capability for Work Related Activity by the DWP - it is not related to any disability benefits that might be in payment.

    Click here for more information on Limited Capability for Work under UC, and the implications.


    1. A LCW / LCWRA Element cannot be included in an award as well as a Carer Element in respect of the same claimant - the higher Element gets included - see examples below.
    2. For couples, only one Element can be included - whichever is the higher - this is complicated by the new rules introduced in April 2017 - click here for more information.
    3. A LCW / LCWRA Element cannot be included in an award for UC during the 'relevant period'. And when the 'relevant period' has ended will be included from the beginning of the following Monthly Assessment Period.

    What if, due to income, the claimant is only entitled to UC if the LCWRA Element is included in their award?

    If the claimant or joint claimants would be entitled to UC due to having the LCWRA Element included in their award, but their income is too high to be entitled to UC without the Element being included ie during the 'relevant period', the DWP can prescribe that their income is taken into account in a way that allows a minimum amount of one penny be awarded in order to allow the claim to run through the 'relevant period'. UC Regulation 28(7).
    Once the 'relevant period' is over and the LCWRA is included in the award, the income will return to being assessed as normal.

    Those claimants transferring onto UC from 'Old-Style' Employment and Support Allowance should have any component also transferred.
    Regulation 19(2) (WRAC), Regulation 19(4) (support), Universal Credit (transitional Provisions) Regulations.

    Letter UC LCW11 - here.

    (Note - if getting UC under the Full / Digital service the claimant should make this request through their on line UC account.)

    Limited Capability for Work and a Carer?

    A LCW / LCWRA Element AND a Carer Element cannot be given in respect of the same claimant - the one with the highest value will be the one included (Reg 29).



    Mumtaz claims Universal Credit. Back in January 2017 he was found to have a LCW, he also cares for his elderly mother - who is getting Attendance Allowance - for over 35 hours a week. Although he meets the conditions for both the LCW Element and the Carer Element only one can be included in his maximum Universal Credit - whichever is the higher - ie the Carer Element.



    Peter and Carl live together and claim Universal Credit as a couple. Peter has health problems and has been assessed as having a LCWRA - he also gets the daily living component of PIP. Carl spends a lot of his time looking after Peter. They have the LCWRA Element (in respect of Peter) and the Carer Element (in respect of Carl) included in their maximum Universal Credit.



    Julie and Will are entitled to Universal Credit. Will was found to have LCW in 2016 and Julie cares for their severely disabled son who is on high rate care DLA. Their maximum Universal Credit includes a LCW Element and a Carer Element as it is not the same person getting both elements.


    Joanna and Dave are a couple on Universal Credit. They have both been found to have a LCWRA and also both meet the conditions of the Carer Element. Their UC award will include one LCWRA (it can never include two) and one Carer Element.

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