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Requested a WCA but nothing happened?

We are aware that some UC claimants have requested a medical assessment but have been waiting for several months.

There are several possibilities as to why no assessment has been done:

  • The claimant has been referred for a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) but, due to a large backlog, they are still waiting to be assessed. If their  claimant commitment t has not been altered to take account of their health problems, they should discuss this with their Work Coach at the Job Centre.

  • The claimant has not been referred for a WCA due to an error by the DWP. It is a good idea to chase up any requests to make sure they are 'in the system'. Click here for standard letter UC CC3 to complain about the delay. And see Standard Letter UC CC4 if the element was awarded later because the request for a WCA was ignored at first. 

  • The claimant has submitted a 'fit note' from their doctor but has not specifically requested a WCA. According to DWP operational guidance (here) they will be referred for a WCA assessment when the fit note is for more than a 28 day period (and it is appropriate to do so), but we have heard reports that this is not happening. Or it could be that the claimant's doctor has written a fit note for a period of less than 28 days, with the intention to to submit a further one if the patient continues to be unfit for work. If this pattern continues they will not be referred for unless the WCA is specifically requested.

  • The claimant cannot have a WCA because they have already been found fit for work on a previous UC or Employment and Support Allowance claim. Regulation 41 para (4) states that a claimant who has been found fit on a previous assessment cannot have another WCA unless:
    • the last decision was made in ignorance of, or was based on a mistake as to, some material fact or
    • there has been a relevant change of circumstances in relation to the claimant's physical or mental condition. Click here for Standard letter UCCD16 that the claimant can use to request a reconsideration.

We submitted a Freedom of Information Request on the procedure that should happen when a UC claimant becomes unfit for work: response hereDWP internal guidance on setting and switching off work related requirements and actions on receipt of a fit note here; and on Action on the 8th day of sickness; contacting a claimant about their fit note and referring a claimant to a WCA here.
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