Work capability assessment questionnaire

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LibbyMitchell28
LibbyMitchell28 Community member Posts: 14 Connected

Hi everyone,

I'm having trouble with accessing a work capability questionnaire (to send off for assessment) from UC. I missed two deadlines for previous questionnaires (one because my brother died during the time of the deadline and the other was because my work coach didn't inform me about the deadline so it was missed).

I've been asking for months from my work coach to send me a new questionnaire to complete as I'm in a position to send it off with evidence now. However, they just keep getting back to me and saying that its with a decision maker and have no updates. This has been the situation for the 10-12 weeks. Does anyone have a similar experiences? Has anyone ever been denied a work capability questionnaire to complete?

It seems unfair that because of my personal circumstances and poor health around my brothers death that I'm now being punished to some degree as they won't give me a questionnaire to access further support.

Any help and advice would be much appreicated.

Thank you :)

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Comments

  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 14,987 Championing
    edited July 11
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    It sounds like your claim is being processed without the questionnaire rather than just cancelled

    This has happened to me and I successfully got an award even without it

    I think the fact I couldn't fill it out may even have been take into account as evidence of my undependability due to my issues if that makes sense

    Just mentioning in case it helps a bit

  • LibbyMitchell28
    LibbyMitchell28 Community member Posts: 14 Connected
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    thanks for your reply @66Mustang :)

    Oh okay that’s reassured me a little bit— so did you not have to have a face to face or telephone assessment at all because you didn’t need to hand in the questionnaire?

    Personally, it just seems like a long time to wait (over 10 weeks now) to see if the decision maker wants to approve sending out another questionnaire for me?


  • LibbyMitchell28
    LibbyMitchell28 Community member Posts: 14 Connected
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    thanks for your reply @66Mustang

    Oh okay that’s reassured me a little bit— so did you not have to have a face to face or telephone assessment at all because you didn’t need to hand in the questionnaire? 

    Personally, it just seems like a long time to wait (over 10 weeks now) to see if the decision maker wants to approve sending out another questionnaire for me?

  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 14,987 Championing
    edited July 11
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    Sorry for the slow reply, I had to go out for an hour

    I did have a face-to-face yes, but the lady was really nice and mentioned to me that the fact I didn't submit my questionnaire in time would be taken into account

    She didn't say whether that would be taken into account to my benefit or my detriment, but I'm guessing the former as I ended up getting put in the "most severe" group

  • LibbyMitchell28
    LibbyMitchell28 Community member Posts: 14 Connected
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    Thank you for the reply @66Mustang

    Ah okay that makes sense. How did they ask you specific questions about your health if they didn't have the questionnaire to refer to? I think I would prefer them to be able to see the questionnaire initially so they can understand my conditions etc. I also wanted a telephone appointment as I'm unable to have a face to face one.

    I'll just have to wait and see what comes back :)

  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 14,987 Championing
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    From what I recall they ask the same questions as are asked in the questionnaire anyway

    It's a set of about a dozen generic topics relating to things you might be expected to be able to do at work and you score different amounts of points depending on how much, if at all, you struggle with them. A few of them give you automatic qualification for different award levels (I think one example off the top of my head is if you are prone to uncontrollable aggressive episodes)

    Some of them I just answered that I had no issues at all and we moved to the next question, then when a question was relevant to me we'd go into more detail

    Some of the questions are quite open as well, so you can just explain if you have any issues, it's not all yes/no questions

  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 14,987 Championing
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    Also, I think you should be able to request a phone appointment if that's helpful

    I had to request a face-to-face as I find using the phone hard but I think a phone appointment tends to be the default offering

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,299 Championing
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    It's not as simple as sending you another form because a referral would need to be completed again before that can happen.

    When you received the UC50 form in the post it would have told you in the letter what date it would need to have been returned by. Your work coach would not have known this because once they've done the referral it's then out of their hands.

    First thing you need to find out is whether the assessment report has been returned to DWP/UC. If it has then they would have completed a paper based assessment. If it hasn't then you need to find out what exactly has happened.

    You may get more information if you contact the Health Assessment Advisory Service (HAAS) who are the ones that deal with work capability assessments and they will hopefully give you some information. You can find their contact details here. https://chdauk.co.uk/about-us/contact-us/

    Not everyone has a vulnerable marker on their file. For those that do that returning forms can be relaxed because they can proceed without them. For those that don't have this on their file then you can be found fit for work for not returning the form.

    If your file had been returned to UC because you didn't return the form then UC would have then needed to contact you to ask why you didn't return the form and you would have needed to give your reasons. It would then be down to a decision maker to decide whether to either find you fit for work for failing to return the form or to send your file back to HAAS for the assessment process to start again.

  • LibbyMitchell28
    LibbyMitchell28 Community member Posts: 14 Connected
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    Thank you for your insights @66Mustang they are very helpful to know and if I do end up having an assessment soon you've given me a good indicator of what might be included. I appreciate that!

    Thank you for outlining @poppy123456 your response is very helpful. How would I find out if my assessment report has been returned to DWP/UC? Would I need to ask my work coach about this?

    I've spoken to the health advisory assessment multiple times and have been back and forth between them and my UC work coach. They've stated that they can't do anything as there isn't a current live referral for me. I've asked my work coach about this and they've said that they can't do anything from their end because they're waiting on a decision from the decision maker so can't do a new referral? It's all so confusing and overwhelming — so I struggle to keep on top of it all and what things mean!

    I've listed my reasons for why I didn't return the forms on my journal multiple times so hopefully that's enough information for them. Can you appeal a decision if you're found not capable for work? What does that process look like? Thank you so much for all your help :)

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,299 Championing
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    Based on what you've said it does sound like your file was returned to UC because you didn't return the form. This means there's no vulnerable marker on your file. It's unlikely that the assessment report would have been returned.

    Decisions can take anything up to about 12 weeks, sometimes longer and you said it's been 10-12 weeks. They are correct and you can't be referred for another WCA until a decision maker makes their decision.

    I would give it a couple more weeks and if you don't have any joy then contact your local MP and tell them what's happened. Hopefully they will contact UC on your behalf and get things moving again. If a decision maker accepts your reasons for not returning the form your file will be returned to them for an assessment.

  • LibbyMitchell28
    LibbyMitchell28 Community member Posts: 14 Connected
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    Thanks for all the help Poppy. I really hope I don't have to go down the MP route as I just don't have the capacity for that right now. Is this quite common, as in the decision maker doesn't get back to you and people have to contact their local MPs? It all seems such a long disappointing process given that I missed the deadline once because of my brothers passing.

    How does it work in regards to appealing a decision if you're found capable for work?

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,299 Championing
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    You're welcome. If you don't have a vulnerable marker on your file then they are very strict about returning the form on time and failing to do that could lead to being found fit for work for failing to return. I don't know how often this happens I'm afraid.

    If you are found fit for work for this reason then challenging the decision would be based on this, "not returning the form on time" the first step would be for you to request the Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) if that doesn't change the decision then it's onto Tribunal. The Tribunal would be for the same thing. Once they've made their decision if your reasons are accepted then UC must then assess you.

    You would then need to send the form, if you haven't already and wait for the assessment. It's a long drawn out process because if the worst happens after DWP make their decision on the WCA and you're found fit for work or found to have LCWRA then it means challenging that decision with another MR and Tribunal.

    I don't know how common it is for people to contact their local MP but I do know I often advise this here if UC dig their heals in and not apply the law correctly.

  • LibbyMitchell28
    LibbyMitchell28 Community member Posts: 14 Connected
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    Do you have to request a vulnerable marker from your work coach to be put onto your account? I've had five different work coaches in the past 6 months and I've been on a fit note for 1.5 years now so I'm surprised I haven't been put down as vulnerable and not capable for work etc. Or at least been recognised as this.

    It really is such a long tedious process and isn't what you need when you're unwell. Thank you for your help and information, it's helped me feel more prepared moving forward.

  • LibbyMitchell28
    LibbyMitchell28 Community member Posts: 14 Connected
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    Also, if I'm found not capable for work after this assessment or if I have to go down the MR/tribunal route, would they back date payments? If so, when would they do that from? :)

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,299 Championing
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    A vulnerable marker isn't something you can request unfortunately. It is automatically put on by a decision maker. 1.5 years is a very long time to be sending fit notes. Is this your first WCA? if it is and you're eventually found to have LCWRA then you will be owed money from the 4th month after you provided your first fit note.

  • LibbyMitchell28
    LibbyMitchell28 Community member Posts: 14 Connected
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    I did think it was — I wasn’t even informed about WCA for a while even when I was providing fit notes. I’ve been providing them since March 2023.

    Yes it’s my first WCA. Do you think that makes a difference at all? Or impacts my outcome?

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,299 Championing
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    It doesn't make a difference if it's a first WCA or not. There's no impact on the outcome.

  • LibbyMitchell28
    LibbyMitchell28 Community member Posts: 14 Connected
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    Poppy, do you think it’s worthwhile filing a complaint into UC too? I was recommended this by an adviser from WCA but I’m wondering if that will go against my case and therefore I will be penalised if I complain? I’m not sure if it’s worth going down that process? I would only complain once the 12 weeks has gone by etc. Thank you.

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,299 Championing
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    You can certainly put in a complaint, it will not affect the outcome of the WCA.

  • LibbyMitchell28
    LibbyMitchell28 Community member Posts: 14 Connected
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    Okay, I think I’ll leave it for now given my limited capacity. What is the law that UC are going against if they don’t respond/get back to me about a decision for WCA? If I need to write to my MP it would be good to know this or at least state it to my work coach. Is the decision maker part of UC or the health assessment centre?