wcainfo

Physical or mental condition

An inability to perform physical activities must arise from a disease or bodily disablement, and an inability to perform mental, cognitive or intellectual functions must result from a mental illness or disablement.


Legislation

Regulations set out how physical or mental disablement is treated for each activity.

When determining limited capability for work, regulation 19(5) of the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008, regulation 15(5) of the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2013 and, for universal credit, regulation 39(4) of the Universal Credit Regulations 2013, provide -

In assessing the extent of a claimant's capability to perform any activity listed in [the relevant schedule], it is a condition that the claimant's incapability to perform the activity arises - (a) in respect of any descriptor listed in [the schedule or part schedule relating to physical disabilities], from a specific bodily disease or disablement; (b) in respect of any descriptor listed in [the schedule or part of schedule relating to mental, cognitive and intellectual function] from a specific mental illness or disablement …

When determining limited capability for work-related activity, regulation 34(6) of the 2008 regulations, regulation 30(6) of the 2013 regulations, and regulation 40(3) of the main universal credit regulations, provide -

In assessing the extent of a claimant's capability to perform any activity listed in [the relevant schedule], it is a condition that the claimant's incapability to perform the activity arises - (a) in respect of descriptors 1 to 8, 15(a), 15(b), 16(a) and 16(b) - (i) from a specific bodily disease or disablement; or … (b) in respect of descriptors 9 to 14, 15(c), 15(d), 16(c) and 16(d) - (i) from a specific mental illness or disablement …

Sources:

  • Regulation 19(5) and 34(6) of the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008 (SI.No.794/2008) (applies to income-related and contributory ESA in a universal credit live service area).
  • Regulation 15(5) and 30(6) of the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008 (SI.No.379/2013) (applies to contributory ESA in a universal credit full service area).
  • Regulation 39 and regulation 40 of the Universal Credit Regulations 2013 (SI.No.376/2013) (applies to universal credit).

Case law

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