The DWP have published updated guidance for healthcare professionals carrying out the work capability assessment.
The Work Capability Assessment Handbook is the guide that is supposed to be adhered to by Maximus health professionals. It is not the law and we frequently encourage claimants to challenge the way the DWP interpret the regulations, but it is vital to know how the DWP approach such issues as interpreting the descriptors.
We haven’t had time to read through the revised handbook in detail yet, but we will be doing so and updating our guides to warn members of any changes in the way assessments are carried out.
According to the DWP, the main changes include:
updated guidance on coping with social engagement activity;
updated guidance on assessing substantial risk in claimants with a mental health condition; background information on work-related activity;
aligning benefit terminology to that used in Universal Credit.
The Handbook was last updated in February 2015.