If you’re claiming on the sickness benefits ‘route’ you will be on just one benefit designed to replace earnings because of illness/ disability (Statutory Sick Pay, Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance) and/ or Income Support/ Child Tax Credit.
Don’t forget you may also get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) on top
The majority of people on the sickness route to benefit will, at some point or other face the ‘Personal Capability Assessment’ - which used to be known as the All Work Test.
However if you get the Care Component of Disability Living Allowance at the higher rate or are deemed to have a ‘severe mental health problem’ in the DWP’s eyes, you do not have to fulfil the requirements of the Personal Capability Assessment.
The DWP definition of what constitutes a severe mental health problem is not exact - ‘an illness which severely and adversely affects someone’s mood or behaviour and which severely restricts their social functioning or awareness of their immediate environment’.
In making the decision to exempt someone on these grounds, the DWP Decision Maker will seek information - usually from your GP - about diagnosis, history of hospitalisation, current treatment and level of care and support needs.
Some people getting Severe Disablement Allowance have to meet an 80 per cent disablement requirement.
Anyone else who is unfit for work for more than six months will have to pass the Personal Capability Assessment to stay on the sickness route to Benefits.
If you are classed as having an ‘usual occupation’ when you become unwell, you will face this Assessment after six months of incapacity. If you do not have an ‘usual occupation’, you face it almost at once.
Changes for Sickness Benefits Route Claimants