Everyone who receives the benefit Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is first assessed using the Work Capability Assessment. This assessment uses 17 'descriptors' about people's physical and mental health, and these descriptors are described in detail here.

This information will be helpful if you want to know more about the assessment criteria, to appeal against an ESA decision, or to prepare for an ESA medical. However, if you would like more general information about ESA - who can claim it and how much money you may get, see Employment and Support Allowance.

This page contains lots of tables, so we have made it available as a PDF document for optimum formatting, especially if you wish to print it.

PDF: Employment and Support Allowance and the Work Capability Assessment 

Our welfare rights adviser provides advice and information about benefits.