Employment & Support Allowance: New claims

7. Exceptional circumstances

Even if the DWP decision maker decides that you do not pass the limited capability for work test by scoring 15 points or more, they can still treat you as having passed it if one of the following ‘exceptional circumstances’ applies:


  • You are suffering from a severe life threatening disease, in relation to which there is medical evidence that the disease is uncontrollable or uncontrolled by a recognised therapeutic procedure; and in the case of a disease that is uncontrolled, there is a reasonable cause for it not to be controlled by a recognised therapeutic procedure.
  • You suffer from some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement and consequently there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person if you were found not to have a limited capability for work. This risk should be linked to work you could realistically do according to your education or skills. This circumstance will not apply to you if the risk could be significantly reduced by making reasonable adjustments to your workplace or by you taking medication as prescribed.
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