If you have a face–to-face Work Capability Assessment (WCA) as part of your claim for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) it is likely that it will take place in an assessment centre and that the health care professional (HCP) will use a computer to compile the WCA report. The application that they use to do this is called LiMA.
LiMA is an application belonging to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that a qualified and approved HCP uses to record clinical information and to construct a report. It is designed specifically for the WCA and is a computerised version of the DWP’s paper WCA report. A LiMA report covers all the areas required by the WCA legislation and, irrespective of whether a report is produced on paper or using LiMA, the same areas are covered.
This is exactly the same scenario as you may have witnessed whilst visiting a GP. Many GPs now log their clinical notes on a specialised computer application rather than using paper records. The LiMA application does not write the report, nor does it tell the HCPs what questions to ask. The HCP must ask you about all the relevant medical and functional areas, and record this information in their report. The HCP will then use this information, along with their clinical knowledge and training in disability assessment, to provide an opinion to the DWP decision maker.The HCP is fully responsible for the report, ensuring that relevant clinical history, typical day information, examination findings and observations are accurately recorded, and that the opinions on the WCA descriptors that they offer are justified based on that evidence. Each descriptor lists a range of actions within activities such as mobilising and awareness of hazard that the DWP allocates differing numbers of points to.
Completed reports are sent electronically to the DWP where a decision maker will review the evidence and the opinions the HCP has given on the WCA descriptors. The decision maker then decides using the report along with any other information they have available, which descriptors will apply and therefore which points to allocate; each descriptor has a point score allocated to it in the legislation.