This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'The Health and Work Conversation booklet'.

Health and Work Conversation 
1.  The health and work conversation (HWC) is a mandatory work focused interview 
for new ESA claimants. Some claimants are exempt from having to attend a 
2.  The HWC takes place around the fourth week of a claim. For some claimants the 
HWC may need to be booked outside the four week period to a more appropriate 
time. However, there will be no need to have a HWC, if the work capability 
assessment (WCA) is due to take place in the next 3 weeks. 
3.  Having this conversation before the WCA allows the work coach to engage 
earlier with the claimant. 
4.  The interview is a discussion between the claimant and the work coach to identify 
voluntary actions the claimant can take to build their confidence and motivation.  
5.  The claimant’s attendance and participation in the HWC is mandatory and they 
may be sanctioned if they fail to do so without good cause. 
6.  Any actions agreed at the HWC are voluntary. Claimants cannot be sanctioned if 
they do not undertake any agreed actions.  
7.  This mandatory conversation supports claimants with health conditions and 
disabilities, it allows the claimant and work coach to discuss their skills, abilities 
and goals and find out about the support that is available to help them move 
closer to work.  
8.  During the HWC the work coach introduces tools such as the “About Me” to help 
build claimant motivation, and allows them to jointly develop a flexible plan of 
voluntary activities.  
9.  A weekly report is run and identifies all claimants that have been claiming ESA 
for two weeks. The report identifies claimants claiming ESA but as yet have not 
had a HWC interview or been identified as exempt or deferred. If the JCP site 
SPOC does not receive the report by 13:30 each Tuesday they must escalate to 
their Change Lead.  
10. All cases identified on the report must be considered for a HWC interview, once 
an office has gone live . 
11. If a claimant is identified as deferred or exempt take the following action in LMS: 

Select pilot marker titled ‘CC & HWC’  

Select stage value – Def CC & HWC 

Set a work flow to discuss the HWC at a later date 

Update notepad for the reason to defer 

Select pilot marker titled ‘CC & HWC’ 

Select stage value – Exempt CC & HWC 

Update notepad for the reason to exempt 

12. For those cases not falling into exempt or deferral categories the service delivery 
support or other suitable person uses the report to identify and book a pre-call 
and HWC in the work coach’s LMS diary 
Claimants not required to attend a health and work conversation 
13. Some ESA claimants do not need to have a health and work conversation, if they 
fall into one of the following exemption categories:  
Exemption category 
Where to look 
Terminal illness 
Access JSAPS dialogues JA792 for 
health condition and Special Rules 
A claimant is regarded as being terminally ill if 
Y/N Indicator. Also, JA510 may 
both of the following apply: 
give evidence, e.g. “T.I.”, “Sp. 
Rules”, “DS1500” 
• at any time the person suffers from a 
progressive disease;  
• the person’s death in consequence of that 
disease can reasonably be expected within 
6 months. 
Receiving treatment for cancer  
Access JSAPS dialogues JA792 for 
health condition and Special Rules 
The claimant is: 
Y/N Indicator. Also, JA510 may 
give evidence, e.g. “T.I.”, “Sp. 
• receiving treatment for cancer by way of 
Rules”, “DS1500” 
chemotherapy or radiotherapy; 
• likely to receive such treatment within 6 
months after the date of the determination of 
capability for work and work-related activity; 
• recovering from such treatment and we are 
satisfied that the claimant should be treated as 
having limited capability for work and work-
related activity. 
Life threatening disease 
Access JSAPS dialogues JA792 for 
health condition and Special Rules 
The claimant is suffering from a life threatening 
Y/N Indicator. Also, JA510 may 
disease in relation to which:  
give evidence, e.g. “T.I.”, “Sp. 
Rules”, “DS1500” 
• 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. 
Risk to self and others 
Access JSAPS dialogues JA792 for 
health condition & 510 for any notes 
The claimant is suffering from a specific illness, 
for indication.  
disease or disablement by reason of which there would 
be a substantial risk to the physical or mental health of  LMS may also give an indication.  
any person were the claimant is mandated to attend a 
Full time carers 
Access JSAPS dialogue JA761 (ESA 
Claim Details Enquiry – Pick list) - a 
The claimant is providing care for a severely disabled 
‘Y’ next to ‘Other Benefits’ 
person for at least 35 hours a week. A severely disabled  indicates another benefit interest for 
person is defined as someone receiving: 
this claimant. 
• the middle or highest rate of the Disability 
To view the other benefit interest, 
Living Allowance care component; 
enter ‘Y’ in the square brackets next 
to ‘Other Benefits’ and press Enter – 
• Constant Attendance Allowance; 
this will display dialogue JA767 
(Other Benefits). 
• Attendance Allowance; 
In this screen, if the ‘Type’ column 
• either rate of Personal Independence Payment  is ‘08’ this indicates a Carer’s 
daily living component; or 
Allowance interest. The 'For' column 
must contain '01' as this indicates 
• the Armed Forces Independence Payment. 
that it is the claimant, and not 
someone else in the household, is 
• Does not qualify for the Carer Element but 
entitled to Carers Allowance'. 
has significant caring responsibilities of at least 
35 hours a week for a severely disabled 
For those showing as ‘01’ in the 
‘For’ column, if the ‘Rec’d’ column 
contains ‘Y’ (received) or ‘U’ 
• A carer for at least 35 hours a week of a 
(underlying entitlement) then the 
severely disabled person who is awaiting an 
claimant is a Full Time Carer. 
assessment for a severe disability benefit, i.e. 
DLA, PIP, AA or CAA will be placed in this 
group pending that benefit decision. 
Lone parents with a child under one 
Within LMS check whether the LMS 
Parent Marker, is set to ‘Lone’. If 
A lone parent/nominated responsible carer (including a  yes, check the age of the youngest 
foster carer/adoptive parent) of a child under 1. 
child in child details window. 
The child details window is available 
via the CBW Hotspot to the right of 
the status marker, or via the Hotspots 
If the age of the youngest child is 
shown as ‘0’ the claimant has a child 
under age 1. 

A parent who has recently adopted a child 
Not noted on JSAPS.  
An adoptive parent who is the nominated responsible 
CIS or LMS may give an indication. 
carer (lead carer) for a child: - for a period of 12 
months from the date that the child moves into the 
household, or from up to 14 days earlier if the claimant 
Claimants in full time education eg disabled 
Access JSAPS dialogues JA761 for 
health condition & 510 for any 
indication that they are in education.  
Disabled students may qualify for ESA (conts) while 
receiving education as long as they satisfy the basic 
and contributory conditions of entitlement. The only 
full-time students who may be entitled to ESA (IR) 
while they are studying are those who are in receipt of 
DLA/PIP. They have to meet all other conditions of 
entitlement. For the purposes of ESA (IR), someone 
who is entitled to DLA/PIP is not ‘receiving 
Young people without parental support and in full- Consideration should be give to 
time non-advanced education or training 
claimant’s entitlement to Income 
Non-advanced education is any qualification up to A 
Level, or equivalent. A young person with no parental 
support will be able to qualify up to age 21, or the end 
of the academic year in which they reach age 21 (or the 
end of the course if earlier).. 
Pregnancy related issues 
Access JSAPS dialogues JA792 for 
health condition, if states “other” go 
Pregnant within 11 weeks of expected week of 
to 510 for further indication.  
confinement or 15 weeks after her expected date of 
The claimant is a pregnant woman and there is a 
serious risk of damage to her health or to the health of 
her unborn child if she does not refrain attending a 
Claimants at/over Pension Credit age 
Access JSAPS dialogues  
In mixed age couples where one partner is above the 
JA500 –  
State Pension Credit (SPC) qualifying age and the 
other partner is below SPC age, the over SPC age 
At pension age a claimant’s ESA 
partner will have no work related requirements. The 
claim would shut and the claimant 
under SPC age partner will have conditionality based 
would move over to SPC. 
on his or her personal circumstances. 
The claimant has reached the qualifying age for state 

pension credit and is entitled to  
• attendance allowance 
• the care component of disability living 
allowance at the highest rate or  
• the daily living component of personal 
independence payment at the enhanced rate. 
Receiving certain treatments 
Access JSAPS dialogues JA792 for 
health condition and 510 for further 
The claimant is receiving:  
• regular weekly treatment by way of 
hemodialysis for chronic renal failure; 
• treatment by way of plasmapheresis; or 
• regular weekly treatment by way of total 
parenteral nutrition for gross impairment of 
enteric function; or is recovering from any of 
those forms of treatment in circumstances in 
which the Secretary of State is satisfied that the 
claimant should be treated as having limited 
capability for work. 
In hospital or residential care 
Access JSAPS dialogues JA761 for 
health condition and 510 for further 
The claimant is: 
• undergoing medical or other treatment as 
an in-patient in a hospital of similar 
institution; or 
• recovering from such treatment in 
circumstances in which the Secretary of State is 
satisfied that the claimant should be treated as 
having limited capability for work. 
Prevented from working by law (Notifiable 
Access JSAPS dialogues JA792 for 
health condition & 510 for indication  
The claimant: 
LMS conversations may also offer a 
• is excluded or abstains from work pursuant to 
a request or notice in writing lawfully made or 
given under an enactment; or 
• is otherwise prevented from working pursuant 
to an enactment, by reason of it being known or 

reasonably suspected that the claimant is 
infected or contaminated by, or has been in 
contact with a case of, a relevant infection or 
Credits Only 
Access JSAPS dialogue JA504 
(General Enquiry) which will show 
weekly rates of £0.00 for Credits 
Only cases or JA523 (Award Details 
Enquiry) which will show award 
payable of £0.00 for Credits Only 
Claimants whose health and work conversation may need to be 
booked at a later date (Deferral) 
14. For some ESA claimants having the health and work conversation at week four of 
their claim may not be appropriate. However, there is no need to have a health 
and work conversation (HWC), if the work capability assessment is due to take 
place within 3 weeks of the HWC date.  
15. There may be circumstances where a claimant does not fall into an exemption 
category where it is inappropriate to have a Health and Work Conversation at this 
time. Work Coaches may wish to defer the Health and Work Conversation in 
those circumstances. The table below sets out examples where claimants may 
need to have their Health and Work Conversation deferred. This list is not 
Deferral category 
Where to look 
Those who have an 
Any known appointee details are viewed 
Appointee/Personal Acting Bodies or 
using the Claimant Information System (CIS) 
Corporate Acting Bodies 
in the 'Relationship History' screen, or JSAPS 
dialogues JA400, JA500 & JA501. You 
should also check LMS conversation history. 
ESA Claims that are not currently in 
JSAPS dialogue JA504 will be incomplete or 
claim will show as registered not built. 
Claimants that are the victim of domestic 
Access JSAPS JA510. 
LMS conversation may give an indication.  
Any ESA claimant who tells Jobcentre Plus 
that they have been a victim of actual or 
threatened domestic violence is eligible for the 
initial 4 week easement as long as: the 
incident of domestic violence occurred within 
the previous 26 weeks; and it meets the 
definition of domestic violence; and they are 
not living at the same address as the abuser; 
and they have not previously had a period of 
domestic violence easement within the last 12 
Claimants recently bereaved 
Access JSAPS dialogues JA761 for other 

benefits and 510 for further indication.  
Claimants that have recently suffered 
Access JSAPS dialogues JA792 for health 
from trauma (medical or otherwise) 
condition & 510 for indication.  
Claimants on Jury Service 
LMS may give an indication within 
conversation. Before rearranging to a later 
The claimant must contact the Jobcentre  date the claimant must supply proof.  
to say why they are not able to attend the 
Claimants that are temporarily absent 
Access JSAPS dialogues JA792 for health 
for medical treatment 
condition & 510 for indication.  
Booking a health and work conversation  
16. The service delivery support (SDS), or other suitable person must access the 
report from the OPRT and: 

Check for correct office mnemonic: 
• If correct go to step 2 
• If not, message the owning office requesting the case be assigned to 
your office 
• When received take the action below. 

Check if the claimant has ESA in payment:-  
  If yes, go to step 3  
  If not, put a note in LMS conversations stating HWC not needed as 
ESA not in payment. Take no further action or set any pilot markers 
as this will prevent the claimant being included in subsequent reports 

Check if claimant is exempt from the HWC:-  
  If not, go to step 4 
If exempt, put a note in LMS conversation  
Note: If it is unclear if a claimant is exempt consult a team leader for advice. 

Check LMS markers and conversation history and the Staff Protection List 
for reasonable adjustments then make appropriate arrangement if necessary 

Telephone the claimant to: 
  check all personal details are correct  
  agree a convenient date/time to attend the jobcentre – ask them to 
come in 10 minutes before their appointment  
  confirm any special requirements a claimant may have so that they 
can attend the HWC, e.g. do they need to bring someone with them, 

do they need child care or travel costs  
  explain the purpose of the HWC and that their attendance and 
participation is mandatory. When explaining sanctions be sensitive to 
potentially vulnerable claimants particularly those with mental health 
conditions / learning difficulties – be clear about responsibilities and 
consequences but tailor your approach to the individual  
  explain that it is not part of the work capability assessment (WCA) (If 
you do have a WCA, the details of your health and work conversation 
will not be shared with the healthcare professional that carries out 
your assessment)  
  tell them that their work coach will call them 2 days before the HWC 
to introduce themselves  
  ensure where possible we have the claimants correct mobile number, 
or a alternative number they can be contacted on at a pre arranged 

Book a 40 minute HWC in the LMS diary for a work coach as a mandatory 
HWC using interview type Health and Work Conversation (HWC)  

Book a 10 minute LMS Interview type HWC Pre- call in. This call must take 
place 2 days before the HWC and wherever possible must be with the same 
work coach that is doing the HWC 

Send ESAHWC1 invitation letter to claimant notifying date and time of the 

On the day before HWC, send SMS text reminder. If a claimant does not 
have a mobile phone, telephone them to remind them of the date and time  
Booking a health and work conversation without contacting the claimant  
17. If you are unable to contact the claimant by telephone record your 
attempts/reason in LMS conversations, book a HWC and pre HWC call without 
contacting the claimant and send the invitation letter ESA HWC1 giving date and 
time of appointment. 
18. For more information see booking an interview  
Health and work conversation preview 
19. As part of the Jobcentre Plus commitment to safeguard vulnerable claimants, as 
well as reducing FTA rates, there are a few activities that must take place 2 days 
before a claimant’s HWC, to ensure the claimant is more likely to attend. The 
work coach must: 

Check if the claimant’s ESA is in payment:  
  If yes, go to step 2  
  If not, put a note LMS conversation, cancel the appointment and 
notify the claimant by phone, email or text.  

Check if claimant is exempt from the HWC: 
  If not, go to step 3  
  If exempt, note LMS conversation, cancel the appointment and notify 
the claimant by phone, email or text.  

Telephone the claimant: 
  make introductions,  
  confirm date, time and location of conversation, ask them to come in 
10 minutes before their appointment time  
  confirm any special requirements a claimant may have so that they 
can attend the HWC, e.g. do they need to bring someone with them, 
do they need child care or travel costs  
  explain the purpose of the HWC and that their attendance and 
participation is required. When explaining sanctions be sensitive to 
potentially vulnerable claimants  
  if any new circumstances come to light that means the claimant does 
not need to attend the HWC, cancel the appointment and note LMS 
conversation. Notify the service centre of any relevant change in 
circumstances via Handover Telephony Tool  
  more information see instructions on telephone contact 
Conducting the health and work conversation 
20. When the claimant attends a HWC, they will have been told to come in 10 
minutes before their appointment time. During this time, they may be asked to 
complete the “About Me” part of the HWC1 booklet.  
21. Before the conversation conduct a final check in LMS for potentially violent 
markers and any new information noted in conversations.  
22. During the HWC the work coach must: 

Discuss the “About Me” part of the HWC1 booklet  

Discuss the HWC5 My Values part of the HWC1 booklet with the claimant.  

Complete the remaining parts of the HWC1 booklet with the claimant and 
offer the completed booklet to the claimant to take away with them. 
Work coach – see HWC1(WC) which is for use by the work coach only, it 
provides instructions for the work coach to guide the claimant through each 
part of the HWC.  

Discuss the help available to the claimant. Use the district provision tool and 
flexible support  

Complete an LMS action plan  
Note: any actions agreed are voluntary 

If required, arrange a date and time for a follow up HWC and give the 
claimant a voluntary appointment letter  

After the HWC, send ESA HWC4 letter to claimant, confirming the 
voluntary actions agreed with the claimant 

Note LMS by: 
a) Select pilot marker titled ‘CC & HWC’ 
b) Select stage value – Part HWC ONLY 
Update notepad (if required) 
23. Full details on preparing for and conducting flexible interventions is available in 
the WFI Process and Supporting Tools for Advisers and ATMs guidance. 
Claimant fails to attend  
24. When a claimant fails to attend a health and work conversation (HWC), the work 
coach must consider whether the claimant has shown good cause for not 
25. In LMS mark the interview as failed to attend, telephone the claimant to find out 
why they didn’t attend, and consider if they have good cause. Note LMS as 

Select pilot marker titled ‘CC & HWC’ 

Select stage value – Part HWC ONLY 

Update notepad 

Follow existing business as usual (BAU) process 
26. If you are unable to contact the claimant, consider raising a doubt as to whether 
they have good cause. See unable to contact claimant 
Contact made good cause accepted  
27. If the claimant shows good cause for not attending: 

Re-book the HWC  

Record in LMS conversations 
Note: the claimant may have provided new information that shows they are exempt. Make a 
note of this in LMS conversation and cancel HWC.  
Contact made good cause not accepted, but claimant prepared to 

Note: For the group of claimants invited to a Health and Work conversation certain 
easements have been allowed to encourage re-engagement following an initial FTA. 

28. If you make contact with the claimant and they are unable to provide good cause, 
but are prepared to attend a rebooked H&W C, no further DMA activity should be 
taken at this point.  
29. There is no need to raise a doubt, although the interview should have been 
marked as FTA.  
30. Rearrange the interview for as soon as possible, agreeing the time with the 
claimant, and emphasise that it is really important that the claimant attends, 
emphasising the purpose of the meeting, and the potential for a sanction. 
31. Note LMS conversations, detailing that ‘claimant FTA 1st Health and Work 
Conversation without good cause – prepared to re-engage so no DMA action 
32. This easement should only be applied on one occasion where no good cause has 
been shown. If a further FTA without good cause occurs then follow ‘Contact 
made good cause not accepted, claimant not prepared to rebook, or second 
failure without good cause(LINK) 
33. This easement applies to Health and Work Conversations only, not to NJWFIs, or 
mandatory flexible interviews for WRAG claimants. 
Contact made good cause not accepted, claimant not prepared to 
rebook, or second failure without good cause 
34. If the claimant shows no good cause for not attending and is not prepared to 

Raise a doubt on LMS. This will send the FTA/FTP letter allow 7 working 
days for contact to be made by claimant 

Complete DART stencil, detailing why good cause is not accepted  

Refer completed DART stencil and ESA claim to LM DM to make sanction 
Unable to contact claimant 
35. If you are unable to contact the claimant by phone: 

Send in the post Failed To Attend letter and ESA10 to claimant; allow 7 
working days for contact to be made by claimant Set a LMS workflow.  

If contact made and good cause accepted, see Contact made good cause 

If no contact is made, consider arranging a safe guard visit  
If after home visit, good cause is accepted, see Contact made good cause 
If after home visit, good cause is not accepted, see Contact made good cause 
not accepted 

Claimant fails to participate  
36. If a claimant fails to participate (FTP), in every case, try to establish the reason 
why, consider their current circumstances and/or health condition (including their 
vulnerable status) before deciding whether to attempt to re-engage them. 
37. Explain that participation is mandatory and what will happen if they fail to do so, 
such as a possible sanction. 
38. For more information see fails to attend/participate instructions. 
39. If they still FTP in the intervention:  

End the conversation and record the reasons in LMS 

Send in the post FTP letter and ESA10 to claimant, allow 7 working days for 
contact to be made by claimant. Raise a doubt in LMS  

If contact made and good cause accepted, see Contact made good cause 

If no contact is made, arrange safe guard visit to claimant  
If after home visit, good cause is accepted, see Contact made good cause 
If after home visit, good cause is not accepted, see Contact made good cause 
not accepted 
Flexible Menu of Support 
40. Discuss support and tools available to them and agree what would be suitable to 
help them build motivation and prepare for or improve their prospects of moving 
closer to work.  
41. Support on offer to claimants can differ and work coaches must utilise their 
District Provision Tool when conducting these conversations. In addition to 
localised support there are a number of national initiatives that they have access 
to for example:  
  Work Clubs,  
  Working Together,  
  Enterprise Clubs,  
  Work Choice,  
  Health Related Support,  
  National Careers Service,  
  Work Trials,  
  Work experience and work placements for ESA claimants,  
  Permitted work  
  Volunteering, and  
  Troubled Families.  
  list is not exhaustive.