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Claiming PIP For Adults With ADD/ADHD

February 24, 2022

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

One of the most visited threads on the Benefits and Work forum is a six year old one about claiming PIP for adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

We suspect that many of these visitors are parents looking for information as their child makes the transition from DLA to PIP.

But others may be adults who have had a diagnosis later in life and are trying to discover if there is financial help available in relation to a condition that may have had a profound effect on every aspect of their life.

So, we’ve put together some statistics and other information which we hope will at least demonstrate that there really is a good chance of getting an award of PIP for ADD/ADHD.

And, in fact, if you do get an award, there’s a very good chance it will be at an enhanced rate for at least one component.

PIP claimants with ADD/ADHD

In total, there are 37,784 PIP claimants with ADD/ADHD listed as their main disabling condition according to the DWP’s own statistics.

For comparison, there are 127,399 awards for Autistic Spectrum Disorders and 7,968 for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

In reality, there are probably a great many more claimants for whom ADD/ADHD is a very important factor.  But often a co-existing condition such as depression or anxiety will be selected as their main disabling condition by health professionals who have little experience of ADD/ADHD.

Success rate

The average success rate for all assessed claims for PIP is 53%. 

For ADD/ADHD the success rate is 49%. 

So, a little bit lower than average, but still almost half of all claimants with ADD/ADHD get an award.

Award rates

Almost everyone who gets PIP for ADD/ADHD gets an award of the daily living component and two thirds get an award of the mobility component.

34% get the enhanced rates of both components.

  • Enhanced daily living 26,699 (71%)
  • Standard daily living 10,200  (27%)
  • Enhanced mobility 14,030 (37%)
  • Standard mobility 11,502 (31%)


Awards are very heavily skewed towards younger claimants, with almost 70% being under 25 years old.

Fewer than 2% are aged 50 or over.

Again, this probably reflects the fact that diagnosis is much more likely in children and that the condition is more likely to be identified now than it was even a few decades ago.

Reasons for awards

There are no statistics which show which activities and descriptors PIP claimants with ADD/ADHD scored points for.

But, because PIP is awarded not because of your condition, but because of the way it affects your daily living and mobility then every claim will be different in any case.

The best way to establish whether you might be eligible for PIP on the basis of ADD/ADHD is to look through this list of PIP activities and think about the ways that your condition affects your ability to carry them out.

  • Preparing food
  • Taking nutrition
  • Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition
  • Washing and bathing
  • Managing toilet needs or incontinence
  • Dressing and undressing
  • Communicating verbally
  • Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words
  • Engaging with other people face-to-face
  • Making budgeting decisions
  • Planning and following journeys
  • Moving around

Remember that you need to be able to complete the activities

  • to a reasonable standard,
  • safely,
  • repeatedly
  • no more than twice as long as it would take a person without a health condition.

Below are some examples of the issues that you might have.

Being easily distracted, a tendency to procrastinate and difficulties with organizing tasks may cause problems in relation to preparing food, washing and bathing and dressing and undressing. Tasks may not get started, you may start but not complete them or they may take you more than twice as long as people without a health condition.

A tendency to hyperfocus may affect activities like taking nutrition, if you become so engrossed in things that you forget to eat. 

Forgetfulness and disorganization may cause problems with managing medication or therapy.

Being impulsive may make budgeting a real problem.

Engaging with other people may be a challenge because of difficulties with turn taking, maintaining concentration and keeping to a topic during conversations.

Planning and following journeys may be challenging because of impulsivity, poor concentration and anxiety.

There has been very little case law so far in relation to ADD/ADHD and PIP. 

But in DP v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (PIP): [2017] UKUT 156 (AAC) an upper tribunal judge held that a claimant with ADHD who selected previously worn clothes rather than clean ones and failed to change their underwear from one day to the next might score points for dressing and undressing.

The judge also held that even if the claimant was able to plan their finances effectively they could score points for making budgeting decisions if they then, due to impulsiveness caused by ADHD, spent their money on something else entirely.

Next steps

If you do think you may qualify for PIP because of ADD/ADHD it would be worth trying our free PIP test to see how you score yourself.

If you don’t score yourself enough points, still consider trying to get advice from a welfare rights worker about whether you might qualify.

If you do assess yourself as scoring enough points, the Benefits and Work guides will take you step-by-step through the entire process of making a claim and, if necessary pursuing an appeal.

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