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%)

Age

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.

Legal decisions

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.

And if you have already been through the PIP claims process in relation to ADD/ADHD, we'd love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Anon · 1 months ago
    An absolute appalling system.
    My son is diagnosed with adhd, anxiety and depression (he's 20). It effects his daily life. He has been trying for over a year to claim pip. They mixed his claim up with someone else (six months into his claim), then when that was sorted he was awarded nothing. 0 points. Yet he lives in supported accommodation and has all documents for proof of conditions etc. Even his support workers have helped with his claim and said they don't understand why he's scored 0.
    After appealing their desicion and his claim going to the tribunal, he has found out today he has lost his appeal. It's an absolute joke. I mean the fact he lives in supported accommodation must score him some points, let alone the fact he has anxiety and depression on top of adhd? I Just don't get it?
    So, back to square one of trying to claim.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    ZiLla · 1 months ago
    I just been awarded pip for adhd and asd. I have no idea what to expect being on pip other than im able to start a path to helping myself rather then helping others 

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    Astee · 1 months ago
    On a move to pip from dla at  hr care and low rate mobility on turning 16, my son was awarded 0 points and the same on MR.+ for PIP. On appeal he was awarded a total of 24pts(14 care 10mobility) This descision was changed over the phone by dwp to prevent me taking the appeal to tribunal. I am allowed to appeal this descision, (which I know from this site) but the person who called me did not tell me this and I was led to believe that if I accepted this that was the end of the appeal, and if I did not accept this I would have to go to tribunal which could take months - their words- clearly trying to put me off. I accepted the appeal and the promptly I  appealed it as I feel he should have scored 12 point on the mobility. Please please please don't be afraid to appeal guys. 
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    Ppt · 2 months ago
    Wondering how successful people have been with mobility. I suffer with severe anxiety and depression. I an currently under assessment for either peronality disorder or ADHD I can not travel on public transports and heavily rely on car to allow me to leave my home. My car was recently stolen and was wondering if it would be worth reapplying for mobility?
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Raph · 2 months ago
      @Ppt I have ADHD, cPTSD, severe depression & anxiety.

      I get HR Daily Living; SR Mobility atm – missed the HR by 2 points, so have submitted an appeal – just nervously awaiting Court Tribunal date. 

      Yes, it's worth applying, but (if relevant) be sure you focus on Q13 descriptor 1f. "Cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid". 12 points.

      Without focusing on and fulfilling the criteria for this element of Q13, you may get SR Mobility, but not HR, as the next descriptor level down (1e) gives you 10 pts – not enough for HR. 

      This changes of course, if you additionally have a physical condition which precludes you from walking set amounts of distance that's Q14, where you may pick up some more points depending on your symptoms.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Danielle · 2 months ago
      @Ppt I’m diagnosed both adhd combined and borderline personality disorder, I currently get enchanced mobility because I can not travel on public transport I rely on taxis or other people all the time
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Man with ADHD · 3 months ago
    The system is so corrupt. I have ADHD/ASD and the sheer stress I'm under with my ADHD because I have no support, I can't tidy, can't cook, everything is a damn struggle and what does the government say? "Go to work" if only they knew how hard it is >_<
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Jerry R · 1 months ago
      @Paul. I have never read anything more relatable than this, you summed up my whole life and fears in one comment. I hope you appeal it!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Paul. · 1 months ago
      @Gilly Robinson I tried to claim with adhd as I was diagnosed and was told I don't need any help. 

      I lost my IT job due to medical reasons, can't deal with money, forget appointments, can't mind if I've taken my meds... he'll can't event drink a warm cup of tea most times due to distractions.

      Constantly losing things, feeling frustrated and stupid and time itself often seems to vanish for no reason.

      I'm on controlled medication to help with the symptoms which help mostly with me actually feeling like I'm on the same planet as my kids but have their own issues in particular messing my sleep routines and killing any creativity I had.

      I would be totally lost without my awesome wife who sadly does most og the adulting as I'm not really capable.
      I'm scared shewill eventually not be able to live with me and all the issues.

      But still the PiP people said I'm perfectly fine and offered me no help.

      Trying to claim PiP with ADHF is a disaster, as is even getting my medication as pharmacys and doctors require ME who can't remember stuff to order them when needed instead of getting a repeat perscription and a text to let me know it's ready.

      The system needs a lot of work, it took 42Years for me to even start getting help as 8 years ago I was simply told adults don't get ADHD and sent home.

      A life of struggling with life, jobs and such and still getting forced off as they dont take it seriously.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Gilly Robinson · 1 months ago
      @Raph "A combination of shame and overwhelm can prevent us from getting the very support we sorely need": it's that perfect storm that holds everything in the life of us ADHDers to ransom.  Thanks for summing it up so neatly.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Raph · 2 months ago
      @Man with ADHD Hi Man with ADHD.

      I'm in a similar situation to you.  Highly recommend you get some structured support in place:
      1. Ask for a Care Needs Assessment from your local SS Adult Mental Health team
      2. Refer yourself to your local Citizens Advice and get remote support completing your PIP application.
      3. I have been there – am not swimming yet, but no longer drowning - I'm kind of bobbing about on the surface like a distracted turd.  Happy to share my PIP answers if it helps. PM me.

      Above all, you need and deserve support with all this.  It's merde doing it all alone, but a combination of shame and overwhelm can prevent us from getting the very support we sorely need.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jan · 3 months ago
    Refused twice now for my son who has asd and adhd. Awful system 
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      Gilly Robinson · 1 months ago
      @Gilly Robinson Incidentally, when I said (above) that I was able to 'tidy up' the Citizen's Advice worker's answers, I meant I was able to apply all the advice (relevant to our situation) contained in the B&W's PIP guide.  This was enormously helpful.  The two (CAB and B&W) together was definitely what made all the difference in my daughter being awarded PIP (enhanced for both).  I am so, so grateful to B&W for their excellent, clear guide.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Gilly Robinson · 1 months ago
      @Caroline Absolutely agree.  The CA worker was hugely helpful with my application for my daughter (who is autistic, though you'd never know it).  I have ADHD and struggled enormously with trying to get through the paperwork.

      The woman from CA helped me recognise all sorts of daily living issues that I'd never really considered for my daughter (I guess I'd just got accustomed to stuff), then typed up what we'd discussed into DWP speak, and sent it through to me.  Having then got something usable in front of me, I was then able to 'tidy it up', clarify further points etc and send it in.  

      Still took me a month of Sundays to gather all the evidence and photocopy it, but I did it.  Got enhanced rate for both daily living and mobility!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Raph · 2 months ago
      @Caroline I second this.
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      Caroline · 2 months ago
      @Jan Go to citizens advice I did.  And it worked 
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    JaneyJ · 5 months ago
    PIP paperwork does not load, no email access to ask why
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    MissieC · 5 months ago
    And my diagnosis were gi en by Maudleys Hospital and King's college of psychiatry
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    MissieC · 5 months ago
    I Have multiple conditions including physical conditions including Autism and ADHD but still only get a standard rate of care ..
    No matter how much evidence I show that I need more..
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      Raph · 2 months ago
      @MissieC Speak to the benefits advisors at your local CAB.  They will help you get this sorted.  It's difficult to tell without seeing your answers to PIP2, but if you already have loads of evidence, then the only thing missing must be you're not expressing – either in enough detail or clearly enough – how it affects you day-to-day.
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    Lop · 5 months ago
    This is very useful, thank you so much from a recently diagnosed adult (age 32) with ADHD.
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    Tiggy Sagar · 5 months ago
    Will the DWP accept an Autism diagnosis if it's not from the NHS, but an established private assessor?
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Rob · 2 months ago
      @Tiggy Sagar Is the private assessor an actual registered doctor/psychiatrist? If so you can get diagnosis privately and request your private doctor to complete a shared care plan with your GP. The GP will accept the diagnosis and it will then be registered with the NHS - depending on your local trusts facilities available you may also get assistance from the NHS too
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    Asbo · 5 months ago
    I'm sure it is mainly from older people who got a diagnosis late in life. My GP has just referred me for autism assessment (it can take 12 months) and one of the conditions that is associated with autism is ADHD which those of us of a certain age grew up with thinking it didn't apply to them (same with autism). A lot of the original diagnoses were based on male children. So if you're a female adult in her 60s like me then you will have missed out. Fortunately there's a lot more awareness now. It is a neurological condition.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Naoise · 22 days ago
      @Asbo Thanks for heads up. I'm 69yo and waiting for ADHD assessment. You're the first ADHD adult I've come across in her 60s! I think there's a lot of us about. On Tuesday (19th July) I have a PIP telephone assessment for a number of disabilities but not ADHD as not yet officially diagnosed. I will mention it's coming up. I've been on DLA (for life!) continuously since early 1990s and they decided a year ago to tip me into the PIP bin. Fingers crossed.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Maggie P · 5 months ago
    I recently represented a client at her telephone PIP appeal hearing. She had scored no points whatsoever on her PIP application.
    I am pleased to report that the Tribunal Panel showed great understanding of the challenges of living with ADHD, depression and anxiety and how inability to focus on tasks and impulsiveness affect all areas of life.
    My client was awarded 15 points for the daily living descriptors and 10 points for the planning and following a journey aspect of the mobility component.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Astee · 1 months ago
      @Gilly Robinson Enhanced care, standard mobility, have written a post about it, should be up soon! Thanks 😊
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Astee · 1 months ago
      @Raph Phone call from dwp offered enhanced Daily living - 14 points standard mobility - 10 points. Accepted and the immediately appealed against standard mobility as their reasoning for that was 'he needs assistance on a familiar journey, but this is due to leg pain' but agreed he needed help on unfamiliar journey because of  becoming anxious and overwhelmed - apparently his legs are fine on those journeys! not sure how having someone with him would help with leg pain? Honestly, do they even read these forms? 
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      Gilly Robinson · 1 months ago
      @Jade How did your son get on after the MR, Jade?  I hope you got good news, but it would be useful to know what happened either way.
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      Paul. · 1 months ago
      @Maggie P You sound like the hero many of us with ADHD need.
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      Raph · 2 months ago
      @Jade How did you/your son get on?  Professor Russell Barkley (YouTube - fab) talks specifically about why video games precisely work for those with ADHD when little else does.  I think his videos might be very helpful in forming any additional responses you need to make so as they 'get it', because atm they really *really* don't.  The name attention deficit doesn't help of course.  It's not a deficit; it's an inability to regulate attention - we're either all-in, or all-out.  Nothing in between!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Lorraine Freeman · 5 months ago
    My son got DLA from when he was 7 but when he applied for PIP he got zero points.
    He sleeps in the same clothes as he wears for a whole week sometimes longer.
    He doesn't eat regularly due to being engrossed in other things.
    He has difficulty preparing foods due to poor hand control.
    He is finding it more and more difficult to eat and to speak clearly as he has so many missing and broken teeth . This is due to his poor hygiene and he also feels it will be better to have all his teeth out and have false ones.
    He also suffers from depression but won't engage in talking therapies which is what is promoted in our area.
    He is not on any medication so doesn't receive any support from any one . He also works part-time.
    We had help from our local CAB to fill in the form but as I said received zero points. This was a few years ago and he doesn't see the point in trying to claim again.
    It's all so wrong!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Raph · 2 months ago
      @Lorraine Freeman Lorraine - PM me if you see this.  From what you've described, your son absolutely should be receiving wraparound help and support -  not only via PIP, but from his GP, and Adult Social Care, (I find CMHT largely useless when it comes to adhd, unfort).
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Deborah Rea · 5 months ago
    I would be interested in hearing if anyone has Schizophrenia AND ADHD. My adult son was diagnosed with both in the USA but was never given medication for ADHD (only for Schizophrenia) and when he came here (went through the EU Ssttlement Scheme's exceptional circulates as he needed to be cared for) I got him PIP, first at standard rate and then Enhanced. He was recently re-assessed for Adult ADHD and is now on a new medication specifically for ADHD. Therefore his circumances have changed. Am waiting to see if he will get more money.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Gen · 5 months ago
    Hello. I've just recently been awarded PIP but it was a total of 3 disabling issues (hearing loss in both ears, cancer which is now in remission hopefully, and ADHD). I'm a 46 year old woman who has been seeking diagnosis for years of ADHD. I finally got it in October after 3 years in a process with the NHS. I think this article provides some quite strong advice and when i completed my form is was mostly ADHD that gave me issues with daily living and I can't add much more to this article than already stated as the examples of how it affects our lives makes sense and mostly reflect my troubles. I would encourage people to think about their worst days and how things pan out. And quite rightly sometimes we have amazing days because we are in a hyperfocus which then causes chaos with eating timetables, paying bills on time, remembering to wash the dishes etc. Then the bad days (for me) are similar but my inattention and lows steal my ability to complete daily living tasks. Good luck to everyone applying, i have certainly used the PIP for things to support me such as prepared meals, a diet coach, accountability apps and a cleaner too avoid living in a mess xx
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Lynn Shirra · 5 months ago
    I got DLA for ADHD, in 2004. Also diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome then - I was 46. I suffered significant issues all my life and was severely depressed. I was initially turned down for DLA because my sole diagnosis was depression. However, I went to an appeal, and while waiting, got my further diagnosis! I eventually got a lifetime award! Transferred onto PIP but since then have developed very severe arthritis and osteoporosis. At face to face assessment got exactly the same award as I had, despite my care needs increasing. Went to mandatory reconsideration in 2017 and got 10 year award of Enhanced rate for both components. My condition is expected to get worse, so I cannot see that changing. I live in Scotland, so I will be transferring onto Adult Disability Payment from August 2022. No more DWP or face to face assessments, thankfully! Advice I would give to anyone with ADHD, don't give up! Go all the to appeal if you need to!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Gilly Robinson · 1 months ago
      @Lynn Shirra Lynn, so pleased to hear your success story.

      Can I ask, though: what is your working memory like?  Mine is atrocious, which means that when it comes to explaining myself (eg by giving examples of daily difficulties) my mind draws a blank.  

      If you were to ask me about anything I'd done in my life, unless you gave me examples yourself that might trigger a memory of me doing something similar, I would give a very poor account of myself, and you would infer that I actually hadn't done XYZ - or experienced XYZ in the case of ADHD - and therefore not believe a word I said.  

      One area where this becomes obvious is with Covid.  I obviously experienced life under Covid (just like almost everybody worldwide!), yet if you asked me for how it impacted me, or what changed in my life during Covid, I wouldn't be able to give you examples.  Yet I obviously *did* live during the pandemic, I just can't tell you much about it!

      What this ramble is trying to get at is, while I might (with loads of input from CAB and the B&W guide) be able to pull together some reasonable account of my daily living difficulties (and some of my mobility ones) with ADHD to complete the PIP form, albeit over months of procrastinating, losing my notes, going off on a tangent etc, I wouldn't be able to back this up in person at an assessment (either by phone or in person, and/or at a tribunal).

      I was diagnosed with ADHD in 2015 (aged 52), following a dx of dyspraxia in 2011, and had to give up work in 2016 following worsening mental health and a lack of my employer being able to put in the reasonable adjustments I needed.

      Any suggestions, please?  I am bright and intelligent (as are so many with ADHD) and to an outsider I appear very capable, albeit rather chaotic and 'unprofessional'.  I don't take meds after trialling methylphenidate, dexamfetamine and lisdexamfetamine, all to top dose and all with little effect (probably because of my age and peri menopause).  My prescribing nurse at the time was loath to prescribe non-stimulants because of the horrible side effects he had seen time and again patients he had treated over the years.  To an assessor not very familiar with ADHD, the fact I am not being medicated would indicate my ADHD is not severe.  (Also, I gave up on antidepressants for my depression and anxiety because of side effects.)

      Thank you in advance.

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