This blog attempts to answer queries regarding benefits available for children and adults suffering from ADHD- (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) as well as for their caregivers. 

Much of the benefits available fall under the broader rubric of social security for disabilities, rather than specific grants for ADHD itself. This situation is applicable in the case of many other disorders as well such as autism and dyslexia. 

Can you claim benefits for ADHD ? 

Yes, children and adults suffering from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) can claim benefits by applying under the broader classifications of disabilities and/or special educational needs. 

This will make them eligible for benefits such as DLA- Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments (PIP). It could also enable the caregivers to claim additional benefits such as Child Tax Credits depending upon the nature and the requirements of the situation. 

What is ADHD ? Is it classified as a Disorder ? 

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), is considered a disability by the government of the United Kingdom and the governmental benefits systems takes it into account amongst other disorders. 

Moreover, private colleges and universities as well as schools make their own arrangements to enable students with ADHD to cope and to ensure maximum assistance and provisions to enable their further progress. 

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), is characterized  by an inability to concentrate, restlessness,  lack of attention for considerable time periods and hyperactivity or anxious impulsiveness, amongst other symptoms. These often begin in early childhood and could even last up to and through certain phases of adulthood. 

In a majority of the cases, adults with ADHD have suffered/been diagnosed through childhood. Most times, the symptoms will reduce or disappear as the person ages. 

There are exceptions, however, where it persists through adulthood or where adults with no prior diagnosis are found to have developed ADHD. It is thus important for all concerned patients to receive irrespective of the age of the first diagnosis or the longevity of the persistent symptoms. 

Benefits Available for Children with ADHD 

If a child with ADHD is under 16 years of age and has difficulty moving around or requires more attention and assistance than a child of similar age without a disorder, then he/she/they are eligible for the DLA (Disability Living Allowance) benefit. The DLA can be claimed irrespective of whether the parent is employed or out of work i.e. it is non-means tested. 

Claiming the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is subject to certain conditions : 

  • Individual must be below 16 years of age 
  • Residence requirements- e.g. Habitual Resident in U.K. or other European Economic Area (EEA) countries
  • If the child is older than 3 years, they must have resided in the U.K. for at 6 months prior to the year in which the benefit is claimed and if it he/she/they are younger than 6 months , they must have resided in the country for at least 3 months

The DLA follows the same rules as for other similar neuropsychological disorders or other disabilities such as autism or dyslexia etc. It comprises a care component and a mobility component. 

DLA payments comprise 2 different categories, which themselves are segregated in levels. The table below illustrates the provisions. 

Care componentHow much (weekly)
Higher rate£89.60
Middle rate£60.00
Lower rate£23.70
Mobility componentHow much (weekly)
Higher rate£23.70

Care Component of DLA 

  • The higher rate provides for children who require care and supervision throughout the day and night , along with children who are terminally ill and not expected to live beyond 6 months. 
  • On the contrary, if the child needs care only for some hours of the day or night or requires renal dialysis, then the middle band applies 
  • The lowest band applied for children who only need a few or one hour of care during the day

Mobility Component of DLA – which has only two bands, unlike the care component 

  • The high rate is for children who are 3 and above who face severe physical difficulties such as inability to walk, lack of arms or legs, deafness or blindness etc. which puts them in extreme danger in the absence of a caretaker. 

This compensation band also applies to children with significant mental impairment or learning disabilities, that could cause them  to engage in disruptive or self-destructive behaviour thus necessitating constant supervision. 

  • The low rate applies to children who are 5 and above and are mobile, but still find it difficult to navigate by themselves or lose direction etc. i.e. they lack the mobility skills a similar child of the same age would possess if they weren’t autistic. 

These provisions are different for residents of Dundee City, Perth and the Western Isles where the child receives benefits under the Child Disability Payment. Rules also alter for countries other than the U.K. and Switzerland. 

For more information on the eligibilities of various nationalities, residence and age requirements, please visit – Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Benefits for Adults with ADHD

Once an individual with ADHD crosses the age of 16, they can no longer apply for DLA. They must apply under the Personal Independence Payment (PIP),  or they may claim the Attendance Allowance if they attain the minimum age for the State Pension Plan, and are not currently claiming any Disability Living Allowance (DLA). 

* Many people incorrectly assume that it is difficult to obtain DLA for children without physical disabilities. However, it is available for a range of mental illnesses and learning disabilities as well as neurological or behavioral problems as well. 

All that is required is to illustrate that your child has more problems and requires greater attention and assistance compared to other children of the same age in completing or commencing daily/routine tasks. For more information , please refer- Check if you can get DLA for your child – Citizens Advice

Mandatory Support from Educational Institutions 

In order to provide for children who have learning difficulties, the Children and Families Act was legislated in 2014, to provide for institutional support and facilities under Special Education Needs (SEN).  Disorders categorized under SEN include : 

  • ADHD 
  • Autism (including Asperger’s Syndrome)
  • Dyslexia
  • Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (EBD) 
  • Epilepsy and/or Cerebral Palsy 
  • Other communication or mobility issues 

These children tend to have difficulties doing regular school tasks such as reading and writing or communicating. They may have mobility issues or cannot behave in a certain manner. They could be extra sensitive to certain stimuli or unresponsive to others. 

Hence schools/nurseries/colleges are expected to have a dedicated department for Special Education Needs , ensuring the following conditions are met : 

  • An information report or plan for the different arrangements and facilities being provided or planned to be initiated 
  • Ensuring a designated and qualified individual to coordinate the department 
  • Promoting greater access, engagement, mainstreaming etc of  special needs children with other children. And involving the parents in all stages of these processes
  • Activities and facilities catered to the requirements of special needs children, their support and promotion 

For more information on the services educational institutions must provide, kindly refer to – Special Educational Needs (childlawadvice.org.uk)

This blog has attempted to answer questions on the availability of benefits for children or adults suffering from ADHD, and if the parents can claim any benefits as well. The benefits such as Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payments fall under the broader rubric of social security benefits for disabled individuals. 

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us and leave your message. We welcome your input. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Can you claim benefits for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ) ?  

Is ADHD considered a “Disorder” in the U.K. ? 

Yes, ADHD is certainly categorized and recognized as a disability in the United Kingdom and therefore schools, colleges or places of work must make the necessary adjustments to ensure that children, adolescents or adults suffering from ADHD are not hindered in their education or professional progress. 

*In the United Kingdom, ADHD is also referred to clinically as Hyperkinetic Disorder. 

 For further information kindly refer to (ADHD in adults | Royal College of Psychiatrists (rcpsych.ac.uk)).  In addition it is classified as a neurodevelopmental mental health disorder or a neurobehavioral condition by the National Health Society (NHS) of the United Kingdom. 

How long will it take for the child to get a diagnosis ? 

The NHS system attempts to balance promptness with efficacy and accuracy of the diagnosis. Hence the first step is to consult a General Practitioner. The GP will assess the child and wait for a period of 10 weeks to evaluate the progress or lack thereof and then make a decision whether or not to refer the child to a specialist neurologist for further probing and diagnosis.

Most children are diagnosed with ADHD between the ages of 6 to 12 years. However, adults with no prior history may also be diagnosed and children diagnosed with ADHD may continue to exhibit symptoms well into adulthood.  

The specialist’s evaluation process for both adults and children will last around 3 hours approximately, after which the assessment will be given finality. For more information please refer to – Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – Diagnosis – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

What percentage of the population suffers from ADHD in the U.K. ? 

Also clinically diagnosed and referred to as Hyperkinetic Disorder, ADHD affects between 3-5% of the child population in the U.K. and close to 2% of the adult population. It has been noted in studies  that males are more susceptible to the disorder than females. 

What if my General Practitioner refuses to refer me to an ADHD Specialist ?

You should approach a different GP. GPs are not permitted to make such assessments, only the trained and qualified ADHD specialists can effectively rule out or diagnose you with the illness. It is not acceptable for the GP to make a final conclusion. As long as you have valid reasons for wanting a referral with a specialist, the GP has to comply; hence, a change of doctor is recommended. 

What happens if I don’t have an ADHD Specialist in my area and the local Clinical Commissioning Group refuses to compensate me for an out-of-area assessment by a specialist ? 

There are a number of possible solutions : 

  • Enlist the help of support groups in the area to challenge and appeal the decision of the CCG 
  • The Independent Complaints Advocacy Service(ICAS) can also assist in the appeals process and their help can be solicited. The contact numbers of such services in different areas are publicly available
  • Local representatives such as the area MP (Member of Parliament), can also be requested for assistance and to exert influence to obtain the requisite funding and logistical assistance 

For further information on this matter, you are requested to refer- FAQs | AADD-UK (aadduk.org)

References 

  1. Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children. (n.d.). GOV.UK. https://www.gov.uk/disability-living-allowance-children
  2. Benefits for son with ADHD. (2014, April 22). The Mix. https://www.themix.org.uk/money/benefits/benefits-for-son-with-adhd-9231.html#:~:text=It%27s%20possible%20for%20a%20child
  3. Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for adults. (n.d.). GOV.UK. https://www.gov.uk/dla-disability-living-allowance-benefit
  4. Check if you can get DLA for your child. (n.d.). Www.citizensadvice.org.uk. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/disability-living-allowance/before-you-claim-dla/check-if-you-can-get-dla/
  5. ADD/ADHD Information Sheets – Claiming Disability Living Allowance & Other Social Security Benefits. (n.d.). Www.adders.org.uk. Retrieved October 3, 2021, from http://www.adders.org.uk/info12.htm
  6. ADHD in adults | Royal College of Psychiatrists. (n.d.). RC PSYCH ROYAL COLLEGE of PSYCHIATRISTS. https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mental-health/problems-disorders/adhd-in-adults
  7. ADHD and mental health. (n.d.). ADHD Aware. Retrieved October 3, 2021, from https://adhdaware.org.uk/what-is-adhd/adhd-and-mental-health/
  8. FAQs. (2011, March 31). AADD-UK. https://aadduk.org/faq/
  9. Special Educational Needs. (2014). Childlawadvice.org.uk. https://childlawadvice.org.uk/information-pages/special-educational-needs/
  10. SEN register – Should all children with a diagnosis go on it? (2021, May 12). Teachwire.net. https://www.teachwire.net/news/sen-register-should-all-children-with-a-diagnosis-go-on-it

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.