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TOPIC: PIP/ alcohol dependency with adult ADHD

PIP/ alcohol dependency with adult ADHD 1 week 19 hours ago #171228

We're appealing PIP refusal for 22 year old son recently diagnosed with adult ADHD (specifically ADD). He scored 0 points on assessment. The reality is that he is at the far end of extreme and both he and we struggle every single day with everything from getting him up in the morning, to getting him out of the bathroom, reminding him to eat , reminding him to take medication, persuading him to go to sleep, and so forth - the list is just as endless as the distractions he faces. Underlying it all is lack of motivation and on going clinical depression.

He has had an alcohol dependency problem for some years and our view is that this is totally the result of going through years of undiagnosed ADD and being labelled lazy and losing all self esteem and not being able to tap into the ability to achieve.

The ADHD clinic wont allow him on to CBT programmes until the alcohol issue has been addressed and treated. Persuading him to engage with mental health services has been an absolute nightmare, yet he desperately needs help.

We've lodged grounds of appeal and expect a hearing date soon. We've explained the difficulties he has in relation to each descriptor. The DWP say because he has not engaged with mental health services he clearly doesn't need help and he appears normal.

The ATOS assessor was not a psychiatrist. The trouble is that he appears normal on the surface but day to day life is problematic in the extreme. Just one example, he can;t manage money and we regularly have to bail him out of debt.

There are 3 things we are really worried about and not sure how to handle on the appeal.

1. The alcohol dependency. We are very worried if this is mentioned it will be mis understood and misinterpreted. The reality is that it appears to be a "complex addiction" ie the result of ADHD. So far he has had no treatment. We're caught up in a vicious circle of "address the alcohol first then get treatment for ADD". But GP won't refer for psychological help because says he must address alcohol first. But he can;t do that without help from an ADHD specialist and refuses to engage with drug and and alcohol services whilst willing to accept help from ADHD services which are not open to him to access. Clearly the alcohol issue exacerbates everything else. Life was difficult enough before he started drinking. Now he is even more vulnerable and many nights is on the streets. How do we handle this issue at the appeal? Should we be trying not to mention it at all? Will it go against him?

2. On impulse he bought a car. He has no licence and no insurance and no money. He took out an HP loan for more than £15,000. We had to pay it off for him and sell the car back to the company he bought it from at a loss.. This isn;t the first time- he gets into massive debt on impulse and will fall for internet scams and quick money making schemes. We'd like to use this is an example of his impulsive behaviour and inability to manage money or think straight at times. But clearly he must have lied to get the loan. We're worried if we bring this up the tribunal will ask how did get the loan and this might get him into trouble.

3. He's just enrolled onto a university course - a miracle really considering his lack of qualifications. He's very apprehensive but keen to try and turn his life around and move forwards. Will this go against him? He still faces the same day to day struggles, he still drinks, he still thinks irrationally a lot of the time and behaves impulsively. Will the tribunal ask him what is he doing now and assess him as "ok" because he is now a student ? .

thank you.
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PIP/ alcohol dependency with adult ADHD 1 week 15 hours ago #171250

Hi Cass and Welcome to the forum, you might want to have a look at the following FAQ which explain where everything is

Welcome to Benefits and Work

I'm sorry you and your son are going through this, it must be such a worry for you :(

I will try to answer your comments in order -

1) I understand your concern - but alcohol dependency is an illness, just like his ADHD. If you feel that this contributes to his problems and he would not meet the descriptors without taking it into account then I think you will have to mention it.

2) The problems you mention clearly show that your son has trouble managing his money. I don't think the tribunal will be at all bothered by the fact that he lied to get the loan.

3) I think the fact that your son feels he is capable of undertaking the Uni course will need explaining. It does not mean automatic refusal (after all, it is entirely possible to be on enhanced rate PIP and work full time!) but it could give a false picture of his abilities.

Do you actually understand the criteria against which he is being assessed? These are explained in detail in our PIP guide, it is probably worth refreshing your memory, even if you feel that you are already aware.

PIP help for claimants

We have other resources that could be helpful

Preparing for a Tribunal

Disability Rights UK Factsheet - Appeals and reconsiderations

Good practice for those appealing

This video can be very useful. It relates specifically to ESA but a PIP appeal will be very similar although the panel will consist of 3 people rather than the 2 for ESA

May I suggest that you bookmark/favourite this on your web browser now so that you can find it easily in future? This will allow you to return with further questions or comments without having to start a new topic each time. It helps us enormously when everything relating to the same claim is kept in one topic - and I hope you will find it useful too :)
Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
Last Edit: 1 week 15 hours ago by Mrs Hurtyback.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

PIP/ alcohol dependency with adult ADHD 6 days 15 hours ago #171368

Thank you for that, it is helpful and we will think about this information. We have another question which relates to ESA - hope i'm posting in the right place. He applied for JSA many months ago but didn;t attend the appointments and never got benefit ( this is one of the motivation issues due to ADD). We were told recently ( just before he enrolled at Uni) that he qualifies for ESA and advised to apply).

We've just helped him put through an application for ESA this week but now confused about whether he is actually entitled to apply given that he is now at uni.

He is checking his hours of study and says it is a part time course which may clock up to 17 hours a week.

He's applied for a student loan and disabilities grant. So is he entitled to claim ESA as well?

He has worked and and off for almost 2 years / not sure if the periods of employment actually span a full 2 years though. And the most recent P45 details we gave relate to a job he never actually got to start .

He has just got a medical sick note backdated for 2 months and that has been submitted this week with the ESA application.

We just want to be sure this is in order and that he/ we are not doing anything wrong in submitting an application for ESA?

He has no other job at the moment but is trying to get a part time job.

He has no income at present/ and as you know is appealing PIP refusal.

Many thanks for your help and support, it is much appreciated.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

PIP/ alcohol dependency with adult ADHD 6 days 15 hours ago #171383

  • Gordon
  • Forum Moderator

Have a look at the following fact sheet


It's not the number of hours that the course is that is important it is whether it is defined as full time or not, if it is then I do not think that he can claim ESA unless he also has an award of PIP.

Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
The administrator has disabled public write access.

PIP/ alcohol dependency with adult ADHD 6 days 14 hours ago #171397


As your son applied for Disabled Students Grant?

If not do so as soon as possible and when he is assessed ensure you get a copy of the assessment for PIP evidence.

Your son will probably qualify for help with his Uni studies academically and in a more pastoral form with mentors being provided.

My son had a similer MH problem /;he was refused PIp and the Ftt went against him because he was too ill & anxious to attend. He had sound legal grounds to go to UT but decided the stress would impact on his Uni studies so left it at that.
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PIP/ alcohol dependency with adult ADHD 6 days 12 hours ago #171407

I see that I omitted to post the link for the video!

Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
The administrator has disabled public write access.
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