The DWP use the term learning disability quite generically to encompass the following:

  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Down’s syndrome
  • Learning disability – other/type not known

In January 2024, there were 178,776 PIP claimants with learning disability listed by the DWP as their main disabling condition. This makes it one of the ten most common condition to get an award of PIP for. 

So, if you have a learning disability and it affects your daily living activities, such as cooking, washing, dressing or mixing with other people or your ability to get around, you should definitely consider making a claim.

Learn more or take the test

You can read more about claiming PIP for learning disability or take our simple online test now to find out if you might be able to make a claim.

Take the PIP Test

Success rates

The success rate for PIP claims for learning disability is 90%, compared to an overall average of 51%.  So you have a great deal more than average chance of getting an award for learning disability.

Award rates

[Please note: percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding]

79% of PIP claimants with a learning disability, get the enhanced rate of both the daily living and the mobility component. 

Daily living awards
Enhanced daily living 96%
Standard daily living 4%
No daily living 1%

Mobility awards
Enhanced mobility 79%
Standard mobility 18%
No mobility 2%

Virtually all claimants with a learning disability who get an award get the daily living component, compared to 79% who get the mobility component.

Age range

The ages of those currently in receipt of PIP for learning disability are:

  • 16-29 years  16%
  • 30-49 years  28%
  • 50-64 years  37%
  • 65 and over  19%

PIP rates

The rates of PIP from April 2024 are:

Daily Living component
Standard rate: £72.65
Enhanced rate: £108.55

Mobility component
Standard rate: £28.70
Enhanced rate: £75.75

 So, an award of the enhanced rate of PIP for both components means an extra £184.30 a week. 

PIP  is paid on top of almost every other benefit and may lead to an increase in some benefits or entitlement to additional benefits.

The enhanced rate of the mobility component also gives access to the Motability scheme.

How you qualify for PIP

This information applies to England, Wales and Northern Ireland – Scotland has a separate system.  You need to be aged at least 18 before you can receive PIP and you need to start your claim before you reach state pension age.

The best way to decide whether you might be eligible for PIP is to look through this list of PIP activities and think about the ways that your condition affects your ability to carry them out.  You are awarded points according to the level of difficulty you have with each of these activities, with sufficient points leading to an award of PIP.

Daily living activities
There are 10 daily living activities:

  • 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

Mobility activities
There are two mobility activities:

  • Planning and following journeys
  • Moving around

Remember that you need to be able to complete the activities

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

Points for learning disability

Below are some examples of the issues that you might have because of learning disability.  Do remember, that if you have other conditions, you can take those into account too.

Due to difficulties with reading, you may need to use symbol-supported lists or instructions to help you follow the process of making a meal.

You may cut yourself whilst cooking because of losing focus and so you need an aid, such as an auto chopper.

Due to developmental delay, you may not fully understand the concept of risk and so need another person to supervise you when using the kitchen. 

You may need someone to supervise you when eating, as you otherwise overfill your mouth and so are at risk of choking. 

Difficulties with identifying what is suitable or safe to eat may mean you need someone to prompt you to make sure you eat safely and to an acceptable standard. 

You may forget to eat anything at all for many hours unless you are prompted to take nutrition, because you become distracted and do not recognize that you are hungry.

You may be resistant to taking your medication and so do not comply with the instructions from your doctor unless someone prompts and encourages you.

As a result of your learning disability, you may be at risk of self-neglect.  Another person may support you by monitoring specifics aspects of your health, such as your teeth, your level of hydration or your weight to identify early signs of deterioration. 

Your learning disability may make it hard for you to understand the requirement to wash or keep clean.  You might need someone to prompt you to start washing or to make sure you have fully cleaned yourself. 

You may need to use picture cards as an aid to remind you of the different steps involved in managing your toilet needs e.g.- washing your hands afterwards.

You may find it difficult to follow the stages of getting dressed in an appropriate order and so need someone to prompt you about what to do next. 

It may be difficult for you to understand what is being said to you unless you have a familiar person with you to help structure the sentence or phrase in a way that helps you understand it. 

Due to your learning disability, you might communicate using signs, gestures or Makaton rather than words.  This could be all of the time or just in specific situations.

Concentration or processing difficulties may mean that you need to read the same sentence or piece of information several times before you can understand it.  Reading may take you much longer than someone without a learning disability because of this. 

Due to your learning disability, you may lack awareness of social boundaries and need someone to prompt you to engage appropriately.

It may be difficult for you to understand how much income you have or what you spend your money on unless another person supports you with this. 

You may miss stops on buses and trains or miss turnings on your intended route because of difficulties remaining focused unless you have another person with you.

It may be unsafe for you to follow a route on your own because you are vulnerable due to lacking social or emotional boundaries around other people. 

Benefits and Work members can also download a ‘PIP for learning disability Supplementary Guide from the PIP Guides page with even more examples and case studies, to complement our main guide to claiming PIP.

Take the PIP Test

Take the next step 

Claiming PIP isn't easy. And getting the correct award is even harder.

But there are things you can do to greatly increase your chances of getting the right result.

One of them is to use our highly detailed, step-by-step Guide to PIP claims and reviews, which will support you through every stage of the system.

Because filling in the 37 page PIP2 ‘How your disability affects you’ form in as much detail as possible is vital.

It not only means you are giving accurate and consistent evidence from the outset, it also improves your chances of overturning an unfair decision if you have to go to appeal.  

Our guide takes you through the PIP2 form, box-by-box, explaining the kind of information you need to put in each one.

Being fully prepared for an assessment is vital too. Knowing what questions you are likely to be asked and what unspoken assumptions may be made based on your answers, unless you deal with them, can make all the difference.  Our guide will ensure you are as ready as you possibly can be.

And because we’ve been supporting claimants for 20 years and have a community of thousands of members who keep us updated with their experiences, we can make sure you are prepared for any unfair tactics the DWP might employ.

And we have guides to every other part of your PIP claim too, from mandatory reconsideration, to appeal to review.  Plus a forum where you can ask questions, regular news items and more.

So, whether you’ve tried claiming PIP before and been unsuccessful, or you’ve never had any experience of the benefits system, join the Benefits and Work community to give yourself the best possible chance of getting the right award.

Even if you are not ready to subscribe to the site yet, you can download our guide to ‘The First Steps To PIP Success’ for free and also join the 120,000 people who subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter.

Take the PIP Test


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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    sandra · 1 months ago
    My son was on dla from the age of 2 until 16 as soon as he had to claim pip he scored zero he has cerbral pulsey , scullosis , and a learning disability because of not having anyone he goes to medical wise we dont have anyone to help in the paper work or medical field  etc He cant get a job so lives on the bit of trust fund money he got from the govenment to whitch wont last alot longer .
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Person · 1 months ago
    To clarify, I don't think clinical diagnosis is strictly necessary, or that the lack of it should stop you applying, just saying it would surely help.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Person · 1 months ago
    DLA is a legacy benefit, you can't get it any more. PIP was the direct replacement for it.

    A clinical diagnosis would help to prove your case as the assessors look for any excuse to invalidate what you're telling them, however in theory yes absolutely if they have problems with daily living and/or getting around, it's those that are the focus of getting an award, not what is the cause of it that gets you the money, as far as I understand.

    PIP is quite complicated so definitely worth doing as much research as possible before filling in an application.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Anyone here in a similar situ · 1 months ago
    Please excuse my ignorance. Is DLA a young persons equivalent of PIP?
    My grandson has suspected dyslexia. He'll be assessed for that sooner rather than later we hope. But now it seems it might not be that, the ed psych has suggested autism and/or ADHD. Seems there's an overlap with the conditions sometimes. He will be assessed for this but think there's an 18 month waiting list.   ( we're paying for the dyslexia one). From what research I've done, a lot of his behaviours are textbook autism.Whatever the diagnosis reveals it's obvious he's got serious issues. Would he be entitled to DLA or PIP without a clinical diagnosis? 
    We've seen stuff on the internet that might help him with his literacy. But of course that's more expense
    Wondering if anyone else is in a similar situation?

    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Sarah · 1 months ago
      @Anyone here in a similar situ DLA used to be for children and adults but now it's DLA for children and PIP for adults.
      The benefits assessment should be based on how it affects him, not what the diagnosis is. Still, a formal diagnosis is more convincing. Any evidence you already have should be included eg. from school, CAMHS, local council, etc.
      When answering questions, remember to focus on how his disability affects him in the tasks you're asked about and what help he needs. Too much focus on behaviours can sound like you think DLA is compensation for having a badly-behaved child, even if that isn't your intention. have free resources for dyslexia but check with his school because it can be confusing if different people working with him are using different approaches to teach the same thing. If he doesn't already have an EHCP, apply for one ASAP. It's a difficult process but once you get it it funds extra help at school and college without having to reapply if he changes schools. The DSA report is also evidence for DLA.
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