Britain's soaring ADHD benefits bill is a £292,000,000 SHAM, blasts Kelvin MacKenzie

Britain's soaring ADHD benefits bill is a £292,000,000 SHAM, blasts Kelvin MacKenzie
Kelvin Mackenzie

By Kelvin Mackenzie

Published: 15/04/2024

- 15:48

Updated: 15/04/2024

- 18:06

"I’m surprised the whole nation isn’t saying they have ADHD"

Are you talking a lot? Do you have a problem sitting still? Are you unable to wait your turn? Unless you’re Boris Johnson, you can join what feels like the rest of the country, and claim £184 a week in disability benefits saying you are suffering from ADHD.

Last year more than 52,000 adults claimed Personal Independence Payments (Pip) citing ADHD as their main disabling condition. The condition cost the taxpayer £292million, a decade earlier that figure was £700,000. A rise, as the Mail on Sunday worked out, of 41,000 per cent. That’s more than Aslef want for the train drivers.

Most of the claimants are young adults aged between 16-29. The great attraction of Pip is that it isn’t means tested, so claimants receive their payouts regardless of income (they can be working) savings or assets.

On that basis I’m surprised the whole nation isn’t saying they have ADHD. Anxiety and depression are the main reasons for adults to receive Pip benefits, which when you throw in ADHD cost the public purse £1.8billion last year.

So, either we are turning into a country where our mental health is getting worse by the day, or the younger generation are gaming the system?

My natural inclination is to view a decent percentage of the ADHD sufferers with scepticism. While we don’t seem to need steel workers anymore, there has been a growth in ‘’disability influencers’’ on YouTube and TikTok who coach people through Pip application forms.

One such influencer (she claims the £184 a week herself) is a lady called Charlotte Anderson who has a YouTube channel providing a step-by-step guide on how to claim Pip.

Her videos explain how to score highly on Pip applications. For example, in one she says; ‘’ You have to be able to explain to Pip how you feel, so if you struggle with anxiety you have to explain how it feels to you.’’

Don’t we all suffer from anxiety at some stage in our lives? Some days are bloody awful and unless you are Angela Rayner, most days are perfectly alright.

Ms Anderson has appeared to battle through much of her mental health condition and discovered she can make money through disability. She charges clients up to £650 to help them claim Pip and fill out their entire application form.

The business has been a big success. Hope that cheers her up. She had to stop taking on new clients as her business was ‘’too successful’’. What was good for Ms Anderson may not be good for the Treasury.

Pip was introduced in 2013 for people with long-term disability or mental health conditions. To determine eligibility, applicants are awarded points on how they answer a form, which asks questions about how their condition affects their ability to eat drink, wash, get dressed and managed finances.

As you might expect, with the country on its backside and with demands coming in from defence, education and the NHS, ministers are becoming alarmed at the costs of these mental health related claims.

I don’t think Mel Stride, the work and pensions secretary, has been given the credit for pointing out on behalf of the 37 people in the nation not claiming Pip, that labelling everyday problems as mental ill health is unaffordable.

This is what he said: "There is a real risk now that we are labelling the normal ups and down of human life as medical conditions which then actually hold people back and ultimately, drive up the benefit bill."

Well said. The money going towards incapacity and disability benefit is off the dial. The Office of Budget Responsibility believes spending will rise to £90.9billion within five years with more than one in three sickness notes now being for mental and behavioural disorders.

Are we really becoming more mentally unwell as each decade goes by? The reality is that the nation used to be able to take our problems on the chin and, after a decent night’s sleep, felt more able to deal with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

That is clearly not the case now. The first sign of a problem, it’s down to the overworked GP and then on to TikTok to work out how to get your hands on £184 a week.

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