Mandatory reconsiderations are a key tool the people with a learning disability can use to challenge a decision about their benefits they believe to be incorrect.

Government data has previously revealed almost 60% of benefit decisions are successfully overturned when appealed at tribunal.

Rob Holland, Parliamentary Manager at the learning disability charity Mencap, said:

“Almost 60% of fit for work decisions are overturned when appealed at tribunal. The fact that there is a target of upholding 80% of original decisions is therefore deeply concerning, and risks leaving hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people at risk of being unfairly denied the benefits they are entitled and rely on to buy food, pay bills, leave their house and maintain their health.

“Mandatory reconsiderations should be a tool to protect people from the effects of incorrect decisions, but their use appears to act as further evidence of a benefits system stacked against the people it is designed to support.

“Whoever forms the next Government must make reform of the benefits system a priority and ensure correct decisions are made in the first instance, so people with a learning disability no longer have to face the stress and turmoil of being denied the support they desperately rely on.”


For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact the Mencap press office on 020 7696 5414 or

Notes to editors

About Mencap

There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.

For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap Direct on 0808 808 1111 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) or email

What is a learning disability?

A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which can cause problems with everyday tasks – for example shopping and cooking, or travelling to new places – which affects someone for their whole life.

People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability.

Learning disability is not a mental illness or a learning difficulty. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’.