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Anyone a member of the local government pension scheme who applied for ill health retirement?

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jabbers1
jabbers1 Community member Posts: 12 Listener
Hi there 

I’m looking for any advice on what to expect, normal process etc. Thanks in advance! 

Comments

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 12,004 Disability Gamechanger
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    Are you a member of a union ? they are usually good at stuff like this.
    2024 The year of the general election...the time for change is coming 💡

  • jabbers1
    jabbers1 Community member Posts: 12 Listener
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    Yeah I am. Unfortunately I haven't found them to be very helpful. I was hoping someone who had been through the process could provide me with some guidance on what to expect, what medical evidence to obtain etc. I’ve  been told this process can be quite difficult and employers usually look for a way out. I’m terrified I get dismissed on capability grounds rather than being awarded Ill health retirement and being allowed access to my pension. 
  • Phil1868
    Phil1868 Community member Posts: 10 Connected
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    Hi Jabbers 1
    I have just finished work on ill health retirement. Your place of work will get an independent doctor to assess you and your medical records( it takes a while)
    you will be asked to sign a form giving them consent to access your medical records and then you will have to wait until the doctor as assessed all your medical records, after that has been done you will then have an appointment with their doctor and they will make the decision on your health.
    If you are a local government employee I advise never go to any work meeting without your union representative,
    no matter how useless you think they are. When I had my appointment with their doctor(November 23) I was really dreading it. It’s a long drawn out process so don’t expect it to happen in a few weeks. The doctor will also tell you that their findings are not the final decision, it is up to your employer.
    I got tier 1 ill health retirement and officially finished work on the 14/12/23 but still haven’t got my pension.
    If you need any more information let me know and I’ll try my best to tell you what I know.
    All the best 
    Phil
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 3,249 Scope online community team
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    Hi @jabbers1, we have an advice page specifically about Ill Health Retirement. I hope this might help shed some light on the process. It isn't specifically about local government or anything, but is in a much more general sense :) 

    You can also contact ACAS, who help give advice to employees and employers.
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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  • Phil1868
    Phil1868 Community member Posts: 10 Connected
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    Hi jabbers1
    I forgot to mention I am in the local government pension scheme. My union rep didn’t know anything about my condition but he was there to make sure everything was done right. There are 3 tiers, once you have been awarded your pension you will get it for life (tier1+2) not sure about 3.
    There is no penalty for taking your pension early and I am pretty sure there isn’t an age restriction either. Go on to the lgps website and have look on there.
    cheers.
    Phil
  • jabbers1
    jabbers1 Community member Posts: 12 Listener
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    @Phil1868
    Thanks for the advice Phil. Do you mind sharing what your illness is? I feel mines me be problematic as the “permanency” criteria is still debated by most of the medical profession. Does the independent doctor get access to your full medical records ? 
    What I’m concerned about is that if I say I’m incapable of doing my current role and am later advised I don’t meet the criteria for an ill health pension. I’m terrified to tell occupational health how bad my health actually is incase I land myself in a predicament where I have no job and no pension. Do you know if your employer confirms that you’re illegible for the pension before dismissing you ? and what could possibly happen if you’re incapable of doing your current role but not entitled to an ill health pension? Thanks again for your advice ☺️
  • Phil1868
    Phil1868 Community member Posts: 10 Connected
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    Hi Janbers1
    I have been diagnosed with M.E/CFS and COPD and for the last 3years it’s been horrendous trying to go to work and keep going. It became apparent after my employer changed my job from the light duties I was doing for something where I was pushed all day, even after I told them about my diagnosis. I then went on long term sick for the second time. Work then started my stage1 sickness review. By the time I got to my second formal stage of sickness,
    I’d spoken with the union to get advice and then this is when I found out about ill health retirement and it’s tier system. I asked my occupational therapist her thoughts and advice and decided I had to finish on ill health.
    Work seemed relived with my decision and excepted my proposal, this was in February 23.
    My only concern was getting tier 1
    but it wasn’t a given that would happen. While waiting for work to sort all the official bits out I applied for a Blue badge and when my sick pay ran out I applied for pip(both of these were granted).
    the occupational health doctor I had to see was really understanding of the condition and he told me he would recommend tier 1 retirement. Unfortunately when I was told I wouldn’t work again it wasn’t the naked cartwheels around the garden I thought it would be, it was all a bit of a shock.
    I was finished in December 23 but still waiting on the pension to be sorted.
    Be careful going on short hours or less salary because your pension is payable on the last 12 months earnings.( if you do short time because of illness it should be adjusted to before you became ill) this is now my worry because I did shorter hours too see if I could carry on working.
    Put yourself first and don’t be a hero. I tried to carry on and they pushed me way too much and made everything worse for me.
    All the best 
    Phil1868


  • jabbers1
    jabbers1 Community member Posts: 12 Listener
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    That’s so much Phil. Like you, I have ME/CFS, trigeminal neuralgia, ADHD, chronic  back pain and a generalised anxiety disorder. I was concerned that the independent medical advisor may not recognise ME/CFS as a physical or permanent illness. Can I ask, was more emphasis put onto your COPD condition or was the permanency of the ME equally acknowledged? Do you mind me asking what age you are? I am in the same boat as you were, killing myself trying to work and can’t manage anything else. However I’m terrified of putting my family in a financial position and potentially losing our home etc so I just keep going. Currently off sick just now and can’t get my head round trying to go back to put myself through that again 😞
  • Phil1868
    Phil1868 Community member Posts: 10 Connected
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    Forgot to mention the occupational health doctor does get access to all your medical records and letters from the doctor who diagnosed you, a letter from your doctor and any medical professional you’ve seen concerning your illness.
    cheers Phil 
  • jabbers1
    jabbers1 Community member Posts: 12 Listener
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    Every day is a school day as they say lol. I didn’t know that they got access to the full record, I thought it was only a report they could ask for in relation to the illness you were claiming Ill health retirement for. That’s what it states on the ACAS website. I havnt fold my employee about the anxiety disorder and really don’t want them knowing so I’m disappointed that they will find this out. 
  • Phil1868
    Phil1868 Community member Posts: 10 Connected
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    Hi Jabbers1
    It was mainly the ME/CFS my breathing problems are only in there infancy just now.
    I am 55, again with not getting the right information I believed I couldn’t get my pension until 55(but that’s not the case)
    It was the thought of trying to go back that scared me.
    I wrongly believed work would help me at work but that wasn’t the case. Apart from the health professionals at the beginning being difficult, work was the worst thing I had to deal with and still are ( I won’t settle until I start receiving my pension).
    pip and blue badge were a doddle compared with work.
    I made the mistake at the beginning of going into a work meeting without a union rep. That was my one and only mistake. After that I would only go with representation.
    if you need more information just ask me.
    cheers 
    Phil


  • Phil1868
    Phil1868 Community member Posts: 10 Connected
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    Hi jabbers1
    You could be right about the medical record/ letter 
    I had to sign to say they could contact my doctor. I presumed they could ask for anything.
    cheers 
    Phil 

  • jabbers1
    jabbers1 Community member Posts: 12 Listener
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    Thanks Phil. All this information has been so helpful and I don’t feel as hopeless now that I know someone with ME has had a result they deserve ! It would be great if I could keep a link with you on the off chance I come up against anything else. I don’t know if I can message you privately on this? 
  • Phil1868
    Phil1868 Community member Posts: 10 Connected
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    Hi Jabbers1
    Keep in touch and I’ll tell you anything that I had to go through.
    Get occupational health on your side and if you haven’t already done it get a referral to the M.E/CFS clinic(if you’re local hospital as one) it all helps with the process.
    Cheers
    Phil1868
  • jabbers1
    jabbers1 Community member Posts: 12 Listener
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    Hi Phil
    Unfortunately there is no specialist clinic that I can attend. Can you tell me what the medical adviser documented on your medical form with regards to the permanency of the CFS/ME? And also when were you diagnosed with the illness? Thanks for all the advice, I’m starting to get my head around all this now 😂
  • Phil1868
    Phil1868 Community member Posts: 10 Connected
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    Hi jabbers1
    I will try to take some pics of what was written down and post them on here, there’s a bit to much for me to type out.
    Cheers
    Phil

  • Phil1868
    Phil1868 Community member Posts: 10 Connected
    edited January 25
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    This is the summary I received for my formal stage 3 sickness review.
    Hopefully I haven’t broken any rules and you can see what was reported back to HR.
    Cheers
    Phil

  • jabbers1
    jabbers1 Community member Posts: 12 Listener
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    Thanks Phil. That’s been so helpful ☺️ I’ll keep you updated on what happens in regard to my request and apologise for the volume of questions I’ve been firing at you. You’ve helped helped me out immensely and I don’t feel as overwhelmed now  ☺️ 
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