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Ill health retirement

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kalli
kalli Community member Posts: 7 Listener
Hi everyone, I'm hoping for some advice. I am appealing an OHS decision for ill health retirement.

I have been on a career break for 10 years (they kept extending it after my 5 years was up due to my deteriorating health)

I have been refused ill health retirement. I applied due to low grade arthritis, Fibromyalgia, degenerative spine and a few other conditions. I suffer chronic pain daily. I have exhausted every physical therapy offered to me for Fibro and have been discharged to pain management. I take very strong painkillers.

I am allergic to Dmards, used to treat arthritis. I have no way of slowing the progression. Anti inflammatories affect my asthma.

My rheumatologist suspects my Fibromyalgia is causing my arthritis to be more painful but has discharged me again to pain management. 

I have taken every ssri to the maximum dose and am now on the last one available to me. I also suffer from depression, anxiety & ptsd.

The OHS doctor has stated I do not meet requirements as I haven't established permanancy. According to her fibro is fluxuating and there might be a treatment developed in the future. 

I'm 39 this year and I know my age is massively working against me. I have contacted my doctor for a more comprehensive letter for my appeal. 

I know this was a long read so thank you very much if you have read this far. I'm just looking for some advice/guidance. 

K


Comments

  • Rosie_Scope
    Rosie_Scope Posts: 3,056 Scope online community team
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    Hi @kalli, sorry to hear your pain has been so bad for so long. I'm afraid I don't have much experience of ill health retirement so I can't offer any advice or guidance myself but I just wanted to say hello and welcome you to the community. We've got some lovely members so hopefully they'll be along soon to offer some better advice than I could give. I hope the new letter helps move things forward for you :)
    Rosie (she/her)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • kalli
    kalli Community member Posts: 7 Listener
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    Hi Rosie, thank you for your kind words 😊 
  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 117 Pioneering
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    kalli said:
    Hi everyone, I'm hoping for some advice. I am appealing an OHS decision for ill health retirement.

    I have been on a career break for 10 years (they kept extending it after my 5 years was up due to my deteriorating health)

    I have been refused ill health retirement. I applied due to low grade arthritis, Fibromyalgia, degenerative spine and a few other conditions. I suffer chronic pain daily. I have exhausted every physical therapy offered to me for Fibro and have been discharged to pain management. I take very strong painkillers.

    I am allergic to Dmards, used to treat arthritis. I have no way of slowing the progression. Anti inflammatories affect my asthma.

    My rheumatologist suspects my Fibromyalgia is causing my arthritis to be more painful but has discharged me again to pain management. 

    I have taken every ssri to the maximum dose and am now on the last one available to me. I also suffer from depression, anxiety & ptsd.

    The OHS doctor has stated I do not meet requirements as I haven't established permanancy. According to her fibro is fluxuating and there might be a treatment developed in the future. 

    I'm 39 this year and I know my age is massively working against me. I have contacted my doctor for a more comprehensive letter for my appeal. 

    I know this was a long read so thank you very much if you have read this far. I'm just looking for some advice/guidance. 

    K


    Hi, sorry to hear about your health issues.

    regarding your post, I think most people reading this will be asking what line of employment you are in that could afford you a 10 year career break because that would be highly unusual.Even as you are stating, an initial five year break would be unusual….. Career breaks are usually anywhere from one month to perhaps two years or so and are instigated because you yourself have asked for one….unlike a sabbatical there is also no guarantee that you will have a job when the break finishes….in most cases you won’t.

    i find you’re statement difficult to comprehend and that any employer would let you have this break whilst maintaining a position for you….i am also presuming that you will not have been receiving any pay during your break, extended or not? as you forfeit your pay during that period.

    i am also presuming that because you have mentioned OH involvement that you are still employed by this same company? But please correct me so we have a better picture of where you are at employment wise…ie.are you back at work, is it with the same company etc.

    ref I’ll health retirement I can speak fairly confidently about this as I was fairly recently awarded IHR at the top tier level.

    Has your employer mentioned what will happen if any appeal is unsuccessful?

    I have very briefly mentioned this before too other posteees on this forum but having a full working knowledge of your pension scheme policy is absolutely vital before you even start down the route of IHR application because once you start the process, you have highlighted to your employer that you are struggling and there will in all likehood be consequences to you….yes you may get IHR, but similarly as in your case you didn’t. 

    Any pension policy will outline the criteria for meeting IHR and usually will provide a description of the words used and their meaning…for me in the civil service it was the below but it is likely any policy will be fairly similar as the meanings are usually points of law.

    Prevented – means having a significant incapacity. It does not mean “unwilling”, “disinclined to” or “inconvenient to” undertake the duty. The employer will have obtained occupational health advice to identify any employment adjustments to possibly overcome the obstacles to working. The individual will usually have co-operated with this. The employer will only consider ill health retirement if they conclude that such adjustments are on balance unreasonable or unfeasible to implement. Collusion between employer and employee to manipulate the pension scheme is considered fraud.

    Ill health – means a recognised medical condition which gives rise to the incapacity. Diagnosis must be supported by appropriate clinical findings. Discharging his/her duties – means providing regular and efficient service in the normal duties of their responsibility level. It does not mean “all work” in the Civil Service context.

    Likely – means ‘on a balance of probabilities’. The permanence of the ill health does not have to be ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ but rather more likely than not. The medical adviser takes into account the effect of standard treatment when considering the incapacitating effects of a condition. In doing this they take into account the chances of a successful outcome.

    Permanent – means until pension age. Not only does the ill health have to be permanent but it has to result in permanent incapacity. Many permanent medical conditions (for example asthma, diabetes, epilepsy) do not usually prevent individuals from working normally. 

    premium and nuvos Terms (as above unless specified below)

    Breakdown in health – means ill health caused by a recognised medical condition giving rise to the incapacity. Diagnosis must be supported by appropriate clinical findings.

    Incapacity – means unable to work due to the breakdown in health. Prevents – means having a significant incapacity. It does not mean “unwilling”, “disinclined to” or “inconvenient” to undertake the duty. The employer will have obtained occupational health advice to identify any employment adjustments to possibly overcome obstacles to working. The individual will usually have co-operated with this. The employer will only consider ill health retirement if they conclude that such adjustments are on balance unreasonable or unfeasible to implement. Collusion between employer and employee to manipulate the pension scheme is considered fraud.

    Discharging their duties – means providing regular and efficient service in the normal duties of their responsibility level. It does not mean “all work” in the Civil Service context.

    Please note:

    Individuals do not have to be incapable of attending work but rather incapable of providing acceptable levels of performance or attendance. What is ‘acceptable’ is governed by the requirement to make reasonable adjustments for those with health problems and, particularly if they are likely to fall within the scope of the Equality Act and equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland 1995.

    Incapable of undertaking other gainful employment – the individual’s functional ability to carry out any reasonable paid employment should have been impaired by more than 90%. That is, they may be capable of undertaking some types of job, but this is severely restricted by their loss of function caused by the illness.

    Incapable of doing own job or a comparable job – means unable to turn up regularly to do a job at the same or equivalent grade level. They will however be capable of doing a range of other types of work. 

    Pension age – means the earliest age at which a member can take their pension without it being reduced because of early payment.


    The point about being permanent is very important as you not only need to satisfy that the condition or conditions are permanent but that the resulting incapacities are permanent and these are two different things entirely….in reality lots of people can have a permanent illness for life but it is also likely that many of these conditions can and do fluctuate in how much they effect you and you’re ability to carry out you’re work role, some days maybe better than others.

    Ref fibro, having friends with the condition I can empathise with how difficult this can be and how it can effect you, unfortunately from the IHR perspective I think it would be very difficult for a gp or specialist consultant to state permanency as so little is known about the condition….i don’t find it surprising that the schemes medical Officer has rejected the application from the fibro side of things.

    My advice for what it’s worth is have a conversation with any consultants looking after your care and by this preferably a specialist consultant, not just your gp….most pension scheme policies would expect that if you have a condition serious enough for you too apply for IHR then the reasoning would be you have been having specialist treatment and care for said condition leading up to your application.GPs are not best placed to make recommendations or give detailed enough fact based evidence to an employer or pension provider.

    Any supporting letter you receive should include the above descriptors, and it may be worth pointing this out to the person writing you a more detailed letter….explain that this is what the scheme is looking too match against……any information does not have to be 100% definitive, but needs to be on balance of probability.

    Sorry I can’t be more help..reach out if you need anymore info specifically and I shall try and help


  • kalli
    kalli Community member Posts: 7 Listener
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    Hi, Thank you so much for your advice. I am employed by the civil service where the maximum career break is 5 years unpaid. I started off taking a 3 year career break but I haven't been fit to resume employment by the end of each break and I won't resign so they kept extending the career break due to special circumstances. I enquired about ill health retirement around 1.5 years ago and I got my decision last Thursday. 

    I'm sure I read that OHS doctors aren't supposed to make decisions based on treatments that currently dont exist but may or may not become available in the future for chronic illness. 
  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Scope Member Posts: 54,694 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @kalli do you have a union rep to attend meetings with you and guild you on what to do. I don't see how they can refuse it given all the time you've had off
  • kalli
    kalli Community member Posts: 7 Listener
    Options
    Hi Sandy, thank you for your reply. I had thought the same with regards to the amount of time ive had off from ill health but retirement was never mentioned. I don't think they knew what to do with me.

    No i don't have a union rep. I approached the union a few years ago but whoever I spoke to didn't give me very good advice so I didn't keep up with my fees. I'm just trying to go it alone but my cognitive ability is not what it used to be due to the fibro.
  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 117 Pioneering
    Options
    kalli said:
    Hi, Thank you so much for your advice. I am employed by the civil service where the maximum career break is 5 years unpaid. I started off taking a 3 year career break but I haven't been fit to resume employment by the end of each break and I won't resign so they kept extending the career break due to special circumstances. I enquired about ill health retirement around 1.5 years ago and I got my decision last Thursday. 

    I'm sure I read that OHS doctors aren't supposed to make decisions based on treatments that currently dont exist but may or may not become available in the future for chronic illness. 
    Hi again and thank you for supplying some more facts, even though I am still a bit baffled.

    I can’t think of a single example other than your own where the employer extends the career break as a way to keep you away from the workplace due to , in their eyes being unfit for your role. That makes no sense and would I’m guessing not be the norm…at all.

    ref not resigning after each break period, I would have thought the employer would have started the referral process with OH anyway and you would have had no choice but to participate as in your own words you weren’t fit enough to resume employment. I am struggling to believe that an employer would just keep giving you career breaks when there is no need too. There is no gain for you or for them when everything can be dealt with by way of absence management policy , OH referrals and IHR process if applicable.

    having worked for the civil service for 25 years I know that they will not intentionally let someone just keep hanging around on the fringes when they have processes they could use to force your resignation or medical discharge.

    From your point of view I also don’t know what you got out of having career breaks continually, surely if you genuinely feel that you cannot maintain employment then other channels for leaving work within the HR remit would be better for all concerned.

    As for OHS having a view on matters and determining an outcome for an IHR application, the schemes chief medical Officer can only go by what is current medical advice and is unlikely to be swayed by future ifs or maybes. They will only go by the evidence presented to them now. If successful in IHR then it is a huge financial burden on an employer to maintain payments into a pension fund for an employee who is no longer employed by them, so you can see that things to a certain degree have to be very much black and white so they are fair to everyone. I think you are unlucky in that some of youre conditions are not very well understood and are open to debate…..the problem is evidencing your side of things to the descriptors as I mentioned. It is also highly unlikely that your application would be accepted if you have not had a recorded period of sick absence , usually over years, OH referrals , workplace adjustments etc….That is what builds up the picture the chief medical Officer needs, along with medical reports evidencing the condition and the struggles you likely face.

    My advice still stands ref appeal. Have a conversation with GP, consultant or specialists and explain the descriptors the pension scheme measures by….ask that any letter does not use words like possible, likely , maybe etc that can be viewed wrongly.

    Again feel free to ask other questions


  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Scope Member Posts: 54,694 Disability Gamechanger
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  • kalli
    kalli Community member Posts: 7 Listener
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    Bydand said:
    kalli said:
    Hi, Thank you so much for your advice. I am employed by the civil service where the maximum career break is 5 years unpaid. I started off taking a 3 year career break but I haven't been fit to resume employment by the end of each break and I won't resign so they kept extending the career break due to special circumstances. I enquired about ill health retirement around 1.5 years ago and I got my decision last Thursday. 

    I'm sure I read that OHS doctors aren't supposed to make decisions based on treatments that currently dont exist but may or may not become available in the future for chronic illness. 
    Hi again and thank you for supplying some more facts, even though I am still a bit baffled.

    I can’t think of a single example other than your own where the employer extends the career break as a way to keep you away from the workplace due to , in their eyes being unfit for your role. That makes no sense and would I’m guessing not be the norm…at all.

    ref not resigning after each break period, I would have thought the employer would have started the referral process with OH anyway and you would have had no choice but to participate as in your own words you weren’t fit enough to resume employment. I am struggling to believe that an employer would just keep giving you career breaks when there is no need too. There is no gain for you or for them when everything can be dealt with by way of absence management policy , OH referrals and IHR process if applicable.

    having worked for the civil service for 25 years I know that they will not intentionally let someone just keep hanging around on the fringes when they have processes they could use to force your resignation or medical discharge.

    From your point of view I also don’t know what you got out of having career breaks continually, surely if you genuinely feel that you cannot maintain employment then other channels for leaving work within the HR remit would be better for all concerned.

    As for OHS having a view on matters and determining an outcome for an IHR application, the schemes chief medical Officer can only go by what is current medical advice and is unlikely to be swayed by future ifs or maybes. They will only go by the evidence presented to them now. If successful in IHR then it is a huge financial burden on an employer to maintain payments into a pension fund for an employee who is no longer employed by them, so you can see that things to a certain degree have to be very much black and white so they are fair to everyone. I think you are unlucky in that some of youre conditions are not very well understood and are open to debate…..the problem is evidencing your side of things to the descriptors as I mentioned. It is also highly unlikely that your application would be accepted if you have not had a recorded period of sick absence , usually over years, OH referrals , workplace adjustments etc….That is what builds up the picture the chief medical Officer needs, along with medical reports evidencing the condition and the struggles you likely face.

    My advice still stands ref appeal. Have a conversation with GP, consultant or specialists and explain the descriptors the pension scheme measures by….ask that any letter does not use words like possible, likely , maybe etc that can be viewed wrongly.

    Again feel free to ask other questions


    Hi, 

    Thank you again for your advice I'm definitely going to follow it and speak to my gp again. All my specialists have discharged me saying no more treatment can be offered. 

    Yes I think my case is probably unique, I don't know why they just kept extending. They finally said we wont extend it again so i asked if i would be eligible for ill health retirement. I was off on long-term sick multiple times before my career break but I hadn't been officially diagnosed with anything, it took years to be diagnosed with fibro. I initially applied for 3 years as I had 2 young kids and all this was going on. I thought I could get myself "sorted" then come back but that wasn't what happened, my health kept deteriorating. I've worked for NICS since I was 17. 

    I forgot to mention before the OHS doctor has stated I'm clearly unfit for work at present so I've asked welfare what does this mean for me if/when the appeal is denied. They haven't got back to me yet.
  • kalli
    kalli Community member Posts: 7 Listener
    Options
    Sandy_123 said:
    Thank you very much, I appreciate your help. HR are the ones dealing with it. 
  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 117 Pioneering
    Options
    kalli said:
    Bydand said:
    kalli said:
    Hi, Thank you so much for your advice. I am employed by the civil service where the maximum career break is 5 years unpaid. I started off taking a 3 year career break but I haven't been fit to resume employment by the end of each break and I won't resign so they kept extending the career break due to special circumstances. I enquired about ill health retirement around 1.5 years ago and I got my decision last Thursday. 

    I'm sure I read that OHS doctors aren't supposed to make decisions based on treatments that currently dont exist but may or may not become available in the future for chronic illness. 
    Hi again and thank you for supplying some more facts, even though I am still a bit baffled.

    I can’t think of a single example other than your own where the employer extends the career break as a way to keep you away from the workplace due to , in their eyes being unfit for your role. That makes no sense and would I’m guessing not be the norm…at all.

    ref not resigning after each break period, I would have thought the employer would have started the referral process with OH anyway and you would have had no choice but to participate as in your own words you weren’t fit enough to resume employment. I am struggling to believe that an employer would just keep giving you career breaks when there is no need too. There is no gain for you or for them when everything can be dealt with by way of absence management policy , OH referrals and IHR process if applicable.

    having worked for the civil service for 25 years I know that they will not intentionally let someone just keep hanging around on the fringes when they have processes they could use to force your resignation or medical discharge.

    From your point of view I also don’t know what you got out of having career breaks continually, surely if you genuinely feel that you cannot maintain employment then other channels for leaving work within the HR remit would be better for all concerned.

    As for OHS having a view on matters and determining an outcome for an IHR application, the schemes chief medical Officer can only go by what is current medical advice and is unlikely to be swayed by future ifs or maybes. They will only go by the evidence presented to them now. If successful in IHR then it is a huge financial burden on an employer to maintain payments into a pension fund for an employee who is no longer employed by them, so you can see that things to a certain degree have to be very much black and white so they are fair to everyone. I think you are unlucky in that some of youre conditions are not very well understood and are open to debate…..the problem is evidencing your side of things to the descriptors as I mentioned. It is also highly unlikely that your application would be accepted if you have not had a recorded period of sick absence , usually over years, OH referrals , workplace adjustments etc….That is what builds up the picture the chief medical Officer needs, along with medical reports evidencing the condition and the struggles you likely face.

    My advice still stands ref appeal. Have a conversation with GP, consultant or specialists and explain the descriptors the pension scheme measures by….ask that any letter does not use words like possible, likely , maybe etc that can be viewed wrongly.

    Again feel free to ask other questions


    Hi, 

    Thank you again for your advice I'm definitely going to follow it and speak to my gp again. All my specialists have discharged me saying no more treatment can be offered. 

    Yes I think my case is probably unique, I don't know why they just kept extending. They finally said we wont extend it again so i asked if i would be eligible for ill health retirement. I was off on long-term sick multiple times before my career break but I hadn't been officially diagnosed with anything, it took years to be diagnosed with fibro. I initially applied for 3 years as I had 2 young kids and all this was going on. I thought I could get myself "sorted" then come back but that wasn't what happened, my health kept deteriorating. I've worked for NICS since I was 17. 

    I forgot to mention before the OHS doctor has stated I'm clearly unfit for work at present so I've asked welfare what does this mean for me if/when the appeal is denied. They haven't got back to me yet.
    Sorry, I probably come across as a bit sceptical but not my intention, just a unique situation I have never heard of before….and a complicated one.

    it is unfortunate that your specialists have discharged you but shouldn’t stop you from getting a letter from them explaining the condition, symptoms and likely prognosis and their involvement in your care.

    Perhaps look at finding a Fibro specialist independent of the nhs etc…you may have to pay for any help or advice but it would be a small price to pay perhaps. A specialist in any medical field giving a professional opinion is hard to argue against.

    I am a bit sceptical about GPs giving evidence to anyone as generally all they can write is extracts from what’s on their system from the various people involved in your care, most of the time other than perhaps referring you to a specialist they generally have very little contact with you other than you initially going to see them. If it was me, I would offer to pay to have a detailed report from them with mindfulness of the pension schemes descriptors…it might be beneficial to give them a copy of these descriptors so they can refer to them specifically when writing any report…..also ask that you see the report first before it is sent anywhere. Dont leave it to chance that they will write the report you need, you may have to steer them in the right direction……I had a very frank discussion with my consultant and told her that I wasn’t asking for them to be dishonest or too sugar coat any report but I would appreciate that they keep in mind that how they write the report and the words and phrases used can have a negative impact despite no harm intended

    in any appeal against a medical decision you need to have your own evidence that counters what the pensions chief medical Officer says. You don’t have to prove anything with 100% certainty, but you need to evidence likelihood and probability and permanence….example of parts of a report might look like this…it is highly likely and indeed probable that mr x condition of y will not improve further and that all reasonable treatments have been exhausted. It is likely that Mr x will continue to suffer from the effects of his illness as highlighted in this report and that his symptoms will not get significantly better and in all probability will be permanent……..something along these lines but more detailed from a professional in Fibro would be difficult to ignore or dispute……What you have going on your side is that the chief medical Officer who makes the decision on your application may not be a specialist in Fibro but just has a very basic understanding of the condition……you need the most secure evidence you can find in order to prove your point to the appeal board.

    not an expert by any means but having thoroughly looked into everything to do with IHR before I applied the above will hopefully be helpful.
  • Bydand
    Bydand Community member Posts: 117 Pioneering
    Options
    Kalli,

    Forgot to mention…have you looked at other forums such as fibromyalgia action uk….i just had a look and there are posts on ill health retirement etc so you may find more precise info or advice from them.
  • kalli
    kalli Community member Posts: 7 Listener
    Options
    Bydand said:
    kalli said:
    Bydand said:
    kalli said:
    Hi, Thank you so much for your advice. I am employed by the civil service where the maximum career break is 5 years unpaid. I started off taking a 3 year career break but I haven't been fit to resume employment by the end of each break and I won't resign so they kept extending the career break due to special circumstances. I enquired about ill health retirement around 1.5 years ago and I got my decision last Thursday. 

    I'm sure I read that OHS doctors aren't supposed to make decisions based on treatments that currently dont exist but may or may not become available in the future for chronic illness. 
    Hi again and thank you for supplying some more facts, even though I am still a bit baffled.

    I can’t think of a single example other than your own where the employer extends the career break as a way to keep you away from the workplace due to , in their eyes being unfit for your role. That makes no sense and would I’m guessing not be the norm…at all.

    ref not resigning after each break period, I would have thought the employer would have started the referral process with OH anyway and you would have had no choice but to participate as in your own words you weren’t fit enough to resume employment. I am struggling to believe that an employer would just keep giving you career breaks when there is no need too. There is no gain for you or for them when everything can be dealt with by way of absence management policy , OH referrals and IHR process if applicable.

    having worked for the civil service for 25 years I know that they will not intentionally let someone just keep hanging around on the fringes when they have processes they could use to force your resignation or medical discharge.

    From your point of view I also don’t know what you got out of having career breaks continually, surely if you genuinely feel that you cannot maintain employment then other channels for leaving work within the HR remit would be better for all concerned.

    As for OHS having a view on matters and determining an outcome for an IHR application, the schemes chief medical Officer can only go by what is current medical advice and is unlikely to be swayed by future ifs or maybes. They will only go by the evidence presented to them now. If successful in IHR then it is a huge financial burden on an employer to maintain payments into a pension fund for an employee who is no longer employed by them, so you can see that things to a certain degree have to be very much black and white so they are fair to everyone. I think you are unlucky in that some of youre conditions are not very well understood and are open to debate…..the problem is evidencing your side of things to the descriptors as I mentioned. It is also highly unlikely that your application would be accepted if you have not had a recorded period of sick absence , usually over years, OH referrals , workplace adjustments etc….That is what builds up the picture the chief medical Officer needs, along with medical reports evidencing the condition and the struggles you likely face.

    My advice still stands ref appeal. Have a conversation with GP, consultant or specialists and explain the descriptors the pension scheme measures by….ask that any letter does not use words like possible, likely , maybe etc that can be viewed wrongly.

    Again feel free to ask other questions


    Hi, 

    Thank you again for your advice I'm definitely going to follow it and speak to my gp again. All my specialists have discharged me saying no more treatment can be offered. 

    Yes I think my case is probably unique, I don't know why they just kept extending. They finally said we wont extend it again so i asked if i would be eligible for ill health retirement. I was off on long-term sick multiple times before my career break but I hadn't been officially diagnosed with anything, it took years to be diagnosed with fibro. I initially applied for 3 years as I had 2 young kids and all this was going on. I thought I could get myself "sorted" then come back but that wasn't what happened, my health kept deteriorating. I've worked for NICS since I was 17. 

    I forgot to mention before the OHS doctor has stated I'm clearly unfit for work at present so I've asked welfare what does this mean for me if/when the appeal is denied. They haven't got back to me yet.
    Sorry, I probably come across as a bit sceptical but not my intention, just a unique situation I have never heard of before….and a complicated one.

    it is unfortunate that your specialists have discharged you but shouldn’t stop you from getting a letter from them explaining the condition, symptoms and likely prognosis and their involvement in your care.

    Perhaps look at finding a Fibro specialist independent of the nhs etc…you may have to pay for any help or advice but it would be a small price to pay perhaps. A specialist in any medical field giving a professional opinion is hard to argue against.

    I am a bit sceptical about GPs giving evidence to anyone as generally all they can write is extracts from what’s on their system from the various people involved in your care, most of the time other than perhaps referring you to a specialist they generally have very little contact with you other than you initially going to see them. If it was me, I would offer to pay to have a detailed report from them with mindfulness of the pension schemes descriptors…it might be beneficial to give them a copy of these descriptors so they can refer to them specifically when writing any report…..also ask that you see the report first before it is sent anywhere. Dont leave it to chance that they will write the report you need, you may have to steer them in the right direction……I had a very frank discussion with my consultant and told her that I wasn’t asking for them to be dishonest or too sugar coat any report but I would appreciate that they keep in mind that how they write the report and the words and phrases used can have a negative impact despite no harm intended

    in any appeal against a medical decision you need to have your own evidence that counters what the pensions chief medical Officer says. You don’t have to prove anything with 100% certainty, but you need to evidence likelihood and probability and permanence….example of parts of a report might look like this…it is highly likely and indeed probable that mr x condition of y will not improve further and that all reasonable treatments have been exhausted. It is likely that Mr x will continue to suffer from the effects of his illness as highlighted in this report and that his symptoms will not get significantly better and in all probability will be permanent……..something along these lines but more detailed from a professional in Fibro would be difficult to ignore or dispute……What you have going on your side is that the chief medical Officer who makes the decision on your application may not be a specialist in Fibro but just has a very basic understanding of the condition……you need the most secure evidence you can find in order to prove your point to the appeal board.

    not an expert by any means but having thoroughly looked into everything to do with IHR before I applied the above will hopefully be helpful.
    No worries at all, I've never heard of a case like mine either lol I am very grateful for all your time & advice.
    I intend to head straight to the doctors first thing in the morning with the descriptors. I have paid them for a formal letter. The GP I am most familiar with is a fibro specialist but she's off sick at the minute. Just my luck.
    I'll check out those other forums. 

    Thanks again, very much appreciated 👍 
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