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Ill Health or medical retirement.

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Alexander13
Alexander13 Community member Posts: 55 Connected
edited March 2022 in Work and employment
Hi there has anyone been forced to apply for Ill health or medical retirement. If so how did you find the process?

What tier or type did you get and what was your condition. 

Any hints and tips

my health has degenerated over the last 5 years and in August 21 I could no longer work so have been off. There is no expected fix for me as I have degenerative disc disease with 9 discs having some form of bulge, facet joint and foramen arthritis with pinched nerves and have already had two hips replaced on waiting list for both shoulders and the knees have deteoration which means replacement will be required. 

I think I may need to apply for the above but need to ensure it’s done right to get the Proper Tier. 

Hints tips and examples welcome. 
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Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi there 

    I haven't been through the process but just wanted to give you few things to consider 

    Your employer cannot force you to take ill health retirement it is an option but not the only one 

    Taking a pension  income early will affect your entitlement to future benefits so ensure you are doing the right thing 

    Ill health retirement isn't easy to get you will need yo evidence to the pension provider you are no longer able to work in any capacity 

    Alternative could be medical dismissal no this won't give you an income but some employers do 0ay compensation so I suggest you get a copy of the company policy 

    Get some expert advice before doing anything 
  • Alexander13
    Alexander13 Community member Posts: 55 Connected
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    Thanks and your right. 

    I have checked the policies and have spoken to consultants and the work OHS. 

    There are 4 options, one is medical dismissal, the other is IHR and the council work on three tiers.

    They measure against gainful employment which is being able to work 30 hours a week for a 12 month period. 

     The best is

     tier 1 which provides an enhancement equal to the pension you would have got at normal retirement age. I will be 54 so the enhancement is 13 years. To get this you need to be unable to work until retirement. 

    Tier 2 gives you a 25% enhancement of what you would have for so enhances mine by 3.25 years. This is that you may be able to work again between 3+ and retirement age. 

    Tier 3 gives immediate access to benefits built up but no enhancement  but is reviewed after 18 months and is given if your not expected to get gainful
    employment within next 3 years. 

    If your not able to do existing job and don’t get one of the Tiers they can then medically dismiss. 

    I am just hoping that someone who has been successful can offer advice on medical reports , conditions and dealing with OHS and consultants. 

    Thanks in advance. 


  • SueHeath
    SueHeath Community member Posts: 12,420 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @Alexander13 i will be following you on this.
    I am on long term sick, since September, i work in schools, i will not be able to go back to work, but then again i am lucky in that respect that i'm only a year or two till normal retirement age.
    So please keep us informed with how you get on and the process. Thanks
  • JaneC_
    JaneC_ Community Volunteer Adviser Posts: 21 Connected
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    Hi @Alexander13, sorry you are having these difficulties. How are things going?


    I am just hoping that someone who has been successful can offer advice on medical reports , conditions and dealing with OHS and consultants.

    It’s good you’ve got the detailed policies about IHR. It’s not really about your conditions but how they affect your day to day functions and importantly your ability to work. You really need a supportive statements from your medical consultants and possibly others involved your care. 

    You need to think about whether you would be able to do ANY job (for 30 hours a week for a year) before your normal retirement age. And if not why? Why reasonable adjustments won’t enable you to work. Have they already considered all the possible reasonable adjustments for you, including different roles? Your answers to these questions will help you present your case. So you will need statements like no other treatments that would alter your position.

    The process usually involves OH writing to your consultants for evidence but in my experience it’s often better to talk to them yourself and get them to write a report that covers all the points needed. The policy or application process document should outline this. 

    The decision about which tier you will get is based on the evidence they get.

    I hope this helps  

    Do ask if you need further help.

    good luck
    jane 
  • Alexander13
    Alexander13 Community member Posts: 55 Connected
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    Thanks and  think your right the key is evidence and the consultants writing the correct answers for reports. At present I have gone from someone that used to go on 10 day walking holidays in pennies, cycled 15 miles a day to someone who can only walk a few yards without sticks , wheelchair or scooter and need to be horizontal for between 18-20 hours a day due to pain and fatigue. This is within last 6 years despite. 

    My consultants seem supportive and pain clinic explained that there is very little that could be done beyond what’s been tried. 

    Thanks for that. 
  • sciencegirl
    sciencegirl Community member Posts: 11 Listener
    edited April 2022
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    Hi @Alexander13
    I have, apart from the hips, virtually the same issues as you. I work in a school & job involves standing, lifting, carrying practical work up 2 flights of stairs many times a day etc. I have bulging discs L1-5 inc. facet joint are " very bad"  consultant at pain clinic told me,  obviously DDD. I also have a small scoliosis with leg length discrepancy,  which make those problems worse. I also have OA in knees & right hip. 
    I've had nerve ablation a few times, latest one hasn't worked & like you, pain clinic out of options. I've been off work for months.
    My own GP only works one day a week so I see a succession of temp Drs who just say why can't I work from home! Or want to go through whole rigmarole of scans, x rays etc again.  My type work means they can't make adjustments for me. But HR said I'm " not bad enough" to take retirement through ill health. ( She said  this although not medically qualified as she said she has a 'bad back' too!)
    Im terrified of losing my job & not having an income. I'm sole wage earner. If i take my pension now i will only get £7000 pa despite paying in for 20 odd yrs. 
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @sciencegirl

    First I would suggest staying employed at least if you are being paid 

    Hr may ne right about ill health retirement as some pension providers look at if you are able to work in any capacity in the future not only in your current role but any job 

    Basically you have to evidence you are not fit for work in any capacity 

    Taking pension early always has sacrifices as they are having to pay out longer than expected 

    Also taking a pension could reduce your entitlement to future benefits 

    Your benefits entitlement depends on your own circumstances you could try using a benefits calculator and putting in your details try different scenarios eg with or without the pension 
  • sciencegirl
    sciencegirl Community member Posts: 11 Listener
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    I have done this on benefits calculator & i would receive very little as my son had to move back in with me, so my TOTAL  monthly income including pension if i took it now would be £810 pm which with our high council tax etc is just not feasable. Oddly it said no council tax benefit.
    To be honest I want to stay in work but due to very physical job I was off for 6 months pre lockdowns, & 4 months so far this year. I literally cannot stand up for longer than 10 minutes as pain becomes excruciating & right leg gives way.  My job involves being on my feet for at least 7 hrs. That's without fact that I am really struggling to travel anywhere do to being unable to stand or walk more than length of living room ( I practice trying to walk further every day) without crutches. Even with I have to sit at regular intervals. 
    Ive been looking for other work but my age (59) & sick record don't do me any favours! I know fit friends my age who can't get work. :(
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    OK you may if on benefits get some council tax reduction but each council have different criteria 

    How old is your son and does he work 

    Is your house rented or mortgage 

    Have you looked into applying for pip lots of info on here in the pip section 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,191 Disability Gamechanger
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    I have done this on benefits calculator & i would receive very little as my son had to move back in with me, so my TOTAL  monthly income including pension if i took it now would be £810 pm
    Sometimes it's not worth taking any pension early. For New style ESA any pension of up to £85 per week is ignored. For every £1 over this amount your ESA will be reduced by 50p.
    For Universal Credit your pension will reduce it £1 for £1.
    If you rent your home you'll be able to claim for help with the rent through Universal Credit. If you own your home there will be no help with the mortgage.
    If you claim the ESA and UC together the ESA will be deducted in full from any UC entitlement.
    Your son's income will not be taken into consideration when working out benefit entitlement such as ESA. If you claim for help with the rent then there will be a non dependent deduction from your UC.
    If you have savings/capital of more than £16,000 there will be no entitlement to UC.
    Details here for PIP. https://pipinfo.net/ this isn't means tested so other income will not affect it.

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • sciencegirl
    sciencegirl Community member Posts: 11 Listener
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    Thanks for replies. I'll look into Pip. It seems a minefield! So many people that are worse than me ( I think) get refused, what the heck do they do?
    Gas, Electric & council tax alone come to £420 a month. 
    My son works f/t but has to pay mortgage on his flat that his partner still lives in. They did part buy/ part rent & struggling to sell. So he can only afford to give me a tiny amount towards food. He may be moving out in a few months. 
    I did benefits calculator. I'd only get £58 per week ESA. No council tax help.  
     I've been holding out hope that I'd miraculously recover I guess. Daft as even on my good days I struggle to cook or shower. Not sleeping for worrying about it. 
    Thank you all for your advice. 


  • Alexander13
    Alexander13 Community member Posts: 55 Connected
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    Thanks for replies. I'll look into Pip. It seems a minefield! So many people that are worse than me ( I think) get refused, what the heck do they do?
    Gas, Electric & council tax alone come to £420 a month. 
    My son works f/t but has to pay mortgage on his flat that his partner still lives in. They did part buy/ part rent & struggling to sell. So he can only afford to give me a tiny amount towards food. He may be moving out in a few months. 
    I did benefits calculator. I'd only get £58 per week ESA. No council tax help.  
     I've been holding out hope that I'd miraculously recover I guess. Daft as even on my good days I struggle to cook or shower. Not sleeping for worrying about it. 
    Thank you all for your advice. 


    Hi there I would advise if you haven’t already that you ask to be referred to your occupational health department. I would hope given your absence you would have been seen but you never know. It depends on your policies and whether your considered to have a disability what should be done. ACAS is a great source of information on continuing to work with reasonable adjustments, and IF you are recognised as having a disabled under the disability discrimination act then occupational health should make recommendations to your employer of how they can help you remain employed. 

    It could be a role without so much physicality or one that helps with extra breaks or different tasks. 

    If you are in a trade union I would talk to them and ask for support.  If not perhaps join unison, there is a period between joining and receiving full representation of a few months if I remember but would help with future issues. Contributions are based on salary. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,191 Disability Gamechanger
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    I did benefits calculator. I'd only get £58 per week ESA.

    That will be because of the pension, if you take it. You haven't said if you rent or own your home?
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2022
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    @Alexander13 just to update you thr disability discrimination act no longer relevant it was replaced by the equality act years ago 

    A disability under the equality act is defined as a physical or mental impairment that significantly impacts your ability to carry out day tobday activities and has lasted or likely to last for 12 months or more 
  • Alexander13
    Alexander13 Community member Posts: 55 Connected
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    Thanks just using old language you are quite right. 👍
  • sciencegirl
    sciencegirl Community member Posts: 11 Listener
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    Hi, just to answer couple of points. I own home not rent. 
    I have seen occupational health & was, quite frankly ,shocked at how utterly useless they were! I reported OH assessor to my school. Firstly the OH was in an awful place, no parking, up 2 flights of stairs etc. Then the OH, who it transpired was senior OH for our area ( !)  then proceeded to chat about her children & husband! I asked to get on track as I was in pain & sitting on hard plastic chair.
    She then said well as you have physical job & your school have  no other jobs suitable you'll have to leave. 
    I asked if I could claim medical retirement & she said no need as I could just leave & do childminding!  I pointed out that I would be unsuitable for that due to being unable to take children out, prepare food, play with them & so on. She then asked why I would need to  be active for childminding!!
    I literally was lost for words! 
    She then said she had  another 'idea'  which was was to " kick your son out & let his room, he can claim housing benefit" 
    At this point I asked her if she had any idea about my condition, my circumstances, my job... She said no, as she hadn't read paperwork! 
    It was unbelievable. 
    Sadly if i asked for another referral it would be with her I've been told as she is OH used. 
    I was in Unison but they were no help to be honest. I have  a letter from them saying unless I was "  registered disabled  with a named condition" they were unable to help me.
    I spoke to another lady at work who has health problems & she said she had similar issues with OH & union. Bit depressing really. Although she left work as she had husband earning so was in better position. My works' reasonable adjustments are,  a decent chair  for rare times I can sit & a trolley. But obviously I can't use trolley to carry practical equipment up & downstairs several times a day. The loo is also quite a walk & up 2 flights of stairs. 
    I have to bend over & use hands to get upstairs so that, along with standing & walking problems is why I've been unable to go back. 
    There have been 2 jobs available this year in my school, both of which involve walking around school & standing in class all day so not possible.
    Sorry, i feel a right Moaning Minnie! But just trying to explain circumstances x 



  • Alexander13
    Alexander13 Community member Posts: 55 Connected
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    It’s not moaning and sounds dreadful. 

    If you been referred to a consultant and been given a diagnosis ( I assume there is a diagnosis) osteoarthritis? Degenerative disc disease etc? 

    Are you in an Academy or maintained school. 

    If in a maintained school the I would raise a grievance about the OHS. 

    Your other recourse is to contact ACAS the conciliation service who are independent and can offer advice. 
  • sciencegirl
    sciencegirl Community member Posts: 11 Listener
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    Thanks Alexander13! I feel like at every turn I meet incompetence & lack of help. I'm in an academy - not great. My colleagues, the other techs, have been brilliant & before I went off sick  they have been helping as much as they can by carrying things for me etc. My immediate boss too is trying to rejig the timetable for next year so not so much of my work is upstairs, although it was him that moved it up in first place! He's suddenly realised I'm not great  healthwise & he said he doesn't want to lose me. It's the management & HR that are particularly unhelpful ( my boss is nice but weak so wouldn't stand up to them for me)  I feel so bad though, like I'm a burden to colleagues.. A few years ago I was running around like a mad thing & they used to joke that I should be skinny as a greyhound the amount I did! Not so much now, it all ground to a halt. 
    Trouble is even with help I'm munching on painkillers  just to get through the day & I'm good for nothing when I get home. 
     Since I've been off sick  ( since December) I've been  unable to walk my dog at all & rely on son to do it after work, which again isn't feasible long term after he moves out. I can't give up my dog! :(  I have to do all shopping online & cooking meals is hit & miss trying to reach everything while  perching on a stool. 
     I'm  getting info online from forums etc, that unless you literally can't walk length of a room & need constant care & need help reading etc, PIP will be impossible to get. 
    God. Wish I'd appreciated  health when I had some. This was all so sudden in 2019  although in  pain, it had been manageable up until then. 
    Thanks for letting me vent. 
    Wish everyone on here well, obviously there are many worse off than I am.   
    Some of the stories make me so sad, I wish I was in position to help others:(


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,191 Disability Gamechanger
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     I'm  getting info online from forums etc, that unless you literally can't walk length of a room & need constant care & need help reading etc, PIP will be impossible to get. 


    That's quite simply terrible advice. PIP is all about how your conditions affect you at least 50% of the time over a 12 month period, against the 12 PIP activities. It's not about a diagnosis.
    I claim standard daily living and Enhanced mobility. I definitely don't need constant care. My daughter claims Enhanced for both and she doesn't need constant care. She has no physical conditions and can walk and run.
    Please have a read of the PIP link i posted above.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • sciencegirl
    sciencegirl Community member Posts: 11 Listener
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    @poppy123456- thank you so much for that ray of hope! I'll apply. I may get something that could help so I could at least cut my hours at work, that may be able to help me keep my job. Better get cracking, I know it takes a while. 
    Both my parents were disabled ( I used to say  cheers for the genes!  :D)
    And I remember my Dad having some awful assessments ( it's nothing new to nowadays)  as though his leg had grown back to normal length  from the previous appointment! 
    One physio even tried to get him on an exercise bike, he said, bit difficult to ride a bike  with only 1 knee! Lucky he could laugh about it.  :#
    What a palaver it is not being fit eh?

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