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Hi, my name is Leannenurse1! Has anybody else experienced ill health retirement?

Leannenurse1 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
edited August 2022 in Work and employment
Hi there, 
I have been off work within the nhs as a registered nurse for 2 years. I have worked with the trust for 20years. I was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder 1 year ago. I am unable to work, and barely able to deal with day to day life never mind any other sort of employment. I have been told via a meeting that it is a risk to apply for an I’ll health retirement as I may have my contract terminated without any pension. They have said I require as much evidence as possible to support my case. Has anyone else experienced this process with the nhs? The whole process is having such an impact on me. Should I approach a solicitor for advice? My union rep doesn’t seem to have a clue. I’m in limbo and have no idea what to do for the best. My union will not provide legal advice if it’s work related. In addition, I am 45 years old. Thanks.



  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Leannenurse1 and welcome to the online community :) 

    It's lovely to see you join us, thanks for creating your first discussion and telling us about what you are going through.

    I'm sorry to read of the situation you are in at the moment, it sounds really difficult and it's a shame to read that you feel as though you can't cope with every day life at the moment. 

    Do you have any support in place to help you to manage your bipolar and any other conditions you have? For example, is your GP aware of how much you have struggled recently? If not, or if you feel as though you need further support, I would recommend getting in touch with them to talk about your situation.

    Do you have any other friends, family or other loved ones who are supporting you through this undoubtedly difficult time? 

    I have moved your thread over to our work and employment category, and have changed the title a bit. This isn't a subject I have much knowledge of, but I wanted to share with you this page on the Scope website that contains information about ill health retirement and what you should consider.
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  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community 

    I'm sorry to hear of your situation 

    I'm not familiar with the NHS process but in general it is quite hard to get ill health retirement from any pension provider especially when young 

    Basically you need to evidence you are never going to be able to return to work while of working age 

    A solicitor wouldn't really be any help as they can only offer you advice not represent you in workplace disputes 

    Your union should be the one doing this so I would try and contact somebody higher in the union 

    It is possible they could dismiss on grounds of capability as you are not fit to return to work and yes is ill health retirement isn't authorised it would be without a pension.

    Bear in mind any pension  you do take can affect entitlement to benefits and you may find dependant on your circumstances benefits maybe a better option 

    For work advice have a look at acas website 

    For pension advise look at pension wise 

    And benefits look at welfare rights 

    Good luck 
  • Jan1176
    Jan1176 Community member Posts: 6 Connected
    I am sorry to hear about your situation with your health.

    I worked for the NHS and I was medically retired aged 42 (now 50).  If I remember correctly as it was a while back now, my employers contacted NHS Pension on my behalf after initially trying to find a way forward to see if there were reasonable changes that could be made in order for me to continue to do my job.  However, this was not possible but to be able to retire on medical grounds, I understand that you have to be found not to be fit to be able to do your current job or any other form of work.   

    Its all very complicated and I needed to be seen by an independent occupational health professional to be assessed.  Please also consider that once you go down this route, if you improve and decided to go back to the NHS then you have to stop getting the pension and then payments continue as they did before into your pension.  Another aspect is if you decide you are well enough to take up some form of employment elsewhere you are limited in what you are able to earn, as you are not allowed to earn over the amount received by your NHS pension.  

    You could contact the NHS Pensions to get some advice.  I hope some of what I have said helps you.  

    Wishing you all the best. 

  • SueHeath
    SueHeath Community member Posts: 12,420 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Leannenurse1 welcome to our great group, 
    I think the advise you have been given is very good and something that you can look into.
    I am not impressed with your union tho and would take that further.
    Good luck with all.
  • Leannenurse1
    Leannenurse1 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
    Jan1176 thank you so much for your information, it’s been really helpful.
    so I had a chat with the pension
    people and apparently in order for me to get a tier 2 pension which is where you get a lump sum and a monthly payment, they have to prove not only the permanence of my condition, prove I am unable to work in my current role or any other role within the nhs, and also unable to work at all in any other job outside of the nhs.
    then if I’m found entitled to a tier 1 pension, I only get what contributions I have paid in myself to date. It’s all a bit of a minefield and very stressful. My concern is that the occ health doctor isn’t specifically trained in my disability and may not give me a fair decision. What do you think? 
  • Jan1176
    Jan1176 Community member Posts: 6 Connected
    Hi Leannenurse1

    Well done for making that call.  I would hope that the Occupational Health person that they would send to see you would be qualified to be able assess you.  They also take  medical history into account.  So if you have been hospitalized, under consultants etc, then you can definitely add all of this to support you.  If you have a doctor/consultant that you feel would perhaps support your decision, then maybe they could do a letter of support that can go with your occupational assessment.  

    If you decide to go ahead, check first with the NHS Pension that if you were to only be entitled to tier 1, how much that will be.  At least if you have an idea of what you are looking at, you can make the judgement of whether you are going to manage ok.  You can still claim benefits, PIP, which will help if you are able to get it but again, the process is not easy and that in itself is very stressful.  
    Its good to know what all your options are before making that decision.  

    I hope you get on ok.  Take care. 
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,983 Disability Gamechanger
    Another really insightful and supportive thread! Thanks everyone for contributing to the supportive and friendly space. 

    If anyone needs any further support please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are all here for you  :)
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    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • Glamma74
    Glamma74 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hi there just been reading your posts so sorry you're going through such a stressful process  :( If you haven't already applied for your PIP i am happy to help you with that as it can be very confusing and difficult. I successfully managed to apply for mine  :). Good luck with everything  ;)
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,507 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @glamma74 :) Well done on your successful PIP claim! And thank you for the kind offer of advice and support. It'd be great to hear more about your experiences over in our PIP category
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  • Leannenurse1
    Leannenurse1 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thank you all for your supportive messages. I have since been approved for PIP, so that is a massive weight off my mind. But thank you @Glamma74 much for the kind offer of helping. 
     I have only just managed to submit my evidence file to occupational health and it can at least another 9 months for that decision to be made. So stressful, it’s just a process that has to be done unfortunately.

  • Glamma74
    Glamma74 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    That's fantastic @Leannenurse1! That's one off your list!!! It's such a shame to have all that stress put onto everything else you're going through. Fingers crossed for you 🤞🏽🤞🏽🤞🏽
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