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Hi, my name is squinns1! Ill health retirement advice?

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squinns1
squinns1 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
edited September 2022 in Work and employment
Hi I will try to be brief but my situation is rather complicated
 I have Stage 4 endometriosis poor gut motility and unfortunately caught covid at work in the hospital and have long covid I've been off work since December 2021. I was going to ask for ill health retirement however I battled and thought I might be able to return. I did 2 weeks of one-and-a-half hours of IT work from home and then had an accident that triggered the long covid again.  I contacted HR and said I wanted to apply for ill health retirement as I cannot invisage how I can be a reliable employee when any stress/emotion/illness triggers long covid and they're now saying I'm not eligible because I started a phased return. My sick notes still say long covid and and I just don't know who to turn to or what to do for the best I've worked for the NHS for 25 years I've had a pension since 1998 but I've only worked part-time for the last 11 years because of my illness please help I'm desperate

Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi and welcome to the community 

    I would advise you stay off sick until your sick pay entitlement is coming to an end then think about your options 

    Ill health retirement has very strict criteria for eligibility as you need to evidence you are no longer able to work in any capacity for the remainder of your working age 

    Try and get more info from your pension provider 


  • squinns1
    squinns1 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
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    I have run out of time as my next meeting is on 3rd oct when HR are likely to terminate my contract as I am unable to give a date when I know I will be able to return in any capacity. Being employed by the NHS is so hard when employment/legal advice is required because apparantly as a Trust they can basically make up the rules? I have always worked in the NHS & have no idea what to do. I am really scared about money and have never ever claimed any financial support. Because I have some equity in my house, I am not eligible for any benefits? 
  • bg844
    bg844 Community member Posts: 3,887 Disability Gamechanger
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    Because I have some equity in my house, I am not eligible for any benefits? 
    Simply not true. The main disability benefit PIP is not means-tested and doesn’t matter how much money you have, if or if you don’t work. New-Style ESA is another benefit that doesn’t matter how much savings you have (but does have earnings and hour limits). Many people on Universal Credit do have mortgages/own their homes too, you also get a higher work allowance if you meet the criteria.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Just because they are a trust they still have to comply with minimum requirements of employment law 

    They can then have policies of their own which go over and above the legal requirement which from little knowledge I have of nhs policy they are more generous than other employers 

    As above just because you have equity in property doesn't mean you are not eligible for any benefits 

    As for employment advice acas has an excellent website and offer support.

    Are you in a union they should be able to advise and support you if so.
  • SueHeath
    SueHeath Community member Posts: 12,420 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2022
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    Hi @squinns1 welcome to our great group.
    Can i just ask do you actually work for the NHS direct or do you work for a contractor ?

    As Janer has mentioned are you in the union ?
  • squinns1
    squinns1 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
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    I have worked for the NHS since 1989. Started my superannuation pension in 1998. Sadly my experience, and that of many others in the NHS has been far from supportive when anything arises that results in needing help & advice. Yes I was with a union who have not been informative or supportive, the rep assigned to me promised she would stay with me until the end of this but got promotion & left and the new rep has only been employed with them for 2 months & has absolutely no experience with the NHS. HR the same & I've lost track of the emails I have sent trying to get help from anyone involved in the trust..hence my desperation and why I'm here now
  • SueHeath
    SueHeath Community member Posts: 12,420 Disability Gamechanger
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    Morning @squinns1 your age can come into this as well, I am 65yr and going through the process with the same pension i worked in schools. I think yours may be a difficult one as with long covid no one knows much about it and how long it will last. Janer is right when claiming early retirement through ill health, it is not an easy rout, I am still waiting to hear, i had my OH assessment one month ago and even they agreed that i can not work again.
    Have you tried claiming PIP and ESA. 
    With your HR meeting hopfully they will keep your job open, has your sick pay come to an end ?

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    As sue has indicated I think the issue will be that long covid may not be considered to be a condition that will last the remainder of your working life 
    Also you said certain things trigger it so at times you don't have any symptoms which could indicate it may improve 

    If you can't return to work they don't really have any alternative but to medically dismiss if the ill health retirement is refused 

    I know this isn't what you want to hear but that's the inevitable 

    If you do get better over time you can find a mors suitable role 

    Check your entitlement to benefits try not to panic too much it will all work out 

    I had to give up work 6 years ago with no notice due to instant disability I am single parent and yes it was a battle but we got through and out the other side 
  • squinns1
    squinns1 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
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    I also have stage 4 endometriosis, gut dysmotility, migraines in additon to LC. I am only 51 & care for a child too. My rep has no experience/knowledge of NHS & only been in post 2 months. Ive bn refused PIP. I think the trouble is they are invisible llnesses and not classed as a disability, plus I have always clawed my way back with the endo but LC has destroyed me.

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    All you can do is try and get ill health but be prepared if not.

    You might find some support through acas but they are more employment issues rather than pension 

    I didn't take my pension or even apply for it 

    Any pension will affect your eligibility to benefits 

    If your ssp has ended you can claim new style.esa even if still employed as long as you have paid ni contributions in last 2 tax years 

    You could.try s benefits calculator on gov website to see what you maybe able to claim it all depends on circumstances eg if your single have children housing situation savings etc 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 55,990 Disability Gamechanger
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    The house you live in is disregarded from all means tested benefits.
    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.
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