Do I sign off sick permanently ?

I was diagnosed with Progressive MS last October. At the time I was off work sick but now with aids and various treatments for the side-effects, I returned to work in December. Fortunately, the company have allowed me to work from home as doing 80 mile round trip every day was too hard (too fatigued to drive home). However, even working from home I find by Wed PM, fatigue is kicking in and I have had either Thursday off work sick to recover and sometimes the Friday as well.

I assume others also find the fatigue a struggle when working full time. Should I just go off sick permanently and then wait for processes to kick in from work which may enable me to take medical retirement or do I just keep taking 1 or 2 days off every week.

Many thanks for any advice

The best thing I did was to give up work completely.

All my efforts were focused on me and what benefits I am entitled to.

The pressure of work was an unbelievable relief when removed and my own health became a priority…

I cant understand people who choose to force themselves to carry on working for the benefit of other people when you should be putting yourself first.

You need all your strength to deal with the benefits system.

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Retiring on ill health has its own hurdles but put yourself first.

I went down the retirement on ill health route. As long as your GP and DWP are happy with sicknotes, youre in the clear. Tell your GP how bad it is for you to work and he should do the sicknotes. You``ll have to go through the ESA farce and should get into the support group. Youll be asked to an interview. Unless any of this has changed during the 20 years since I retired aged 47.

Thanks for the feedback. Got the nurse doing a home visit in a couple of weeks so will discuss with her and then probably go off again full time.

I found myself struggling more and more and dropped from 5 days to 4, then when I started missing half those days I changed to 4 half days. And when I was missing half of those, I just quit. I’m slowly working my way through our Disability system to see if I can get any help, but I’m so much better now that I’m not having to work every day.

Hi i have MS and still work full time ,I say that with sadness as I really cant cope any more with the pressures of my job which I have loved for many yrs (CPN).I now feel my own mental health is suffering .I am 59 but cant get state pension until im 66 and 9 months.OK ill have a NHS pension when I reach 60 but its not a liveable income.I too feel its time to go off sick and try to take ill health retirement .A year ago I had 4 months off work due to balance etc and occi health were really supportive perhaps not so my manager i feel as if she thinks She pays my wage or it could be that I feel ive failed by allowing MS to defeat me. Sorry if this sounds "feeling sorry for my self " but its taking me all my energy to just exist at work .

Hi Markfsb, if your employer pays full or half pay whilst you’re off sick, use this to your full advantage for as long as possible i.e keep on with full time off sick due to M.S…

The employer can’t sack you but they can stop paying you. If needs be, apply for benefits as soon as possible.

Ask your H.R dept what their sickness policy is and the early retirement offers available solely based on a long term, incurable, ill health condition. But never mention voluntary early retirement.

Be aware, if you tell them you want to take early retirement, then you may be reducing your Company Pension pay out. It’s usually 5% off for each year short of their retirement age.

If you have 10yrs before reaching the Company retirement age, Then 10yrs x 5% = 50%. A huge drop!

Your employer may have a disciplinary policy with regular sickness i.e every Friday & Monday off sick sheds a light on regular long weekends (a trick used by healthy employees).

Your firm sound decent to employees like yourself allowing working from home. Though I expect if you requested less hours then your salary would reduce. However, if the Company offers you less hours, they could decide, based on medical reports, to pay less than full pay but not much less.

A lot depends on the Company, their Pension & Sickness policies plus your position in the Company status length of service etc.

The above covers income only. Not the priceless quality of life. A lot can be said for using precious time in living, enjoying the simpler things in life whilst you can. These are priceless memories. I’ve never ever heard anyone say they haven’t worked enough.

Good luck with your choices, nothing insurmountable. Fatigue can be managed.

Chrissie x

Hi Kerste, yes, its right bugger that you have so long to get your state pension. Have you thought about applying for PIP? It is a disability payment you can claim whilst still working or not. Pushing onwards probably wont help, so have a good think about whats best for you. Bouds xx

Hi there, all good advice above.

If you do decide to go down the ill retirement path. Be prepared for the long haul. Not all employers are good a d fair.

It took me well over a year to get my retirement. Every meeting you have take someone to be a note taker. Keep a paper trail.

I am so glad I retired but it wasnt an easy procedure. BUT DON’T GIVE UP.


Hi Mark, have you thought about asking your employer if you can work part-time? You should apply for PIP first which is a benefit you can apply for working or not. It would boost your income hopefully to a point where you could manage part-time. For PIP it’s worth joining a website called ‘Benefits and Work’ which takes you step-by-step through the application process. Whatever you decide, best of luck. It’s hell trying to work full time with MS fatigue. Pat x

Hi all. I first used this forum 5years ago when I was first diagnosed. Its lovely to see some of the names I first encountered still going strong. I unfortunately find myself in the same situation as Mark. I have worked in the NHS as a dentist for 30 years but have been struggling coping with treating patients due to fatigue, balance issues and weakness. I self referred to occupational health. I’m in the process of taking ill health retirement but have been advised it will probably be what’s called tier 1 which means I can no longer do the job I’m doing but can do a like job of similar duration. If I could continue work I would continue doing what I know best. Tier 2 is awarded if you cant do your job and are deemed unable to do any other for like duration. Has anyone had any experience of this situation as it is very distressing.

Thanks for all the advice. My PIP application is in the system (takes for ever!). Sadly, I can’t get any benefit allowances once I leave work so for the moment going to continue to blag it with work and the moment someone raises a concern that I don’t appear to be contributing as much as I should, I will go off sick again and start the ill-health retirement route. Buys me a few more months of full/75% salary.

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People do it as it constitutes a big part to who the person is in many cases. If I did not have the life offered to me as a service engineer with constant challenges, I may as well keel over and die right now.


If you have a mortgage it’s worth checking to see if you have critical illness cover as ms is listed and you should get that paid off which takes a lot of financial pressure off. My insurance refused to pay initially but I went through the Financial ombudsmen who forced them, and fined them for the stress they’d caused as I almost lost my house when I was forced to stop working.


Hi. This is my first post so hi everyone. I am also going through the ill health retirement process. To be honest, I didn’t know I could until our HR department suggested it due to my absences (including 7 weeks off last March when I lost my balance, fell, and broke my elbow). Anyway, the OT nurse who I seen agreed that I wasn’t fit for work. I did get a bit upset at the time. I’m coming to my point now. She suggested that when everything was signed off etc. that there was plenty of homeworking opportunities out there. This way, I can earn some money and work at my own pace. I haven’t yet explored this, but I definitely will! Lisa

sounds like the could be the answer! But pace yourself and get good quality rest. Boudsx

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