I should have stopped working two years ago, my colleagues were very good with making sure the physical aspects of my job were done by someone else and I never felt this was an issue for anyone. When it came to the admin side of work I was finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate and organise, I would wake up at two in the morning in a panic about something I had forgotten or desperately trying to remember where I should be that particular day. The milestone for me was admitting to myself that I could no longer work. As soon as I had been to my GP and told him how I was feeling and that I was not coping at work I felt a great weight had been lifted. Immediately I slept better and started to relax consequently making me feel emotionally better. I worried about money but knew I could no longer work so had to put my faith in the system. With the help of CAB I was put in the contribution based support group of ESA. Bear in mind that for every £1 over £85 you receive in private pension they will deduct 50p from your benefit.
There are three tiers of local government pension when they look at retiring you early. If you are given tier one they will make your pension up to the level you would have been at had you worked to your correct retirement age. Tier two is about two thirds and tier one is about half. I should say that is my experience of it so it should follow everyone is treat the same.
I don’t know a great deal about the benefit system but it seems that being in the contribution based ESA prevents you receiving other help eg free prescriptions, free dental work. Whereas if you were placed in the income based you do receive these things. There must be a logical reason for this but I fail to see it.
I worked for the same department for 31 years but I don’t miss it one little bit. My quality of life is so much better…I hate to say it but I really don’t know how I had time to work!!!