Giving up work??


I’m going through a really bad time with MS at the moment.

Along with my normal lack of mobility, fatigue, aches and pains, stiff legs, bladder issues I’m feeling stressed, anxious and tearful.

I can’t face the thought of returning back to work and have hated it for the last year or so but just keep going as I need the money.but it is such a physical struggle and I know I look like death warmed up!

Can anyone give me any tips on leaving work through ill health as I don’t know if this will be possible for me??

Sorry for being so fed up but … I can’t see any good things in my life at the moment and i’ve turned into a miserable person dwelling on my MS.


Hi Sue

I used to work for the NHS. I retired through ill health 2 years ago at the age of 51 after having 6 months off sick following a bad fall at work where I broke my foot. It was one fall after another at work for around a year so I was referred to Occ Health who made changes adaptations at work to try and make it easier for me to continue but these changes didn’t work so I was offered ill health retirement.

I had to be off work for 6 months before my line manager could start the ball rolling.

Do you work for a private company or public sector?

PM me if you need any further info.

Good luck.

Shazzie xx

hi sue

i worked for local government as an area senco.

i had 6 months off on ful pay, then 6 months on half pay.

then occupational health got involved and i was offered ill health retirement.

it will depend on your occupational pension provider and on your employer.

carole x


Thanks for the replies - they have cheered me up!

Yes I work in local government and my t’s and c’s are same as Carole’s.

I didn’t think it was straight forward to get retired through ill health as they look at the possibility of you being able to return to work?

But I’ve has MS for over 20 years and I have gone downhill especially over the last year and think I need to stop work to get a better quality of life.

So should I just stay off sick or do I ask for ill health retirement?

Thanks Sue

Hi, I worked for local council for 15 years. The last 8 months was on the sick. You must let them finish you. Never tell them you want to finish. With progressive ms, I am afraid you probably won’t improve enough to stay in the same job. Stick it out lass and look after yourself. X

good advice from Boudica.

make sure you study any options that exist and go for the best one for you.

Do not resign.

hmmm- not sure, actually no, it’s exactly what I did and now wish I had stopped earlier as it lead to a mega attack of optic Neuritis about a year ago which left me permanently sight damaged. I think clearly STOP work A.S.A poss! - ok financially it will be difficult but never underestimate the Ms, it does noe like stress and could cause long term damage.

Like Poll says let them tell you when you need to get referred to Occ Health and then Occ Health will give you an assessment and if they feel it necessary they will contact Pension Dept to start the ball rolling.

I didn’t actually say that I wanted to retire early I was told by my boss that I wasn’t fit to return to work.

Shazzie xx

I had to go sick last April and I knew I wouldn’t get back to work, I spoke to my Manager and told her I just couldn’t carry on any longer and unless a miracle occurred I wouldn’t be back to work, we are a small office and I would have felt uneasy not being totally honest. If you are not as certain of your managers support as I was then it’s probably better not to be as upfront. I also worked for local government. They look at your condition and occ health like to be sure all has been done to enable you to continue working. In my case I had gone from full time to term time so I had more leave time, which didn’t make one iota of difference. If anything it just made going back more difficult.

As soon as your six months full pay is finished and you go to half pay you will need to register with DWP for your statutory sick pay. By that time you will know how things are going regarding your (hopefully) referral to occ health and for occ health to recommend your early retirement. It is helpful if you have letters from your consultant, MS Nurse and or GP with evidence of your condition and how it impacts on your day to day life.

When the time comes for you to fill in the forms for ESA you might find it useful to go to CAB they will help you fill the forms in. This is what I did and I heard back seven day after I posted the forms, I couldn’t believe how quickly it all happened. Please PM me if you want further details or have any queries.

Best wishes

Jan x


Can’t help with the early retirement was made redundant 6 years back and my first pension kicked in two years later when i turned fifty, it is a small pension but because hubby still works we are out of the range for payment of ESA, as Jan says go see the citizen advice folk i used to volunteer, and most offices can help with the forms and also have business lawyers at hand with regards any queries, good luck, you need to build in your stress levels also, because MS doesn’t like stress., hear someone who pushed herself at the Christmas break and is still recovering



Thanks for all the great advice.

So I shall keep going off sick and wait to be referred to OH?

Saw a GP this afternoon and mentioned giving up work due to the struggle and stress but she was worried that I would be isolated if I was in the house all day and suggested I go part time. I said that I wanted a better quality of life and needed to stop working.

My previous GP and MS Nurse have suggested for the last few years that I stop working!

Thanks again but I am now determined to give up work and enjoy life more after reading all the positive posts!


In the middle of the process of leaving teaching at the moment. After 3rd visit to OH doctor he told me I was unfit to work, so I haven’t been back. Best decision ever! I will lose about £1000 a month even putting all my small pensions together (I’m 57) but something’s are better than money. I’m lucky in that my house is paid for and I have Motability car, but I’m recently divorced and live alone. I’m halfway through my six months full pay and dealing with 3 pension authorities who all need forms filling and evidence gathered. I have a great MS nurse who has said she will co ordinate the reports required, but I have written reports myself that state how my MS stops me working.

I have to admit I still have a major conflict between relief at not having to work anymore and scared about the lack of money in the future, lots of sleepless nights!


Yes a reduction in money will defo be an issue but I am exhausted and fed up with MS and I need to stop getting so stressed through work.

I suspect my pension, if I can get it, i am 52, will be fairly low and I will have to be even more careful with money.

So I too will continue with the sleepless nights!

Hey ho what can I do?


Sue work is such an over rated pass time give it up.

I would love to be able to work but I do and dont miss it if you know what I mean.

Good luck. Xx Don

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!!!

Jan x