Ill health retirement from teaching

Hello, I was hoping that someone would be able to offer any advice as I have just been turned down for ill health retirement.

I have been signed off from work since September and the doctor at occupational health has recommended ill health retirement. The reply has come from ATOS saying that there is not enough medical evidence although the doctor has clearly said that I am unfit for work and they have acknowledged that - so I am unsure what they really want! they have asked for reports from the neuro who saw me for 10 minutes several months ago and discharged me from his books as I had bad fatigue but there was no treatment for it, so I am unsure what he will be able to say to help, also he is way until July.

Are there any ex teachers out there who have had to appeal for ill health retirement ?

Do you have any advice on how to succeed on appeal ?


judy x

I’ve sent you a private message.

Sarah x

Hi Judy, I’m not a teacher, i don’t think it matters what kind of job you are in??!!!

I was turned down for early retirement due to my neurologist saying that we could try different meds !!! I was told from the people at the pension place that you can only apply twice for ill health retirement , if you are turned down both times you just have to wait until retirement age. I am going to apply again (you do it by letter) but I keep putting it off as I am too scared to incase I am refused again. I have spoken to my neurologist and he said he would support me if I applied again. I’m not confinsed that he will , I’m also convinsed that he does not believe me, i think if it wasn’t for the leisons on my brain, he would say I did not have MS. I really don’t like him, I panic for weeks before my yearly appointment with him, I’m close to tears when i see him, I can’t speak properly when I see him, He intimidates me.

I know I have went on a tangent here, sorry for that !!!

Please let me know what you decide to do and maybe it’ll help me to find the conffidence to re-apply.

good luck

keep smiling

catherine x

Hi Judy

It’s important that you get professional support and advice. Are you in a union? Failing that …citizens advice, the MS helpline… I was a teacher and still worked in education when I took voluntary redundancy (thanks to government cuts). Prior to that, even with SPMS, my union and my GP warned me that there was no guarantee I would get ill health retirement.

Good Luck!

Anne x

Hi Anne,

what does it take for these folk to realise that when all your health proffesionals including employers agree that you are totaly unfit to work? they don’t realise what pressure we are put under, having to 'convince ’ everyone and their dog that we simply just can’t work ? If you think about it, they would be put under less pressure from ‘us’ and ‘we’ would never be annoying them again !!!

keep smiling


I can’t understand why it has anything to do with ATOS. Par for the course really their KRA; intent is to get us sick; lame and lazy off our crutches and wheelchairs and into work so now they are extending that to honest people whose doctors say should retire so they are keeping them employed.

Most definitely appeal but get professional help and anyone of these organisations will.

Good luck


No experience to go on but I think it is important to be able to show recovery of working capability is most unlikely (a tricky one with some types/phases of ms), and that even with all reasonable adaptations, the work is still unmanegeable.

thank you everyone for your advice- I contacted occupational health who were amazed that it had been rejected but advised me to appeal and send the letters that the doctor had written to my school and the letter from the neuro to occupational health (although the neuro was very non committal about whether or not I could work or not !!).

I have just had the reply and it has been accepted- they have said I am unfit to teach but think that I can do other sorts of work (even though the doctor said that I can’t !!) so I have partial ill health retirement. I have spoken to my union and they think that it would be very unlikely that I would get total ill health retirement and that this is a good outcome !!

What is the implication of the partial ill health retirement in terms of pension income?

Hi Catherine, why don`t you see about seeing a different neuro? it seems so wrong that you get so worked up before seeing someone who obviously makes you feel bad. Ask your GP about it, eh?

luv Pollx

It’s just shocking the way we get treated- they would have you liking stamps if they thought it would get you to work, so that you wouldnt be receiving benefits anymore ! i was getting Employment Support Allowance for 2 years approx £400 per month and now they have taken it off me cause I’ve been on it long enough and should be getting off my arse and finding a job !! they say i cant get anyother beneifts because my husband earns too much - Aye right !!!

They are all a shower of non caring, selfish, ignorant idiots !! God help them if any of the big wigs got MS and had to leave work and get nothing !!!

anyway- keep smiling !!!

Cath x