Hi everyone, haven’t posted on here for a while so please bear with me. Curently applying for ill health retirement from the civil service after ten years in this dept and the rest of my working life in others. DX in 2006 and part time since then. My wokload has never really been lessened and last November, just couldn’t work anymore due to eye probs, fatigue and concentration problems. Had letter today from ocupational health and now really worried that the application will be turned down. It seems to all rest on the report from my consultant who I see twice a year for about five minutes a time. last time he prescribed steroids which made me feel worse. All he has said is about five lines to the effect that he “cannot give a prognosis but MS os progressive and will not get better”. Has anynoe else had an experience like this? I know if I do not get the pension my union will help me appeal and I could possibly take the work retirement pension (I am 54) bit this is considerablly less than the ill health pension. It is bad enough having this horrible disease and money worries are something I can do without.

Thanks for reading, hope you are all well as can be and enjoying the sun

Marion xxx

I am in a very similar situation.

I am in the local government superannuation scheme.

My work said in Nov 11 that they could no longer make adjustments and therefore it was the end of the road and they sent me to occy health for ill health retirement.I am 44.

Since Oct I have been off sick,occy health report supported retirement,and it went to the neuro. All that time it has taken means I have been off 10 mnths I am now on half pay. No idea what the neuro will say as Ive only seen him once and he hadnt got any of my notes from the previous neuro.

I have contacted work numerous times, to be told its up to the pension people now to decide which tier you will be on and that they will contact me before work,to go in for a meeting.

So I empathise with your worries,as if you are like me its like being in limbo all over again.You darent make life plans,and if you are like me there is alot of mortgage still to pay.

I was assessed by ATOS who say I am perfectly fit for work with no limited capability!!!

So again I cant help but I do feel for you

Good luck


You should go for the Ill Health Retirement; these, as it differs with every work contract, differ but are usually enhanced.

I suggest you contact DIAL who will come around your house and help with the forms. Or Benefits and work who give excellent advice.

Then there’s TPAS they offer free pension advice

Good luck


Hi Marion

I have recently retired from teaching on ill health grounds. Like you, my neuro’s report was the most important and he would only say that I had MS and would need to “adjust my activities” and would not commit to saying that I could not carry on working. I had seen him once in the previous two years for a five minute consultation.

Occupational health said that I was completely unable to carry on working but the pension people used ATOS to assess my application and turned it down saying in their opinion I able to carry on working as a teacher until normal retirement age - I had been off work for nearly a year by then. My neuro was away on a sabbatical so I could not get another report even if he had been willing to write one. I appealed and then ATOS decided I should have partial ill health retirement - so a reduced pension - but it did mean that I could finally finish work. I decided not to risk losing that by appealing again to try and get total ill health retirement.

It was a difficult time but was definitely worth appealing- I had no further neuro report but whoever was assessing it must have decided to accept it on appeal. The cynic in me does wonder if that was always their plan!!

I understand that this is a stressful and unsettling time but I hope that things work out well for you

good luck

Judy x

Hi Marion,

I understand how you feel, I have been off work for 5 years and 7 months, I worked in a school for the local government, after a number of mistake between OH and school, I have finally been awarded ill health retirement, (I am 50), the council is giving me extra years to 65 years.

It is hard work, but keep pushing to get what you deserve, contact your union and get them involved.

Good luck


Atos recently assessed my case for early retirement/pension on grounds of I’ll health from nhs and am now happily defied age 55 , however, they assessed me 6 months later for ESA incapacity and put me in the work group, apparently my ms will have gone in 18 months and I’ll be fit for work. Til then I can have £25 a week based on my 35 hrs of NI contributions. Good luck with your case!!

Hi, Marion - I’m 56 have had this 'blo*dy MS for too long. I was a director in the motor trade and had to come out of it. With the MS, I worked about 8 years at Sky (answering the phone and I didn’t have to ‘move’ - there were about ‘6’ other people there with MS but I was ‘encouraged’ not to meet them - don’t know why but it didn’t really matter!) - Do what you want to do and make the decision, ‘what is BEST FOR YOUR HEALTH!’ My wife is an ‘Opthalamist’ and I have had ‘MS’ for 13/14 years so she is ‘familiar’ with many of the problems, my Doctor says that he might ‘get it’ as he has a ‘relation’ with MS (and quite honestly, he will not be ‘pulled’ one way or the other - he is in the same boat as you and me because he realises that there is NO CURE FOR MS!

Marcus. x.

Hi everyone

Thanks for your comments. My work pension company is Capita so it will be interesting to see what they are like compared to ATOS. Will keep you informed of progress.

Have heard of a man with MS who lost use of both hands and was still found capable of work by ATOS, it beggars belief.



Remember that different parts of the same organisation might have different roles to play in your assesments for different things and they can contradict themselves.

For example, I am expecting to have ATOS involved in my life in many different ways in the future.

  1. I am a Civil Servant and the occupational health provider for our department is ATOS. I have had a number of different assesments by them as my employers keep asking different questions. The main questions they have been asked relate to reasonable adjustments for me to keep in employment - which is what I want.

For me, ATOS as occupational health have been OK but I know other people in my department who have been treated VERY badly. Every ATOS doctor/nurse I have seen so far has been rather scathing about the pressure they have been put under generally by my department and the “stupid and crass” questions they are asked. (“How long will her condition last?” is a favourite - I did suggest to the last doctor I saw that this obviously meant that my department was looking at providing me with a one way ticket to Dignitas as a reasonable adjustment and she did find that very funny)

  1. If I wanted to go down the Medical Retirement route then ATOS would be asked to provide a different report, applying the very different criteria for MR, and that would be assessed by HR and senior management who make the decision. My Union representative who is very good and very clued up on disabilty issues generally tells me that, even if ATOS were favourable in their report, MR is becoming very rare inb my department indeed.

  2. My application for DLA is pending and - as far as I know - ATOS may be involved in any medical assesment for that if required. More different criteria for them to report on.

  3. If I get DLA, ATOS has got the contract for PIP assesments in my area. Yet MORE different criteria for them to repoert on.

  4. If everything goes wrong and I do have to leave work and claim benefits, ATOS would be involved yet again reporting on different questions and applying different criteria again.

Remember, he who pays the piper, names the tune. And ATOS is being paid by a lot of different pipers and being asked to play a lot of different tunes

Not sure if you have had a consultation with your Occupational health doctor but they will need to submit the case to the pensions agency I expect so you need them on your side and committed to putting a strong case together. Maybe contact them to discuss. I have just had my public sector application approved - Occ health put a case together and submitted the letter they had got from my consultant (they wrote to him with my permission) as evidence. to reassure you, my consultant said the diagnosis was probably spms, that the likelihood was things would deteriorate, that he would continue to review me and then he summarised a couple of ways the disease affects me eg vision, fatigue, walking etc etc. This is about as definite as any consultant can be about a condition that has such a variable course and yes all this has to be based on a ten min consultation once oor twice a year. I really think the key is the support of your OH team - if they think you will struggle to continue in the job, they will see this as the best option for you and for the service. Good luck.

Hi, well I think what your consultant has written is pretty good and to the point.

When I was going thru the same as you now, i was sent to see a GP chosen by my LA employers. It was his decision that I was unfit for the job I did. Then personnel came to see me and said they had no vacancies which would suit me, so we mutually agreed I should retire on ill health. i was 47 and it all went smoothly.

Hope it will be like that for you too.

luv Pollx