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Medical retirement advice - LGPS

Hi, I am after some advice as I’m sure some of you must have gone through this. I’m 52 and after getting nerve damage in both arms last year I am now on the verge of getting either a diagnosis for MS or mononeuritis multiplex (or both!). Anyway I’ve been told the nerve damage is permanent and won’t improve and what with various other symptoms I have decided to leave work. I was struggling anyway with ms symptoms and had been looking at going part time this year anyway, but this most recent flare up is the straw that broke the camels back. However. I’ve been told it will be difficult to get medical retirement because of my age but the way I read the rules, if it’s deemed that I can’t return to work after adjustments then I am entitled to medical retirement. Does anyone have any advice of how to ensure that I do get medical retirement?! Also. If this isn’t possible what other options are available to me please ? ESA?

Hi I was medically retired from part time LG jobafter various prolonged absences due to relapses and reasonable adjustments being put into place following occupational health advice to my boss . As I understand there are various levels of retirement based upon your likelihood of being able to undertake any further work in the future. You may find the union rep helpful (mine was useless) . A good place to start is discussing your job role with your boss during supervision and a potential occupational health appointment- I went part time by choice when starting a new job As couldn’t cope with full time hours but reducing them obviously affects salary/ pension. There’s lots of information online about it but it’s a long process- local government doesn’t work quickly haha - you may also be able to get help from a local disability support organisation. Again ESA has different levels dependant upon your ability to work- I was placed in the support group which means I don’t have to actively seek work or sign on. Have a look at your organisation’s policies on sickness and Ill health retirement - sure you will have already- best wishes- sorry for the rambling post!

I have just re read your post- I was the same age as you when retired - this is the sort of comment regarding likelihood of getting IHR was also made to me by staff members who have no idea - the union rep told me I wouldn’t get it unless I was terminally ill- all completely wrong and unhelpful. You’re retired if a occupational doctor after looking at the evidence determines you meet set criteria.

Hi. Just read your post. I retired on ill health in 2013 from the local council in 2013 and found the whole thing pretty straightforward. They obviously were aware I had MS, had made adjustments, but things got no better and I had been off a fair bit. Anyway, to cut a short story long, they referred me to Occupational Health and I also got a supporting letter from my GP. The whole process took 5 months, my pension was enhanced till age 65, and I was able to commute some of it to pay off my mortgage. So, I now get my pensions, ESA and DLA which makes life a bit easier. I must admit I have been a bit bored but no stress. I suppose what I am saying is, go for it.

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I took LGPS ill health retirement when I was 56. My employers were very supportive, making a number of reasonable adjustments prior to this and Occupational Health were involved from the start of my diagnosis of MS. I also went part time. If you have to cut your hours because of your health this doesn’t affect your final pension. I always got any reviews or changes to my job in writing just in case but as it turned out the process was fairly straightforward. One thing that did happen was that my Occupational Health Doctor said he couldn’t recommend me for ill health retirement all the time I continued to work. So I got a 3 month sick note from my GP and my employers immediately started the ill health process. I retired 3 months later on an enhanced pension as if I had worked until age 66.

I claimed ESA (using the letters from the Occupational Health Doctor) and was placed in the support group.

Hi, the most important thing about retirement on ill health grounds is that you dont decide this…your bosses do!

You must let them decide you are unfit for work or you could lose out.

I did this in 2000, after being on the sick for 8 months. I was 47 at the time and didnt have a diagnosis, but typical PPMS symptoms.

I went onto ESA and DLA.

Are you on the sick now?

BoudsX

With regards to Ill Health Retirement, at least with privatised companies, they seem to offer two types of IHR. One as a lump sum payment, and one with an early access to pension. (At least that’s what my employer offers).

Unfortunately, due to lack of diagnosis, my employers Occupational Health GP cannot advise on IHR (of either type), due to no diagnosis. So I’m still in limbo zone for a while longer. I am still working, albeit on amended duties. I’m still half expecting to be dismissed very soon due to capability grounds rather than IHR. Hopefully not before I get a diagnosis though!

This discussion is really useful.

I’m in a similar position. Age 62, almost 63. I’m really struggling with work. I have generalised weakness, eyesight issues, and fatigue levels have built up to such a point I’m not able to work properly (even from home). I dropped to 4 days a week a year and a half ago. 2 days on, one day recovery, 2 days more, then weekend which is again recovery time. I’m not managing work and not managing my basic household chores either. If it hadn’t been for lockdown and home working I’d have had to stop working almost a year ago - I’d not have managed the commute. I’ve sort of been able to hide the extent of my issues, (keeping the video off on zoom calls!) but my brain fog and poor productivity are now patently obvious to anyone who talks to me for more than a few minutes.

I’ve not got a diagnosis either (though a recent MRI shows I have got significant brain atrophy and some lesions), and clearly not going to get a diagnosis for many months yet. I do have diagnosed dystonia, but that is not what is causing my recent neurological issues. The NHS neurologist I saw has been useless - took 15 months to get round to doing the MRI scan, and a Lyme’s test, despite knowing I’d had over 70 tick bites in recent years. My GP has referred me elsewhere now, because of that neurologist’s couldn’t care less attitude, but my new appointment isn’t until the end of May.

I’m working for the civil service, but only been with them 2 1/2 years so haven’t really got a clue on their procedures. They’ve been waiting almost as long as me for a diagnosis. My managers have made adjustments, and have been very patient, and don’t understand what the NHS has been playing at either. I’ve not yet had dealings with the occupational health team. I held back, not having a diagnosis, but was expecting proper investigations and a diagnosis ages ago, not the neurologist just to keep kicking it down the road, saying ‘we think it is rare, so we’ll just wait and see how you deteriorate’.

To be honest I just want to hand in my notice and be done with it, and try to recover, but I know it will put me at a disadvantage financially, and with getting ESA etc. I guess I’m going to have to face the occupational health team, and also my GP to get sick leave - it is a new GP, only spoken to once by phone. It feels daunting. I’ve spent 2 years trying to hide / downplay the disabilities as far as employers are concerned. I hope it won’t be a battle - I haven’t the energy for a battle. I had battles in the past with ATOS, when my dystonia was really bad, having to prove your disability and being disbelieved - I did win that on appeal. But it has left mental scars and fear, and a dread of poverty.

Hi, I work in local government so familiar with the ill health retiral process. You have to be in the scheme for 2 years and as already pointed out it is the Occupational Health provider who determines whether you meet the criteria for ill health retirement not your Manager. They will ask for your permission to write to your GP/Consultant so that they have all the medical facts before determining whether or not you meet the criteria and if so what level. In the event of you not being fit to return to your role or a suitable alternative role, as a member of the LGPS scheme your employer should explore ill health retirement before considering any other route.

Thanks to everyone for your replies on this. For me I was sick for 12 months zero pay for 4 months and now back to work, but in annual leave. In 2 weeks time I’m actually back to work proper but am working from home and only doing a small number of hours. I’m pretty certain that I will not be able to cope even with a small number of hours and will hsve to go sick again. From there I plan to go down the medical retirement avenue. This may well take some time… In the meantime I’m still awaiting a definitive diagnosis. I have been told that in order to get medical retirement you hsve to explore all the avenues open to you, including work place adjustments. Will it look bad that I’ve not done that. I thought that if I showed willing and gave it a go by returning to work this might be enough. So I plan to go on ESA. I was on ESA when I went down to zero pay. Does anyone know how long can you stay on ESA… I thought it was 18 months? I don’t really want to sign on or apply for jobs, particularly as I won’t be able to do them anyway. But if my medical retirement plan fails I’m not sure if there is anything that is not means tested that I am due? To ZIOLA. You should go sick in my opinion. You get six months full pay then 6 months half pay. And then get ESA for 18 months. If you can get by financially then try that. Hopefully your HR and Occupational Health will go down the medical retirement avenue. I would imagine thr public sector will be looking to trim staff in the next few years due to Covid so this may give you a better chance.