I am looking to make contact with teachers who have taken ill health retirement and to find out how the procecss went for them…

Anyone willing to assist would be fantastic!


hi helen

i was a teacher but then i took a sideways move to work as an advisory teacher for inclusion.

all was fantastic and then i started to get strange symptoms but it took a further year to get a diagnosis.

i was off sick for 6 months on half pay, 6 months on full pay and then occupational health got involved, a few months after that i was officially retired.

i was lucky enough to have a fabulous neuro who wrote everything down in letters to my gp which i was copied into.

i believe it was these letters that helped me get medical retirement.

carole x

ps i had to change from teachers pension to local governement pension when i moved jobs


Like Carole I was a teacher then went to work for the LA. Thanks to government cutbacks I was able to take voluntary redundancy with early retirement although ill health retirement proceedures had started.

I would advise you to consult your union or join one if you don’t already belong.

It’s a minefield and you do need professional advice.

Good Luck!


Postbox200- this is exactly what I want to learn about as well ! Have PPMS, I’m 57 and mobility has gone down hill fast, I’ve fallen twice at school and now eyesight going, never mind fatigue issues. One week back and I’m shattered. OH and NUT already started process, so hoping I can go soon. Not feeling brave enough to go off on sick leave, worried people would think I’m making it up and that I would be left with no money if the process was delayed (divorced). I think we need to keep in touch regarding this matter !

Thanks for all your comments guys it really helps.

Hi I was granted Tier 1 ill health retirement from my job at an FE College this year. (in LGPS). One thing that held it up was that I was still working and the independent doctor said he couldn’t sign me off as unfit for work whilst I was still going to work. Once I got signed off sick for 3 months by my GP it all happened pretty quickly and smoothly before my sick pay ran out. Also even though I had to go part time, because this was because of my PPMS, my pension was based on my full time salary. Hope this helps.

I was teaching when I received my diagnosis of PPMS in September 2011. I’d started having balance/mobility problems in the April and went on sick leave then. I taught in a Primary Special School and loved my job.

After diagnosis I tried to go back to school on a phased return, although my GP and Occ Health doctor thought I was mad! I’d arranged to go in from 10-2 observing initially and then gradually building up and doing some teaching. I only did 3 sessions as I came home shattered and slept for 4 hours! It was something I needed to try, I suppose as closure in case I alwyas wondered if I’d made the right decision.

OccHealth supported my application to Teachers Pensions and I included copies of all medical letters. I also asked my GP and Neurologist to complete the medical part of the application so that TP got the same form completed by 3 different medical professionals. It all went through very smoothly and quickly and I was awarded the enhanced pension; this enabled me to pay off our mortgage which was a huge relief.
HR sorted it all out so that my Pension started as my sick leave entitlement finished.
I was terrified of the financial consequences as I was the main earner but it has all been ok. When you go down to half pay and your SSP finishes you can still claim ESA, which although a pain to fill in gave me an extra £100 a week. When my Pension kicked it it was reduced and now I only get about £15 a week ESA (support group) I know we’re about £30,000 a year worse off but it really doesn’t feel like that as we have no mortgage or car loan (have a mobility car)

It did take a while to come to terms with it all but I know it was the right decision. I have no regrets especially when I hear the tales from school, I can do without that pressure in my life!!

Hope that helps,
Sarah x


That would be great to kep in touch. I think you are in a much worse position that I am with RRMS… I would love to keep in touch with how you are getting on at school with your application. I am 43…

Thanks helen

Mini crisis at work today, as it all got to much for me to deal with on my own, led my Head to send me home with an instruction to take some time off sick next week. Feeling scared that this might mean the beginning of the end. Really not sure how to proceed. How easy is it to get supporting evidence from the medical professionals? How much evidence do I need? When should I start asking for it? I understand now from previous correspondents that I need to be off on long term sick before I start formal proceedings, but frightened as this seems such a big step! Feeling pathetic and very weepy.

Hi Helen,

it sounds as though I’m in a similar position to you. To cut a long story short, I had my first relapse which was a massive one in May last year. It has left me needing a wheelchair and with lots of other problems. Up until then, I had been a full-time primary school teacher. Everyone agrees that I’m not fit to return to work and won’t be in the future, but because my relapse was so sudden and catastrophic, we haven’t tried any adjustments. My neuro, rehab doctor and GP all agree that I need to apply for ill health retirement. I last saw my OH dr in July, when I had been referred to a few other depts for help with my symptoms, and my medication for sensory discomfort was being adjusted. Because of that, on his last report, the OH dr said that he would ‘allow’ me to apply for IHR, but that he could not state that I had reached my full recovery state because my medication was still being adjusted.

Since then, I’ve seen the other depts and if anything, I’m only in a worse situation as I now have to self catheterise. My medication is only to relieve some of my sensory discomfort, not make any significant change to my ability to work. I wrote about this to the OH dr, but he won’t change his report, which I’m worried might weaken my retirement application.

I’ve decided to ask my GP to fill the medical form in as well as the OH dr, and I’m going to put as much other evidence as I can find, from my Neuro reports etc, and it will be sent off as soon as I get the GP report sorted. I’ve just been dismissed due to ill health from work (which I was ok with as my sick pay ran out months ago) so I’m now on full notice pay until the end of Dec, and hopefully by then I will have had news about my pension.

I’d be interested to keep in touch and hear how you get on…good luck with it all!

Nicky x

Awful day today, again! Left home for hospital at 10.45 got back at 7.00pm. Saw MS nurse then waited over 3 hours for neuro ophthalmologist appointment. Upshot is I have MS related eye problems, with no treatment or prognosis, as no one can tell what will happen. MS nurse says she will support me in what ever I decide to do. She noted how poor my mobility is now and how severe my depression is. Feel so down tonight as I think I’ve really got to call it a day at school. Hate MS