Don’t know if anybody has any info that could help

i’ve just been told i have MS

My situation is that after 33 years at work i’m able to retire, my intention was to take up a part time job to survive on, along with my pension

Obviously i’m not certain when i will be fit enough to work, will i be unable to claim anything because i retired,

The reason i’m asking is that i haven’t put in writing that i want to retire, should i wait till they dismiss me on medical grounds, or doesn’t it make any difference ?

You are absolutely right to want to understand your options in detail before committing yourself to anything.

A lot depends on the terms of your pension scheme. Your HR department (or pensions department, if you have one) should be able to give you a statement of what you are due if you choose to retire normally (perhaps you have this already if it is something you have been thinking about?) You might already have a rough idea what you would get on ill-health retirement (based on the information you receive as a scheme member on how your scheme works, what the IHR terms are etc.) This would typically be more beneficial to you, but it depends on the detail of your scheme, how close you are to normal retirement age, and so on. If I were you, I would get the experts to do the sums for you on that as well.

A word of caution, though. IHR is not normally something the employee ‘chooses’ - it is something the employee has done to them (technically speaking.) So it is unlikely that you would be offered IHR as an option unless you fit the (normally very strict, on account of IHR being very expensive for the employer) eligibility criteria as laid down in your scheme rules for medical retirement. Occupational Health advice (whether in-house or provided by a 3rd party medical advisor to your employer) is usually central to this, as is HR, and your medical history, sickness record, etc.

That all sounds ghastly, I know. And it’s just another bloody thing, on top of dealing with an MS diagnosis. But your instinct to proceed carefully is absolutely right, so hang on in there, and don’t be bounced into anything.



Hi Cardo,

Just to add a few things to the excellent advice given by Alison.

If you claim and are successful in getting Disabled Living Allowance (DLA) before retirement age; its changing all the time but 60-62 years old for women I think; you can get both the care and mobility components. If you claim after retirement age you only get the care component that is called Attendance Allowance. If you claim before retirement age both components carry on forever.

So ring 0800 882200 the Benefit Enquiry Line (BEL) for the DLA forms. The mobility component is over £50 per week so is worth it. Don’t worry if you think your not elligable let them decide; once you make that phone call for the forms the claim goes back to then.

Just to confuse you even more DLA is changing to PIP in 2013 which this Government is bringing in. Now I’m in a wheelchair but as far as I can see its touch and go if I will get it.

There will also be other benefits you may be eligible for but BEL will go through them all; you will need your NI number.

Good luck


Just some further info about DLA

12 things that don’t affect your right to claim Disability Living Allowance.

  1. You’re getting any other benefits - Disability Living Allowance will be paid on top.
  2. You’re working.
  3. Your partner works.
  4. You have savings.
  5. You have not paid any national insurance contributions.
  6. You don’t consider yourself to be disabled - Disability Living Allowance is for people with long term health problems which affect their everyday activities.
  7. You’ve been told by a doctor, nurse, care worker - or anyone other than a welfare rights worker - that you won’t get Disability Living Allowance. Eligibility for Disability Living Allowance is a legal question, not a matter of medical - or any other - opinion.
  8. You live alone and no-one is providing care for you.
  9. You already have someone, a partner for example, providing care for you.
  10. You don’t want anyone to provide care for you.
  11. You’ve been turned down before. You may decide you could put forward a stronger case if you applied again.
  12. You do not want to spend money on personal care: you can spend Disability Living Allowance on anything you wish.

Thanks for your help

i’m lucky in the fact that i am able to retire at 55, which for me is in a few months

but my worry is will the fact that i chose to retire be held against me ?

Just to up-date the above, there are 2 reasons i’m chosing to retire

  1. because i know i’ll never be able to do the job to the standard required due to MS

  2. because i can