Ill health retirement.

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Hi, I am currently on half pay from work and will be going on no pay in July if I I am not back. Work will then look at dismissing me. My only other option would be ill health retirement but someone needs to say my disability(cfs) will last beyond my normal retirement date, which is in 7 years time. Has anyone else been given ill health retirement.

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, i worked for the health service and developed a chronic autoimmune disease 4 years ago. My contract was terminated on the grounds of ill health in October. Despite that, the pensions authority has declined my application stating there could be significant improvement in the next 9 years. I'm appealing of course and have asked them to show me some evidence to support their decision. Make sure you have sufficient evidence before IHR application, I wish I had.
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    • Posted

      Hi, thanks for this. I never thought about asking the employer to evidence why I will get better. Hope you are successful with your appeal-  all this stress makes my condition worse. Sarah x
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  • Posted

    Hi Tea belly

    I was pensioned off from a local LEA when I initially developed ME 20 years ago as I could no longer teach in a high school with ME. However, I have been told the current pension rules have changed and it is not an easy task to get it now a day’s. It is more likely if it is a classed condition and is perhaps terminal. (I am now working again, not as a teacher by the way and I struggle every day with ME)

    The employer will need a full medical assessment of you and your current health, and then they evaluate if there is any proven chance of recovery of some level, which would allow you to work again at some level perhaps, not in the same job or doing the same work. To be medically ‘pensioned off’ it is from any future work of any type and any level of work, they could be quite hard on this as well.

    People have tried to get government benefits for having ME/CFS paid to them and have failed due to the ATOS evaluation process, I would assume any pension company would employ similar to block your claim of ill health retirement.

    You should be covered by the Equality Act 2010 are you in a trade union of any kind they would fight your case? To go down a legal path of fighting the decision would prove very costly on a personal level but a trades union can of course try this route for you.

     

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    • Posted

      Hi, thanks for the reply. It is interesting to hear how other people have been treated. I think you are right though the requirements seemed much harder to meet now. I have been successful in my claim for pip following an assessment which will help prove my disability it is just for how long and that's what no one seems to able to tell us x
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  • Posted

    Ýes, it's not easy to get IHR. I too, receive PIP my condition is permanent, there is no cure. ATOS are my former employers occupational health provider. They produced 2 reports stating that I would be permanently unfit for all work but this obviously was insufficient for the decision maker! The Equalities Act does include all manner of things to help us unfortunates. Have you considered a reduction in hours? Is it possible to work from home etc etc. The law says your employer must make 'reasonable adjusments'. Perhaps you can talk to your HR person and GP. also I would speak to the Disability Employment Advisor at your local Jobcentre, if you haven't already done so. I wish you good luck👍
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    • Posted

      Hi,

      Thanks for your reply. It seems it is such an unkown condition with various prognosis that firms don't know what to do with us. HR haven't been great to be honest and just seem to be focused on either i return to work or they will go along the unsatisfactory performance procedures. They haven't even consulted our equality department as they really seem to struggle accepting its a disability. Think i will phone them myself and see what they say x

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  • Posted

    I can't help you Tea belly but would it be ok to share my story? I haven't talked about it since it happened and it feels a good place to do it here. I was a senior manager teacher in an Infant school when I was dismissed in 2007. I was very ill and the head and local authority HR were very impatient with me. I was sleeping most of the time and some days in an effort to get in to school I fell asleep at the wheel on my way in the morning, never mind at the end of the day. I had been sent to see Occupational Health and the doctor there was marvellous. He diagnosed my condition when my own gp had been at a loss although very supportive and he made recommendations for referral etc which my doctor was quick to follow up. At one stage HR threatened me that if I didn't get better soon I would lose my job and they would see that I never worked in the authority again. I was in tears in front of OH and he actually turned up at HR and gave them a good dressing down! Because OH was unable to pronounce me fit to work AND he couldn't give an estimated time of recovery, I lost my job. My teaching Union were involved and they negotiated and encouraged me to accept an Agreed Dismissal. This means that in exchange for a small tax free lump sum I had to sign a document saying that at no time in the future would I bring any action against the Authority for unfair dismissal. It didn't feel right but the trouble is you are so ill that you can't fight or stand up for yourself. Once I had no link to the authority I could no longer see the lovely OH doctor. My final visit to him was the day the union bloke came to my home with the papers and I signed. I was in pieces and the doc said 'I AM going to say that you are fit for supply work because if you're offered work and it's a bad day you can say no.'

    I don't know if the 2010 Equality Act would have made any difference to how I was treated in 2007. I don't mean that I shouldn't have lost my job, clearly I couldn't have carried on but it was the way it was done, how I was spoken to and made to feel a complete failure. I DO hope things have improved for all of you currently trying to sort your life with this condition/disease, however it's now classified and I will follow this discussion thread with interest. Best of luck to you Tea belly.

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    • Posted

      Hi Chrissy and tea belly

      I had the same treatment in 1996 from the Oxfordshire LEA bullied into leaving teaching due to ME. The NUT union told me if I felt well enough I could fight them, but I didn't... He also warned me I would never be able to work in Education in the UK again if I did seek payment, so not wanting to close any doors to my then in tatters career, I decided not to seek compensation from the LEA. The OH person did finish me on ill health and tried to get me lined up for a pension payment but that never appeared... (Long painful story) ME really does destroy lives beyond anybody’s wildest nightmares.

      My advice would be reduced hours and plenty of employer lead OH and HR meetings, poss. working from home or flexi hours of some kind. In addition, ask for extended sickness monitoring so you have different trigger points on the sickness-monitoring scheme they will have running. My current employed fell over backwards and did loads more than I had requested, access to work were called in and suggested work place changes were also implemented to assist me in work. I go to Occ Health reviews with a positive outlook and the reports back to the employer has been very good, so they have no grounds to dismiss me, the Equality Act 2010 has worked wonders for me and this employer. The last OccHealth review the Dr wrote very positive outlook on work, however with ME working from home to be considered and a mobility scooter may have to be provided to help while at work….all at the employers cost I might add! I haven’t pushed for these yet but if I need to its documented in my file in HR, the employer has to act on it if I request it to be but in place if not the equality act 2010 will bite them hard… for not making reasonable adjustments for me.

      Best of luck tea belly,

      As you can see, I gave up working once but I will not be doing it again in a hurry. I turn up for work the employer then had a duty of care…

       

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    • Posted

      Hi, thank you, it always good to hear other peoples stories - even if they are awful-like yours. I have worked for this organisation for 23 years and it seems to count for nothing. They have policies about the equality act but when it comes down to it they haven't mentioned it once to me. I have had to raise it.i have said i would go in for a couple of hours when i feel ready but they won't accept that - its half my hours or nothing! I hope you are managing better now, we need to keep on raising awareness and sharing stories x
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    • Posted

      '...my in tatters career.' Goodness that strikes a chord! I'd been good at my job and worked hard up to a good position. Did they think I would let all that go if I couldn't help it and it was devastating to lose everything I'd worked for. I was just so ill at the time and yet piled on to what I was already coping with I was made to feel shame at letting everyone down. I KNOW I hadn't done anything to feel shame about and yet I did and I've carried it for the last 8 years. No more! It's been cathartic sharing here. Thank you all for listening.
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    • Posted

      That phrase of yours Dragontest struck a chord.     "ME really does destroy lives beyond anybody’s wildest nightmares".     I recon that I was as good as dead with ME for ten years.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for asking Tea belly I AM managing better now. I've been lucky in so many ways with a supportive family AND a sympathetic gp even if they can't really help much. At least I feel believed when I've heard so many people on here who haven't even got the support of their own doctor. My heart goes out to them and to you as I identify with what you are trying to come through right NOW. It's difficult enough coming to terms with this life changing illness, finding the energy for just that, without the added stress placed by trying to reconcile the illness with the expectations of the workplace. You've got some super advice on here and my goodness I'm cheering you on to succeed! Do let us know how your telephone call to HR re equality goes.
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  • Posted

    I stress the importance of involving your local Disability Employment Advisor. They will provide impartial advice to you and your employer. The Equalities Act is a powerful piece of legislation
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  • Posted

    Hi Tea Belly

    The easiest route for any employer and the HR department in a situation like you say is for a person to leave the company, as it’s their problem solved. But it’s not the best route for the person concerned a lot of the time. Remembering that key fact at a HR meeting is invaluable, they want you gone ‘off the books’ as they say, but you would have no money coming in and live a poor life waiting to hit retirement age… doesn’t sound too good does it.

    Get some representation (as Sheila points out) in the next meeting be positive about working again and demand they give you the duty of care the Equality Act 2010 gives you as a suffer with ME/CFS.

    You did not say how long you have been ill with ME/CFS, as it does 'peak and trough' on the old ability scale. With good and bad days occurring as and when they feel like… the key I have found is pacing myself, I still overdo it some days and end up crashing out even after having ME for 20 years nearly. Most Doctors are rubbish treating ME as well, mine have been useless to say the best…

    With ME /CFS you have to have a "get better" goal to aim for, say an achievable target of recovery and expect to fail on acheiving it the odd time if the goal is really not that realistic for your current condition. Stay positive as anything else just t makes it hard work.

    Exercise is a killer in the early days of having ME/CFS but with pacing you can go from house bound to enjoying time, say in a garden and so on…

    One of my early targets was to go shopping and not have to wait in the car like a pet dog while the family went up and down the supermarket isles. Therefore, I decided I would do only the isles I wanted to look up and down at, then go and sit down and wait for them.  Slowly the number of isles I could do increased, until I could make it to the tills with them. I would crash for 3 to 4 days after such activity but I found it built me up for more over time… I applied the same with work, phased returns and short days to start with and no social life not even at weekends it’s not easy but anything to do with this disease is not easy I’m sure others on here will tell you.

    I would think like this; 7 years working for say 20k a year is £140,000 what could you do with that? It’s like a lottery win.  

    It’s just my two penny’s worth… Stay positive and good luck tea belly.

     

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