How do I start?

ruby2 Member Posts: 423
Hi all
Sorry I am completely green on all this..
Work is now proving too much ..worked all of my life, but with the pension age being moved to 6 years later etc I can't see me stretching my working life much further.
:( ..... I drag myself in each morning..worn out just getting ready.

How do I start to the process of finishing work due to ill health or early retirement..
Do I go off sick long term?
Or finish work ? and take the process from there?????

Not got a clue how to start


  • maria09
    maria09 Member Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Ruby
    It might be good to ring the helpline about the situation
    I can only offer my own experience
    I first got OA 10yrs ago progressively getting worse then 4 yrs started with Spondlyo Arthropathy only diagnosed recently
    So I struggled daily with work so ended up partime doing 22.5hrs a week over 3 days then 4yrs ago I was I'm so much pain ended up off sick for 6 Months only going back to work working 16hrs over two days which were split so I didn't work two days in a row as this was physically impossible as I needed days of inbetween to recover physically
    I was a staff nurse on a busy orthopaedic ward where I was on my feet for the full 8hrs rarely getting a break due to the heavy demand of work
    Last Feb whilst waiting for foot surgery I felt enough was enough I could not physically or mentally able to do my job
    So whilst recovering from surgery I realised there was no way I could go back to work I decided to go done the ill health route
    There is so so much paperwork and evidence collecting to make a case I did have the support of my hospitals occupational health doctor, my orthopaedic consultant, my own doctor
    My ill health retirement was deferred in sept and reassessed in December and due to the fact I had made no improvement on my new medication and further evidence given I waited for a decision and in Jan this year I was accepted for ill health retirement getting a tier 1 which meant I would get the lower amount as although I was unable to work in my job I would be able to do a less demanding job
    So at age of 49 I retired in march
    The whole process was a very difficult and stressful time which consumed my life
    It is nit decided by you as a person that oh I will go down the ill health route but a long process to see if they think you are in fact not able to work due to a condition you have so basically its a matter of if they think your condition warrants ill health retirement
    My last 4yrs at work have been hell with an uncaring ward manager and a very uncaring HR dept
    My employment would have been terminated at end of jan this year even if I had not got ill health retirement I also know of two others who at the time I was going through this process were told by their managers their contracts were terminated and not even got the opportunity to go down ill health route as they did not have the support doctors I did
    It's an unfair world out there
    So now money is tight but I'm managing luckily my husband is in full time work and although my health has not improved my life has
    I wish you well on this long long process but definitely ring the helpline for advice
    Also there are many topics on here regarding ill health retirement and well worth a look
    Best wishes Maria
  • brandy192
    brandy192 Member Posts: 73
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi first time on the forum but been following for a while. I am in a similar position, have worked as an assistant manager in a hardware retail shop for 11 years. Have managed my OA knees quite well until last November then had to take 2 months off work. Went back after Christmas with reduced hours but in March was forced to be off again couldnt cope with the pain and exhaustion of the work load I had. Some of my duties were office based but at the same time I had the responsibility of working on shopfloor bending, lifting,reaching constantly on my feet for hours. I was very low at this point and realised I could and never would be able to do my job again. After being off work for nearly 3 months without as much as a word from anybody in the company apart from my immediate manager [who happens to be my friend as well as colleague] I decided to request a chat with HR. I do not have a works pension but am 11 years off retirement age. so was very worried about finance. At the meeting I asked about the possibility of redundancy and initially it was agreed but had to go past higher management. Then I had a letter referring me to Occy Health. Havent been there yet but I am now busy trying to find out what help I may be able to get financially as I am due to go on to statutory sick pay next week. Just thought I would share this with you and will continue to log my journey as it happens. :)
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's nice to meet you brandy192, I too have stopped work but in my case, with being self-employed, I had a very undersanding boss. :wink: I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • ruby2
    ruby2 Member Posts: 423
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you Maria and Brandy for sharing your experience on this matter, thanks for pointing me in the right direction..
    I know what you mean Maria...the condition doesn't get better but at least I may have the energy to deal with other things in life.

    Thank you again for your support.
  • mellman01
    mellman01 Member Posts: 5,306
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Ruby, I'm medically retired as of 2011 and it was a long hard road to get there for me.
    Retirement on grounds of ill health for me took 4 and a half years and I also went to a level 4 disciplinary before the company Doctor finally gave me the nod, that said he was fair to me all the way through which is more than I can say for the HR head and my line managers both conspired to pressure me to leave of my own volition so a siege mentality took hold fairly soon for me although I had to jump through many hoops to try and appease them although it was an impossibility as they made it fairly clear from day one I was a sitting duck.

    Now for me it went thus.
    Double knee OP in April 2008, post op diagnosis severe OA in both Patella,

    Shortly after this happened the surgeon formally wrote to the company Doctor informing him of the severity of my illness once the company Doctor knew he then put me on restrictions that were never lifted, that said HR wasted no time in pulling me in for a level one "informal" meeting where I was told straight that I was going to be dismissed under the "capability" rule or I could go and ask the Doctor for ill health retirement!. (That's not really my job thats theirs but they made things up as they went along)

    Now capability is a nasty little catch all bit of employment law which basically works like this.

    If you get ill and are unable to continue to carry on in the post you are employed to do it means because you got ill you've breached your terms of employment by getting ill in the first place!, it makes no difference if you were unable too for-fill your duties due to simple bad time keeping, or turing up drunk, not turing up, being obnoxious to your line managers and co workers etc etc, being genuinely ill is lumped in with all of the above, I know its crap but thats how it is, or at least thats how it can be interpreted, it simply depends on your employer and more importantly the head of the HR department.
    You might have a totally different experience but for me it was "you will be fired under capability if the company doctor doesn't grant you retirement" so your dead meat, and that was from day one.
    That said normally a good employer will adjust your hours do assessments of your work station etc way before any talk of retirement. You have to be carful about mentioning it to anyone as they could simply say your a winging it and dig their heals in so be carful on that one if you can.
    My line manager was a right bugger and he blanked me and reneged on some key requirements we had discussed he also never replied to my e mails so soon after this started I started to make copious notes I also printed copies of e mails I'd sent to him which he never replied to in case it ever went to an industrial tribunal, data collecting is key if it things get militant, I recorded as much as I could and planned for the worst case scenario I.E industrial tribunal as HR had made it plain where it was going from early on and my boss kind of confirmed it by his total lack of action.

    Basically Its a complex game and one that can go anywhere, but that said once the ball starts to roll its really only possible to adjust its direction the momentum is not so easy to control but again it all depends on your employer and the lords of HR and the OC health department.
    If its at all possible the best way to go is try and nudge things towards retirement without you actually mentioning it outright, health deterioration is the normal route and a fair argument, but again I don't know what the place you work is like so I can only say how it was for me, the mention of ill health retirement was made by HR I just went along with what they said as I had no idea what was going on for the first few months but I soon worked out I was a target that would never be left alone so I entrenched my mind set as soon as the penny dropped, I'm way to trusting and honest and that's a serious weakness when your dealing with professional sociopaths, I was always on my guard and trusted no one not even so called close work colleagues which was good as most let me down or worse mocked me and my situation.
    I worked on the premiss it was going to tribunal but I got lucky thank God, I still have a lot of guilt about being retired as I'm only 52 but I had OA in the knees, the neck and the OP kicked of chronic neuropathic pain syndrome kind of like a pain perfect storm, it was the latter diagnosis that swung it for me although I'd take straight OA pain any day.
    Now all of the above is just how it happened to me, I just thought I'd post it so you understand it can be OK or not so OK, either way its far more complex than most can imagine, but the one word you need to keep an ear out for is Capability, I still break out into a cold sweat when I hear it mentioned.
  • ruby2
    ruby2 Member Posts: 423
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Mell thank you so much for taking the time to write about your experience here.
    I have found it most helpful and informative.
    Its usually the kind of situation I end up in forewarned is now forearmed.
    I have made a note of the 'capability' word :o .
    Hope you are now enjoying getting out of the rat race and that your bones are a little easier as a result.

    You are a very knowledgeable man...thanks again.