Early retirement HNS. Please help.

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mary38
mary38 Member Posts: 5
Hello,

I would love to hear from anybody that is or has been in a similar situation to me. I have worked in the NHS as a nurse for over ten years. I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome which causes widespread pain, early arthritis which I have in my spine and other problems. In addition I have a neurological condition (POTS) which affects blood pressure and pulse causing light-headness, fainting, and cognitive problems, chronic vestibular neuropathy, severe bladder and stomach problems, migraines, neuropathic pain, cluster headaches. I have tried all the usual recommended treatments, changed my job to a less physically demanding job, had adjustments through access to work, tried shorter days and work minimum hours. . I have seen all the relevant specialists. I am on the waiting list for a hip reconstruction and bladder operation which will be a long recovery. I have also been referred to genetics but this is purely diagnostic and won't "cure me". I am on middle rate DLA indefinitely and have a blue badge.

I have been signed off sick for 7 months. My occupational Dr suggested that I may be eligible for medical retirement but that my age, 38, would go against me. The only Dr who is really supporting this so far is one rheumatologist, but I think my neurologist will too. My Gp just seems to do not get it but she is supportive enough. I am trying to find out as much information as possible so I can make the right decisions. It is very difficult to get a straight answer from anybody. I have a union rep who is ok but a lot of detail she can't give me. I called HR who said they can not discuss ill health retirement until I apply!!

I really want to know if I do apply - will I be very restricted in what future work I can and can't do even voluntary.
How does the actual process work. I think they immediately terminate your contract and then you have to wait up to 4 months?. Can I get benefits in the interim ?. I am worried about money and how I will manage.
How does the process work. I understand once you apply they terminate your contract would I then get ESA.?.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am finding it all a bit daunting.

Thanks

Mary

Comments

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Oh crikey, I wish I could help but I cannot (I was self-employed and had a very understanding boss :wink: ). I wanted to acknowledge your post, however, so you didn't think you were shouting into the wind.

    It seems to me that early retirement could be a way out for you (indeed I laud your determination for battling on thus far) but it is indeed a huge step. People with chronic health conditions may be able to work but we are not necessarily regarded with favour or compassion by employers. They appreciate reliability and, with the best will in the world, we are not reliable employees.

    Maybe it would be worth contacting your local CAB for advice, they should have the relevant information for you. In the meantime, come and talk to us, we may not have the specific expertise you require but we are good at offering encouragement and support; have a look at the Living with Arthritis board on here so you can see the types of threads and responses which happen. Another point of contact could be AC's Helpline, they may be able to offer some advice and / or guidance about your next move. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello from me, too, Mary. I saw your thread last night but held back because, like DD, I'm not well up on such things.

    I know many of our posters have found CAB helpful for various issues. You might also find Equality Advisory Support Service and / or Disability Rights UK useful. Good luck!
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • mary38
    mary38 Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you for your replies. It is nice to have a bit of support as it can be isolating living with these problems, as you probably know from living with pain and disability. I am going to call CAB tomorrow but will also try those other groups you mentioned. The more advice and information the better.

    Thanking you dreamdaisy for acknowledging that I was determined to get this far. Its nice to hear :).

    All the best


    Mary
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I hope it's helpful. Please remember we are all here, too, on the Living With Arthritis forum for a bit of moral support and empathy whenever needed.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Lubs
    Lubs Member Posts: 155
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi,

    I'm currently in the process of doing this with the Teachers's Pensions. I'm 39 years old and they took all of one day to reject my application, but my GP didn't send any documents from the consultant. The TP's recognised that I'm severely unwell and cannot work at the moment, but they feel that I could work later on in this 20 years left.

    I've got my union involved from the beginning with the application, so they will be dealing with my appeal. I've just had to ensure my consultant letters (which the GP had) are printed and sent with the appeal. They clearly tell the GP that my consultant is looking for NEW anti-TNF medication to come onto the market for me to use, until then I'm not going to improve.

    So my advice is to make sure you get all your documents together, especially the one from OH whereby they recommended you go for ill health retirement, mine didn't want to see me because they said no point go straight to TP and apply for ill health. If you can get your union or OH to do the application form with you. This is why you pay the fees.

    Good luck :D
  • Bovey
    Bovey Member Posts: 25
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I took ill health retirement 20 years ago. I was a district nurse. Then the process was relatively easy. I had everyone's support. Surely your union rep should have , or find out the answers for you. It was difficult to leave the job I loved but it was the right decision. I wish you all the best. I cannot work within the NHS any more but can work elsewhere, ( wish I could but just not well enough). That single rule I think has not changed.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    You're more than welcome, Mary, it was genuine praise. I pushed on for as long as I could and don't regret it for one moment; I began my little business in January '95 and my PsA began in April '97. I was a mobile tutor for dyslexics of all ages and abilities but as my mobility decreased they came to the house. I packed it all in at the end of 2011, I had just had enough.

    Please keep in touch so we know how things go for you. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • mary38
    mary38 Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you dreamdaisy. I am sorry you lost your business. I always admire people who have built there own business, it must take such courage, determination and hard work. However, you know when the time has come that you can no longer sustain your chosen job or any job whatever the case may be. Although it is initially sad it is followed, I think be relief and a desire to make up on all the things you have missed out on over the years because every inch of energy went into trying to sustain a job that physically was beyond you. Thats how I think about it now. I hope thats how things have worked out for you.

    This has been a great forum for morale ( I have tried a few with my collection of problems :o !. I will let you know the outcome it will be a good few months. I will also try the other threads. My neck really hurts with computer work so I am limited on time I can spend which is annoying, as I would love to type more.

    Thanks again and I hope you have a nice weekend and can manage things better now you are retired