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View Full Version : Being medically retired...help please



Peachy
17-06-14, 09:54
Hello, I am new here. I have been told by my employers that they feel I am no longer able to do my job and they have asked me to go down the medical retirement route. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and have had several joint replacements and will need more surgeries. My work have been wonderful and this is a sad day for us all but to be honest I don't blame them as I have had a lot of time off following surgery, many ongoing hospital appointments and I increasingly struggle when I'm at work. I'm a teaching assistant and have worked for them for 18 years. I will have a pension from them which is currently being worked out, and I get a pension from my late husbands employers of £460 a month. I get the lowest level of care DLA and have no savings. Does anyone know if I would be entitled to any benefits? I will go and see Citizens advice but want some figures in my hand from work before I go, but I'm not sleeping with the worry that I will only have around £700 a month to live off which would barely cover my direct debits. I would be so grateful if anyone has any advice.

Flymo
17-06-14, 12:57
It seems likely that your combined pension income will be high enough disqualify you from both Contributions Based ESA and Income Related ESA, though it is impossible to be certain on the limited information you currently have.

If you would not qualify for any ESA payments, there are only two reasons I can think of to claim ESA.

One is if you do not currently have enough years of credits or contributions for a full state Retirement Pension, as you would get credits even if you got no ESA payment. The best thing is to get a state pension forecast (https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-statement) to see if you have enough years.

The other reason is that claiming ESA now might protect yourself if your ill-health pension is subject to periodic reassessment. If you claim ESA successfully now, you are likely to have enough contributions in the past few years for Contributions Based ESA. In a few years time, this will not be the case unless you work again - so if your ill-health pension was reduced or lost on reassessment, you may not be able to get any Contributions Based ESA payments if you delay claiming. The caveat here is that I haven't checked the regulations carefully enough to be certain that future loss of pension income can turn a 'credits only' ESA claim into Contributions Base ESA payments.


It is debatable as to whether your DLA award is correct in the light of the level of disability you now face. Depending on where you live, reporting a change of circumstances will either trigger reassessment for PIP or reassessment under DLA rules.


This is a situation where you should seek advice from a local advice provider, as you intend to do. Citizen's Advice would be a good choice. There may also be a local authority welfare rights project or similar. If you are a member of a trade union, they may well be able to advise you, including checking whether your ill-health pension has been correctly calculated.

beau
17-06-14, 14:12
Another thing is that you will most likely get a lump sum as part of your pension package plus they should enhance your yearly pension for the number of years up to your retiring age.
I presume you are in the local authority pension scheme which on the whole are very good. Ill health early retirement is very difficult to get in this day and age. As your employers are auctioning it then you should have no problems getting the award.

I also worked in a school with 18 years service and receive a pretty decent pension but of course that depends on your average earnings over so many years. I can't remember the details exactly but your provider will tell you in your forecast.

Sadly you may have to pay tax as IR will take into account your other income excluding your DLA.

Good luck and enjoy your retirement, it seems daunting at first but believe you me you will be busy within your capabilities and wonder how you ever had time to work.