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British Heart Foundation
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Early retirement on medical grounds and entitlement advice needed.

Having recently been diagnosed with heart failure I am considering retiring early on medical grounds and wondered what experiences anyone has had, for example was it easy or problematic and was you able to claim disability payments from the government. I have worked all my life and never claimed anything. I am still able to get around and do most things for myself albeit slowly and breathlessly but don't want to work until I can't. I have a bucket list and want to be well enough to do them before I can't. I'm 54 and am at 3-4 on the New York scale.


5 Replies

Hiya Becky,

My partner works & his earnings are just on the boarder line.

So I get ESA, It is sick pay. So as soon as I am able I will be working again. Did want to do dog walking & pet sitting. But not sure if that will happen yet.

The ESA is all I was intitled to, to help me out while being off this last year.

But I have got to get back to it as they can't continuancely help me.

I wasn't intitled to PIP or anything like that.

So good luck on that one honey.

Mind you if you are on your own you may get more help 😆


Hi there, there is a thread on PIP here which may help healthunlocked.com/bhf/post... doesn't seem to be so straightforward you may want to go to your local Citizens advice bureau


Sorry to hear about your situation.

I took early retirement at 60 following two HA but it was really problematical.

My GP considers I am not fit enough for work but the Pension companies and government disagree.

None of my Pension providers were prepared to pay out without heavy penalties and I was refused all benefits.

I now live on a tiny personal pension (wont get my OAP till 66) topped up by my savings and will need to either find work (less stressful than my previous professional role) or sell my house in the next year !!!


Hi, and good morning, I am a bit like yourself I am 58 and have always worked but I was diagnosed in Feb with heart failure and I feel I will not be going back, I live alone and at the moment I am on half pay topped up with ESA, which is a godsend, but I have paid into it and claimed nothing my whole life, my work have offered a voluntary exit scheme which I have applied for and I will get my works pension, we can get it from 55, mabe you could look into that, I don't get my state till I am 66 which like all of my generation I am so angry about, some of us might not be around to get it after paying into to it for 40 years I could scream 😱 it's not as if we can help being ill!, the only other thing I can suggest is the citizen advice centre, apparently they are excellent at helping with the forms for PIP, I am going to try for this myself, even though I have heard it's very difficult get, and you practically always have to appeal, but it would be worth it, the, transplant coordinator also suggested I see my GP about getting a blue badge for parking, which would also mean I could get a bus pass! , it all helps I suppose, I find it all such a worry on top of my heart condition, I think about how I am going to manage constantly, not good,but like yourself I would love to hear if anyone could give more advice on anything else we might be entitled to, chaz xx


Hi Becky ..... having read some of the potential issues re being able to get any monies from the government you may want to consider any pension you have being able to provide an income instead.

Once you reach 55 you are able to take out partial payments of your pension each year. I have recently started to take cash out (for me my plan is to pay off my mortgage to allow me to worn less)

If you did decide to give up work then a pension partial payment could help. An example of how this could work.... if you took out £16000 in year 1.... the first £4k is none taxable.... the further £12k is taxable (and in year 1 the pension company has to take 40% off you as they do not know your earnings. However you can then go to the tax office to claim the tax back.... as you have no income they should then refund most of the tax back (as normal tax rules are that first £11k is not taxed)

From year 2 onwards the pension company will have been notified by tax office that this is the case.... so you can then take out these partial payments each year without then being taxed up front.

As I work I am taxed at 20% for 75% of the monies I take out. But this still allows me to take a lump sum every year which will help clear my mortgage by early 2019. And allows me to retire earlier .... and not struggle on till I am 67. I want to live now and my pension release is allowing me to do this. I hope this helps. Don't hesitate if you want to ask me any questions 😀 x

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