I have found this site to be informative and interesting and will certainly be using your advice when the DWP decide it is time to review my DLA and/or ESA.
Due to my disabilities and ill health I have been trying to progress a request for early release of my Local Authority pension on the grounds of ill health that I submitted in September 2012. My LA pension is with GMPF and is deferred as I left Manchester City Council over 2 years ago after 20 years of service.
My pension should pay out if I am no longer able to work due to ill health. I believe, there are 3 levels that are looked at when looking at this each carrying it's own level of award. 1 I am not able to perform the duties of my former LA role before my retirement date. 2 Am no able to perform as in 1 above before my xth? birthday.
3 Am not able to work in any role between now and my retirement age. I was hoping the fact that the DWP have awarded me the highest rate for both components of DLA and have placed me in the SG for ESA would have some weight when considering my request for early release on health grounds. I guess I should be thankful that my health has convinced the DWP that I am not able to work due to my deteriorating health.
In February 200 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following this there were a number of complications and my overall health seemed to decline. I now suffer with chronic pain from damaged nerves, palindromic rheumatism and fibromyalgia. I am in receipt of highest rate DLA (both elements) and am in support group for ESA. The feedback I have received so far has been very negative. I have been trying to respond to the negativity but seem to be achieving nothing other than my own exhaustion. I have approached Brain Barr Solicitors with a view to them acting for me. They are asking for 25% of my lump sum if they successfully release my pension. They informed me that the legislation around pension claims is different to other types of legal claims and as such I will not be able to claim for costs if the case is successful.
I know, and would not expect to get help with this for nothing but 25% is a significant proportion of my pension. If there is a charitable/voluntary organisation who could assist me in achieving a successful outcome in my application for early release of my GMPF on ill health grounds I would much prefer to pay them for that assistance rather than pay a commercial legal firm who is more interested in their income rather than a 'just' decision on my application. 25% will be a significant portion of the money I will need to put away to help me get to my expected date of official retirement in 14 years.....that is of course if the ConDems don't further extend the retirement age.
I'll be grateful for any advice or guidance in progressing this.