Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Early retirement

Hi everyone, tomorrow I have to apply for early retirement on the grounds of I'll health. I have been told that fibromyalgia isn't expectable as a reason to retire as there is no proof that it won't improve or at least be manageable at a level to which I can work . The works doctor says I won't be successful even through I have not worked or over a year die to the pain and difficulties with memory etc. If I loose they will dismiss me as I will have then admitted I cannot return to work.

Does anyone know whether fibromyalgia/chronic pain has been treated as a disability and has anyone been in my position and been successful. Having worked 40 years full time with hardly a day off I feel like I'm being treated as work shy which is not the case. I know my condition has got worse over the last year and I don't see it improving to the point where I can return to the job I was doing for a long time if ever. Any advice what so ever would be very welcome as I am at my wits end with all of this.

Lol to you all out there. Loraine

12 Replies


I've been told it's difficult to get on fluctuating conditions and your employer supporting you (works Dr) doesn't mean a great deal.

Different pension providers have different criteria.

You should get the up to date paperwork for your provider & read thoroughly.

Usually you are expected to have undergone every possible avenue (with proof) to improve.

I didn't bother as financially pretty worthless to me. My contract was terminated under ill health.

Wish you luck x


Thanks for your advice


I was told exactly the same by one of my work pension providers as they said that it was much hard to prove that a fluctuating condition would mean that you would never be capable of work again. I was just three years off the time when I could claim that pension and in the end decided that all the hassle because of the way I felt at the time was not worth it. I must say now on reflection I wish I had gone ahead and made a claim because really there was nothing to lose I just think I was so fatigued and in pain the thought of having to go through another mound of paperwork and having examations was too much. I wish you luck with whatever you decide, let us know how you get on.x


I sympathise completely - I'm in a similar situation, been off sick on and off since being diagnosed a year ago, I am been seen by Occ Health next week and don't know whether to raise this medical retirement as an option? or whether you have to exhaust all your sick leave first. Fibro is definitely counted as a disability though I'm sure? Yes, I've worked 40 years also - it all seems to be unfair. I really don't know who can advise me...good luck, xx


Hi Albert, yes fibromyalgia is considered as a disability. I would push for up to date medical reports for both your physical and mental health. I was medically retired with fibro in June 2014 at the grand age of 55. I was a support for learning teacher and my employer, as in my head teacher, did everything to make things as easy as possible for me but the pain was simply too bad. Through my employers occupational health service I was put forward for medical retirement. I was only granted my pension up to the day I was dismissed as my pension provider claimed I would be fit to work again even though I was likely to continue to have a higher than average absence rate.

I appealed and lost but I am intending to appeal again as I have been put in the support group for ESA and have a PIP tribunal at some point in the future and am currently attending an 11 week chronic pain management clinic. Apparently to get half of the pension I would have been due from when I was dismissed until I am 60 I either have to have a terminal illness or be assessed as being 90% unlikely to be fit enough to work again.

I would visit your local citizen's advice bureau or benefits advice centre or any local group that deals with disabilities as these people will be able to advise and support you with your application. Good luck, Linda.

1 like

Hi albert12

I am so sorry to read of your struggle and I wanted to wish you all the best of lcuk.

All my hopes and dreams for you



Many thanks Ken. I would like to say that having this forum of support is invaluable.xx



I have the answer to this one. In the Equality Act 2010 states that Fibromyalgia is recognised as a disability. In the Disability Act Discrimination Act 1995 there is a part where your employer cannot discriminate against you regarding your Fibromyalgia.

You might want to word it differently but both those points are important.....hope that helps hun.

Al xxx


Your a star, many thanks xx


No worries. Hidden in this fibro fog of mine is a hive of information. I was so pleased to be able to help. Hope you were able to put it to good use xxx


Are you a member of a union as they can help you with this. My friend had lupus and they weren't recognising it as it's also a movable type of illness. But the union helped and she eventually was successful.


Hi I could not afford union subs , although I earned over £30,000 most of my monthly pay has gone on my mortgagee and the more you earn the more you pay to unions so unfortunately couldn't afford it. Thanks for your reply I have now applied for early retirement and although I know they will turn me down I will appeal. Many thanks


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