Benefits advice

Hi guys. Wondering if you can help me. I'm currently employed but I am on long term sick due to severe stress and anxiety issues relating to my work. My job is extremely stressful and I cannot switch off when I am home as I could be needed at any time. This causes my Fibromyalgia to get worse. I try to hide it while at work but this results in my being a complete vegetable for the whole evening. Any way, I am now at home,recuperating and I really do not think I can go back to that life. So, as I say, still currently, technically employed. How to I actually finish for good. Does my employer decide or the GP? What benefits can I claim as I was/am the bread winner of the family so finance is a huge worry for me.

Thank you in advance for any helpful insights you guys may have.

Sal x

10 Replies

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  • please go to welfare right or citizens advice they ill guide you towards the best way forward

    theres so many changes to the system i would not give you advice in case its different when the same happened to me .

    kind regrdspgp

  • Hay SG75

    I have just retired for similar reasons, but not going down the benefits route. So here is how I worked mine to get the best result.

    Prolapsed disc at L4, referred pain down left thigh/shin muscles/bone. Am 64yrs and had 12 months to go till state pension kicks in at 65yrs. Full pay runs out in October, half pay till April. Luckily, employer pension payable from now, and 12months slog not worth little extra amount. As likely to have been signed off till December, talked to GP, who signed me off till September 30th.

    Phoned my boss on 25th July, said was retiring, my last day being 30th September, oh, and signed off till then. Confirmed by email and sent in Fit Note. Lots paperwork to complete, pension people confirmed lump sum and pension, Have enough full years to qualify for full state pension from next August, and stress, new boss, new team members to manage, work all over the place, made sense not to go back.

    Need to look at your employers terms and conditions for retirement. If you are in a private/employer pension scheme, going down the 'medical retirement' route, actually "Attendance management", can be worth it if you have less than 20yrs service, as this can top it up to 20yrs. But check it out, as there are lots of hoops to jump through, and you need a strong case to qualify. Gov.UK is the site to start with. With passport, can register on Government Gateway, which gives online access to HMRC, DWP, Pensions Advisor and lots more, well worth doing.

    Oops, think I have gone over my word quota for the day, just hope the above gives you a direction to go. If you want to talk or more details, PM me and I will reply when around. Fingers crossed you can get it sorted in your favour.

    Best wishes, Hayesider xx

  • What a predicament! I feel sorry you are having to make such a big decision. I agree with others that you need to speak to a Benefits advisor (maybe our own FM UK's Benefits Advisor). I cannot really help as the whole system has changed since I had to give up work but I wish you every success and hope to hear from you later......xx

  • Hi Sal

    I am sorry to hear of the predicament you find yourself in.

    I would very strongly advise that you get some professional help from someone like a Disability Advocate to help you or look for a similar organisation, such as Turn2Us.

    These are organisations who will help you free of charge.

    Benefits is very complex area.

    Having Fibromyalgia does not mean that you will automatically be granted benefits. Each case is decided by the DWP upon the evidence you provide them with.

    Our own Benefits Adviser Janet is currently away until 17th October, so I cannot put you in touch with her just now.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.

    Wishing you less pain and more peace

    Lu x

    Administrator

  • Do get professional advice and find out what your firm's officially is on health retirement. Whatever you do don't voluntarily give up your job unless they offered redundancy as getting benefits is tough enough if you are finished by your employer because you are too sick to fulfill your duties. The benefits people can sometimes take the view if you do leave yourself that you have made yourself voluntarily unemployed.

    Very difficult to advise as we don't know your exact circumstances, savings etc but there is ESA, PIP and Universal Benefits. Do take advice. Good luck let us know how you get on.x

  • Hi Sal

    I guess to quite an extent it depends on terms and conditions re your employment. I worked for my local authority so paid into a good pension scheme. I was retired on grounds of ill health and paid enhanced pension as only aged 56 at the time.

    I was paid full pay for 6 months and half pay for 6 months. GP kept providing fit notes and ESA payable after SSP.

  • Hello SG75 from Nurse Gladys Emanuel (open all hours) I retired early this year from the NHS. I was supported by occupational health, my physio in the same hospital trust, my consultant and my g.p. I did after 4 month get my pension but I took a lump sum and a low payout in order to get all I needed to help me stay in my own home-bought banister rails for hall, had kitchen done with appliances and worktops I can reach, had wet room instead of bath, I bought the goods and my housing officer arranged for them to be fitted. A good welfare rights officer in your town would organise this if you are not in your own home, they will also help you with getting top up benefits which contribute to your stamps/NI contrib. for pension time with government.. PIP is not means tested . Whilst all this goes thru you will need to give long term sick notes to your employer who has to continue paying you and your holiday pay (my sickness was topped up with holiday pay regularly so that I didn,t lose it)

    That's a lot to deal with but get help and don't try to do it yourself as you might end up very stressed. Good Luck to you, keep with us and let us know any hiccups, lots of people here been thru the same and will help you.

  • Thank you all. I am so grateful for all your responses. I have contacted the CAB and they have given me a number to call for more advice. Will update you tomorrow when the call has been made. Sal. Xxx

  • I can see that you have been given some wonderful replies so I will simply and sincerely wish you all the best of luck, and please take care of yourself x

  • There is a huge difference in approach, depending on whether you work in the public sector or the private sector. In the public sector as others have described, ill-health retirement usually comes with a final salary inflation indexed pension plus an enhancement to the years served, for the ill-health. These taxpayer backed schemes are incredibly generous compared to the private sector.

    In the private sector you cannot expect much. If your company's pension scheme is contribution based, all you will have if you retire is the value of the fund that has been building up. On a typical 6% contribution by the employer and 6% from you, on a £20,000 salary and 20 years service, your fund is likely to be worth just under £100,000. That buys a pension indexed to inflation of no more than £2,600 a year at today's conversion rates at age 65 (and even less at younger ages) so you will be dependent on benefits until you reach state retirement age.

    The benefits you can claim are ESA, Housing Benefit, help with Council Tax and PIP. ESA comes in two forms. One is Contribution based which means it depends on whether you have paid National Insurance Contributions but it is still means-tested against pensions and insurance payments. The other is Income based, which involves a means-test against total household income.

    The assessment for ESA places you in one of three groups. These groups are:

    Fit For Work - in which case you have to claim Job Seeker's Allowance

    Work Related Activity Group - they think you will recover and should do some work activity to prepare you to re-enter the job market. ESA is only paid for 12 months to this group

    Support Group - You are judged not to be able to work at all

    Fibromyalgia does not guarantee being placed in the the ESA Support Group. Many claimants with Fibromyalgia are found fit for work and many are put in the Work Related Activity Group. Only the most severely affected qualify for the Support Group.

    You would also be able to claim housing benefit for help with rent, help with the council tax and PIP. The state provides no help with mortgage interest any more. This was a welfare cut 5 years ago. You are expected to sell up and live on any equity that is released.

    Consult a Citizens Advice Bureau or a Welfare Rights Adviser, before you commit to taking ill-health retirement, redundancy or giving up work.

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