Retirement on medical grounds?

Hi

Heres my second question... I have been trying/struggling to manage my RA for over 14 years. In that time I have continued to work in special education and in a mainstream high school. I have rarely taken time off and never been seen by occupational health, my choice as I didn't want to face up to the fact that I have a chronic disease. My school have been good at making reasonable adjusments and I have managed qite well until recently.

I have had to give up almost all my social life just to enable me to work. I also have problems with extreme exhaustion and am unable to do as much exercise as I feel I need to improve my joints and mobility because of this.

I take methotrexate and steroids and pain relief and a host of other things to counteract the sideffects!

I am always stiff with some degree of pain and am lucky to not have deformities as yet. I have flare ups like we all do and they can come on so quickly. I have to judge when to go home before they get acute.

I cut work down to 4 days a week last year which gave me one day at the weekend when I felt OK.

My job is stressful and stress is my trigger for flare ups. I was thinking about giving up work and downsizing my house to give me money to live on till I got my pension, but I feel I should see if I qualify for retirement on medical grounds, then I could stay in my home.

Anyone got any advice?

8 Replies

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  • Hi Adelaide I've had RA for about 6 years.I worked full time until 18months ago and then reduced to 3 days a week.I had a few bad flares this year and haven't been able to work for the last few months.I was unsure when my GP suggested that I take this time off but it is the best thing I ever did.I now have the freedom to recover in my own time.If I have a bad night I don't have to get up at a set time and I know that if I don't feel up to doing something that I will be able to do it when things are better.

    I am now looking to retire on grounds of ill health,not because I want to go down this route but because I now know this is the best thing for me.Perhaps if your GP would give you some time off from your work it would help you to make a good decision for you.

    Hope this helps xx

  • I got made redundant 2yrs ago and i haven't been able to work since. I have dla at the higher level for mobility and i have esa from dwp. Nobody would take me on now with what i have wrong(ra/fibromyalgia) with me. It is a hard life we have to live. I still find that i don't have a social life to speak of as i'm just too exhausted. If i go out at night i won't be able to do much the next couple of days.

    Like avjh says speak to your gp,could you take on administration role to help you,or cut your days down to three. I wish i had a job as it would keep me in contact with other people. This web site has been a lifeline for me as i have someone to talk to who understands what i'm going through. I try to go out most days if only to get out and about and get some fresh air. I have a mobility scooter which enables me to go to town. Do you have any of the benefits i mentioned above,if not apply that would help you finacially.

    Don't know if what i have said here is of much help to you,hope it is. I wish you the best of luck with what you decide to do.

    Sylvi. xx

  • Hi Adelaide, I left work on health grounds with the support of Occ Health knowing I'd never return to paid work. It was the best decision I ever made.

    I'm almost financially better off with benefits (ESA with a disability premium and DLA high mobility and middle rate care).

    My physical and mental health has seen the biggest improvement. I now have my meds sorted out, I can rest as and when needed, I can do housework/shopping when I feel up to it and have the time, can also take things at my own pace instead of the constant stress and rushing around.

    Give yourself some time to make such a massive decision and talk it over with your Rhumy and Occupational health dept.

    Good luck and do what's right for you, but check out all the pros and cons first.

    Beth xx

  • Hi Adelaide,

    I am also interested in this issue. I am currently on disability due to an operation, I would like to have some time when I am well to see if it would suit me not to work. It is a huge decision. I actually jobshare week on week off, and am always exhausted when finished work.

    I am sort of hoping they might make me some sort of reasonable offer.

    In the U.K how much would you get on long term disability?

    Thinking mmmmm!

    Gina.

  • Gina the level of benefits depend on personal circumstances. I get ESA plus a disability element because I get DLA middle rate care which qualify's me for the extra payment. I also get DLA high mobility.

    I'm actually better off not working with housing and council tax benefit, which is a bit of a sickener as I struggled to continue working as long as I could.

    I've attached a link with benefit rates but I'd also advice someone to do a benefit calculation before making such a massive decision.

    Good luck

    Beth x

    Benefit rates link:

    rightsnet.org.uk/toolkit/be...

    Benefit calculator link:

    turn2us.org.uk/benefits_sea...

  • I'd also warn people with the current changes in the welfare system it's getting very difficult to claim disability benefits. So educate yourself and seek advice from an Advice Centre such as CAB prior to making a claim for benefits.

    All to often jobcentre callcentre staff don't have a clue and are only there to accept a standard claims and do not offer advice to people about what their entitlement is.

  • I took early retirement because of my ra about three years ago. Can't advise on the benefits side of things, but I don't regret having retired. Can take rest, less stress, and I've a better social life now too. I'm studying fine art and this is helping with feelings of depression too. But it does depend on the financial aspects. Good luck

  • Thank you for all the replies...I am finding this forum so comforting! It is such an isolating disease and linking up with others helps,,,as long as I don't get moany!!!

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