Has anyone claimed there pension?

I think you have to get a medic to state you have less than 12 months to live (even though who actually knows this!!)

Are Drs willing to say this even if they know you have longer?

My thoughts here are if your in recurrence then although you may live many many years, realistically unlikely to make it to retirement so may as well get the pension now if you can?

17 Replies

  • I claimed two pensions. One just relied on doctors report of what treatment I had received on paperwork I sent them. It was for a reasonable police pension with a good lump sum and monthly payments out.. The other put me through a rigorous interview with the upshot of in good health now and life expectancy more than one year. I found it a rude and upsetting experience. By the way it was was a lump sum of £235 and £10 a month. Jokes. I bet the doctor charged more than that for his interrogation and report. Yes a bit bitter about what I was put through. I hope this helps x

  • Hi I have done this and am glad of it. Talk to your gp if they are someone you trust and get on well with. Also try talking to your cancer support centre or charity if they have someone who specialises in finance / probate / benefits matters. Good luck.

    Netti x

  • Hi, I worked for the NHS, I applied for my retirement pension from them based in the cancer and the resulting neuropathy from the chemo. Now you'd think that the NHS would understand wouldn't you? nah!

    I had to answer so many question, I got written support from my GP, the NHS occupational health doctor and the prof, I jumped through so very many hoops and had interviews and examinations? I was eventually advised that the pensions authority would look on my application favourably but it would take some time, in the interim I needed to finish work, the cold weather really affects my hands and feet and as I was a medical receptionist in a large and often freezing cold area and I needed to look to the longer term. I was advised the best practice would be to resign and my pension would follow. This whole process took nearly a year.

    Well, the NHS pensions authority being the caring body it is decided I wasn't poorly enough to qualify! So I couldn't have back what I'd paid in. In hindsight I suppose I should have just gone off sick then the process may have taken a different direction (they actually said that part of the criteria for the rejection was I didn't take time off work!!! 😠) I couldn't have done that though I do have some principles. So here I am waiting another 3 years for my NHS pension. The bit that gripes is it is only 3 years early not decades but hey ho, I have my health 😬 😊.

    I hope if you apply for yours that you are successful . Good luck and let us know how you get on. Sorry for the long rant. Take care ❤xx Jane

  • I am so very shocked.. I'm not up to speed with researching at the moment but is there a case here for you being advised to retire due to the circumstances at the time which you wouldn't have done if you've been advised better? Some sort of unfair dismissal..... There's something lurking at the back of my mind but I just can't pull it forward

    Sorry foggy headed

    Clare xx

  • I will look into it but the pensions authority are a separate body to the NHS and they didn't make the recommendation to finish pending their decision. I have got my union working on it at the moment with the foundation trust, unfortunately the HR woman who gave the recommendation has moved on 🤔. I think this matter may well result in a tribunal of sorts to ask relevant questions re the poor advice given me. I haven't finished the fight yet.

    I thought that I as had taken 11 months off work when diagnosed and during treatment for the cancer and hypercalcaemia that this was sufficient for them to view my application favourably. Unfortunately they viewed the original absence and resulting neuropathy as two separate incidents and therefore not related.

    Thanks for your help once again Claire, ❤️Xx Jane

  • This seems so astonishingly unfair that I feel angry for you. Many hugs. Xxx

  • Aw thank you, that's kind. The NHS is a fantastic organisation with fabulous staff who mostly do their level best to help the patients, unfortunately it's not so good at management levels when it comes to looking after its staff which is after all the fundamental core of the NHS. I had to take annual leave to attend Christies for check ups I am currently looking into this to see if it is lawful also I had to take annual leave to go see the Occy Health doctor at their request and when I was returning to work following surgery and chemo they said I was entitled to 5 days annual leave from the previous year, I had taken no leave in the whole leave year I was off, however, by doing some research I discovered they were in breach of a law ruling from 2012 where an employee in a very similar situation took NHS Leeds to the high court and was granted the statutory 4 weeks annual leave. When I raised this with HR they said they knew about it but couldn't tell me about it and given that I had to take annual leave to be able to undertake a phased return to work I needed these 28 days so I didn't use all the entitlement from the coming years leave. It's soul destroying having to take on such a huge organisation to get what's rightly owed in the first place. But we have to be firm! Onwards and upwards! 😊

  • I am beyond shocked with what I'm reading. I work in the civil service and had all my leave for the year to take when I went back to work after my last chemo (1st Sept 2016) im entitled to 30.5 days due to to my length of service. Additionally my phased return to work (Sept to Dec) was 12 weeks reduced hours- NONE of that was my leave. In fact that formal approach meant that I was paid for a full time day even though I worked 2 hours a day, then 4 hours, then 5.5 hours a day over the weeks.

    I'm totally shocked that you seem to have such a different system. It may be worth formally writing to get them to write to you with your entitlement so that you know what they are stating even if you later find out they are wrong.

    You should also have access to the relevant rules and regulations too.

    You are also covered by the Disability Act from date of diagnosis which also gives you rights.

    Can you get some advice from MacMillan?

    Just a thought but it shouldn't be this hard.

    Clare xx

  • Constructive dismissal is maybe the phrase you mean.

  • Yes! Xx

  • The NHS & the civil service are poles apart. My brother works for the civil service and was amazed at the difference in staff rights and benefits between the two government agencies, I worked in local government many years ago, the set up there is different as is the fire service, my husband retired from 43 years in the fire service, 31as a firefighter and their system is so different . Just something as simple as pension contributions, I believe my brother pays 1.5% of salary whereas I paid 4% my husband paid a higher % big differences and teachers are once again different, one of my brothers colleagues didn't have to take leave for doctors appointments in similar circumstances to ours so there are differences right across the board. It is time the government put all government services on a level playing field so there is some parity for all concerned. I have sought legal advice and this is ongoing. I am aware of the discrimination criteria once diagnosis is made and this adds credence to my appeals. Thanks for your interest and advice with this Claire hope you're feeling a bit better? Take lots of care ❤xx Jane

  • Makes my one horrible interview seem insignificant compared to your awful treatment. I'm shocked x

  • I got both of mine, with no problems . X

  • Like Cropcrop, I worked in the NHS. The only difference I can see is that I went off sick when I had my first recurrence and then had a failed return to work. The process did take several months and lots of form filling by myself and different departments, but I was eventually awarded Tier 2 retirement ( basically topped up to what I would have been entitled to if I had paid into the pension up to my official retirement age). Additionally, I was advised not to resign but to let the Trust terminate my contract - they then had to pay me 12 weeks pay in lieu of notice. As far as I'm aware, I can't claim my state pension until my normal retirement age of 67. I'm 56 this year and would hope to still be around then, but as we all know, that can't be guaranteed. I hope this helps you. X

  • Thank you, that's Useful to know


  • I also worked in the nhs both in Scotland and England. I successfully applied for my Scottish pension but I haven't tried the English one yet. I have the form but the criteria is so much more restrictive that I don't think I would qualify.

    @ cropcrop I used to be a manager with GP practices in the nhs and I'm appalled reading your story. There's so many things totally wrong with how you've been treated. I feel really angry for you. I hope you get it sorted as nobody should be treated in that matter.


  • I was due to receive a pension from the local council in 3 years when aged 65. I rang the pension scheme up because I was thinking of taking it early at a lower rate. They advised me to approach the council to ask to have it paid out early on ill health grounds. I did and subsequently asked my oncologist for a letter stating my prognosis. It was a very good letter. But you have to be prepared to see something in black and white which can be upsetting. Who knows how correct a prognosis can be, take it all with a pinch of salt. I sent the letter to occupational health at the council and received confirmation that my pension would be paid early at the full rate. It's not a massive pension. But I have not applied for any other benefits so every bit helps. Good luck. It's worth asking your oncologist about a letter stating your prognosis. I think they are used to it but please don't take it to heart. Xx

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