I work for local government. Well....when I say I work for them, I say it loosely. I did work for them for 11 years before I became ill with bipolar. I have now been on and off sick for the past 2 1/2 years. Mostly sick, I think I have worked 7 months.
Pretty much they have been good to me. I have had full sick pay, half pay. I have had all reasonable adjustments made but I still could not cope with the stress my job brought. I have been told I can be redeployed, however, I have to go through an application process which my anxiety will just not let me do.
They have held on and on waiting for me to get to a place where I can start to engage in the redeployment process but it is just not happening. This recent bout of sickness is now at 11 months.
I met with my boss today and she has said that careful wording of a new medical referral could place me in a better situation for medical retirement. (I am 37) However, the last medical declared that medical retirement should not be considered at present.
I am a bit wary of this new move. I don't want to burn my bridges. If the occupational health people say they recommend retirement then my work will pay me off (I think) but my pensions company might not agree to give me a pay off/pension as peeps with bipolar can work productively when treatment is right. So I am in a bit of a quandary.
I was medically retired from work at the age of 36 in 1992. I am now 52 years of age. All I can say it is a terrible blow to confidence and self esteem. I know you will get a pension probably enhanced by a number of years, but with the benefit system as it is some of your pension may affect your disablily benefit if you get over £95 occupational pension.
I would definitely check that out, because finance is an important issue.
As for future employment unfortunately mental illness label is an awful prospect, to have to worry about especially over disclosure issues.
Everyone is different but 37 is one year older than the age I retired and I have only worked 8 months paid work since and that ended in an employment tribunal. I have done a lot of voluntary work, but I personally now have doubts about whether in the long term people feel valued as a person in voluntary roles, however important. Self esteem and confidence I believe are so important to a persons health.
hi happyhappy, im currently going thru a similar thing. Ive been on sick for the last six years but the company kept my job open. Recently i was informed that i was on a list of possible redundencies, which did not come about fortunatly as the pay out was quite low.
They then offered early ill health retirement but it had so many clauses to it. And because they would pa\y a small pension i wouldnt be able to claim benefits, plus i couldnt do any voluntary work
Finally they offered me early retirement (im 56) this meams they will give a lump sum, \Then a pension when i officially retire. Fortunatly the amount they are offering is enough to clear my mortgage, so i am in the process of going thru this. Plus this way it will not affect my benefits.
I was on the sick for 2 years and they kept my job open - they tried to get rid of me through ill health ground/medical termination - I fortunately got redundancy in the end, this worked out better for me. Its a terrible position to be in - you now need to think whether you can cope without having a job? Its hit me hard recently, although I am going to do some volutary work soon - I realise how much I have missing in my life and also realise because of my condition I may never work again too - I hope that I will one day be well enough and accepted.
I have been away from the forum for a while,and saw this and wondered how you had gone on with your medical retirement.I made a mistake on my last post.I meant to say i took redundancy not retirement. After some bartering i got a decent payoff. But any payout can affect you getting benefits .I was lucky and they allowed me to use the money to pay my mortgage off so i could still claim IS. But you are normally expected to live off the money of any payout you get.
I know this was a while ago for you but i hope it all went well for you.
My husband was not in the best of health when his firm was taken over and he had a contract so got what in those days was a reasonable pay off. He had always wanted to grow things, so we started by putting up some greenhouses and growing tomatoes for the few local shops in a rural area. We had ten years at that, by which time our two boys had finished school and gone to coledge. Sadly one succumbed to severe and enduring mental illness, but realising that when he got to a certain stage he required some occupation. He joined a photographic group and also a painting group. He still has his ongoing illness, but paints, does woodwork, works hard for us and other friends and family on a voluntary basis, and when he has had enough crashes out. He understands his illness, and alhough being sectioned in the early days, now realises that without his medication he will probably become acutely ill again. So all you people who have left your jobs, take advice from your doctor first, and then take up a hobby which you may well not have had the time for in the past. It is important to keep going, but at your own pace. And with something that interests you. The brain needs some exercise, but not too much stress.
Good luck to you all. You are still very useful people, and I am sure will help others. Good luck and take care.
Well I've just been 'let go', by sort of mutual agreement from my teaching job as I'd been off sick all academic year. I can't even think about getting another job yet until I'm better and I'm somewhat restricted by the fact that I don't drive, public transport sucks round here and I'm too lazy to want to travel far to work anyway, my last job was 10 mins walk from home. At my age, 48, I'm less likely to be able to get a job than someone younger anyway.
However, I've been keeping myself busy (on and off) during the past year with various music projects that are actually now getting into the public eye and might even generate a very small income so it's not all bad. Having got some recognition for them though is another story, I'm now very anxious at the thought of having to meet some fairly important people in the music world and possibly even be interviewed for Radio 2.