Mon1275

Ill health retirement - why the long wait?

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You guys seem a knowledgable bunch and as I can't seem to get an answer from HR, I thought I'd try my luck here.

Last May, due to a long term illness, I was put on the ill health retirement path. I saw the SMP in early October and he judged that I was permanently disabled. Apart from a meeting with HR in mid November (looking at my capability and possible roles)  I've heard nothing more.

I went off sick in mid Jan, due to my long term illness, so while I was off I emailed HR to see what was happening with my case. I had no reply, so in the end I had to involve the federation in order to get an update from HR. I eventually received an update in February and I was told that because I was off sick, they were going to put a referral in to the force doctor, before compiling their ill health retirement report. I don't understand this, as the SMP has already made his decision and written his report on my capability.

Can HR really drag out the A20 decision on whether to medically retire me or not for what is now 5 Months? The SMP gave his decision on 7th October and sent his report the same day (I know this, as he sent me a copy at the same time). I know the H1 process is a long one, but I thought it speeded up once the SMP had made their decision.

Any help/advice is appreciated,

Simon

PS I'm on the 1987 pension, if that makes any difference.

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From the start of the process to leaving the job took my wife 14 months. It's not quick at any stage and is not helped by the involvement of HR. If yours are anything like ours they are a faceless department who repeatedly fail to respond to emails. Enlisting the Fed to help is the way to go.

 

Good luck.

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I would agree that it is essential to involve the Federation. They know the rules and regulations and get a better response that you will. The length of time seems to vary from Force to Force. I had to involve the Federation, my MP, the Force Legal Officer and making a complaint of maladministration. I had contacts and found out that the Head of H.R. had sent a memo instruction the FMO to put me into band 1. I received a copy which was to their embarrassment but certainly moved things on. When you go for the medical or any interview take a knowledgeable friend with you. Make sure that all your injuries are recorded at Job Center.

Use the Federation as that knowledge gives you power. Good luck to you and Billyboots hope all works out well.

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I would respectfully disagree with Zulu 22 about involving the Fed.Having had a consultation I felt they would make matters worse by being adversarial.My force could not have been more sympathetic keeping me on full pay for over two years. Then bending over backwards once the decision had been made to pension me off to ensure I got every penny of what was owed ( over 300 hours of unpaid overtime I had clocked up over 7 years) on my last payslip.

Sometimes taking the bull by the horns isn't the way forward, but slowly slowly catchy monkey with over 10 reports from all sorts of highly qualified professionals confirmed by the force occy health independent doctor and then a final doctor from 'healthworks'.

That said i would love to be on nights tonight instead looking forward to my proper retirement in May 2017 sound of mind and body.

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Thanks for the input so far everyone.

Just to confirm, I've already been seen by the independent doctor that our force medical officer refered me to. He examined me and has declared that I am permanently disabled, as per the regulations, so I'm eligible for ill health retirement. All I'm currently waiting for is my force to decide whether they are going to retain me, or retire me.

Biilysboots, do you know how much of the 14 months was taken up by the "retire or retain" decision part of the process?

Zulu 22, thanks for the advice. I've been trying to avoid creating too much fuss by involving the federation, but HR seem to be ignoring me, so I don't think I have any choice.

Hiramabif, how long after you saw the doctor from Healthworks were you given the decision that you were going to be retired? 

Thanks,

Simon

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Your Federation must be different. Mine moved me through the whole process, they were not adversarial but the HR did not obstruct them. It was me who went to the extra lengths but, with the approval of my Fed expert. They arranged for all my medical examinations and reports to put before the FMO who would have been foolish to ignore the consultants reports. The FMO on my examination with him decided that he would ignore the instructions sent to him by the Head of HR.

I would not disagree with Hiramabif as he had built a raport, but, all Federations are not the same.

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12 hours ago, Mon1275 said:

 

Hiramabif, how long after you saw the doctor from Healthworks were you given the decision that you were going to be retired? 

 

Saw the doctor 04.08.16.Chief made the decision around 18.08.16 put on my 28 days notice the day after retired 19.09.2016.

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Thanks Hiramabif, the length of time you had to wait for the decision seems reasonable. I saw the equivalent to your healthworks doctor in October and I'm still waiting for a decision. Surely this can't be right?

I've looked around for information on the web and the only thing relevant appears to be PNB Circular 10/4 (improving the management of ill health). This gives deadlines for the completion of each stage of the decision, once the SMP has submitted his report. This is where I am at and according to the circular, the decision making process shouldn't take longer than 3 months (including the 28 day notice period).

Almost 6 months later, I'm still waiting. The PNB Circular is a little outdated, as it talks about the police authority making the final decision, however I don't think the process has changed, just the decision maker. Does anyone know if the information in the circular is binding, or can forces ignore it if they wish?

Looking at some of the online force policies for ill health retirement, most seem to have based them on this PNB Circular. I've asked for a copy of our force medical retirement policy and I've been informed that they don't have one. Shocking!

thanks again for everyone's input,

Simon

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MON1275 each Force seems to vary quite a bit. If you speak to your Federation Office they should be able to give you a good idea of the time scale that your Force works to. They will have one of the JBB executive who specialises in medical and Injury pension retirements. It is not unheard of for some Forces to leave you on sick pay for 6 months,(They have a problem) then on half pay sick pay for 6 months (They still have a problem) after which you have a problem being on SSP. when the situation becomes your problem. With Federation assistance make sure that you do not end up in that situation.

I wish you luck and keep my fingers crossed that you are treated correctly.

 

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I can't recall exactly, but it was months rather than weeks after seeing the SMP that the final recommendation went from HR to the Chief.

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Thanks for the input and advice everyone. It looks like the process varies heavily from force to force, so I'll just have to wait it out. I've contacted the fed for advice, just waiting for a reply. 

I think I'll bug HR each week for an update though, just so they don't forget my case.

thanks,

Simon.

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