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Chris195

Where to turn/Ill health retirement.

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Hello All,

 

Never thought I'd be writing this but wanted to see what your thoughts were on the way forward. A bit of background first. I'm 52 with 24 years service and 5 days short of 26 pensionable service, currently a custody skipper.

I have recently been diagnosed with Autoimmune Hepatitis, which is a rare disease and will require me to be on drug treatment for the rest of my life. I have initially been placed on high doses of steroids and immune-supressent drugs and these come with side effects (lack of sleep, drug induced diabetes, fatigue, nausea to name but a few). The aim is to reduce the inflammation of my liver which the steroids do and turn down my immune system to a degree where my body does not try to reject my liver, which is the job of the immune - suppressants.  At that stage, which can take anything from a couple of months to a couple of years to get there,  I'll be placed onto a "maintenance" dose of drugs. However I will always be at risk of catching colds/coughs/flu etc due to my immune system being weaker than most, and if I do get one of these or indeed any other illness then I have to go to my GP and then to my consultant.v I run the risk of starting the whole process again as in being placed on high drug doses.  So all in all a bit of a nightmare. Fifty percent of people suffering from this condition go on to develop secondary conditions as well. 

Clearly I can't do custody anymore as the risk is just too high so I'll have to be placed somewhere else within my force. I can't have contact with the public for the same reasons.  Obviously being susceptible to illness/complications makes it difficult to be placed somewhere else as well as in an office environment , so I've decided to make an application to be medically retired. I'm currently off sick (6 weeks now), having weekly blood test and trying to come to terms with a diabetic side of things.  I've been signed off by my GP until mid January. I fully expect that to be extended and thankfully I have Reg 48 insurance for going on half pay. My first line management is being very supportive but having seen some of the horror stories/experiences on here and elsewhere just fills me with dread about starting the process.

My liver consultant expects me to go on to lead a normal life,  she knows what I do for a living,  but has no idea of the risks involved in the job I do and I fear that once OH contact her she'll say the same thing. Also due to the rareness of my illness, not much research has been done about the mechanics of it, such as contracting it , the way forward in dealing with it and prognosis so heaven knows what my forces medical professionals will make of it and how they will determine where I sit in the grand scheme of things. I know if I'm not successful in getting medically retired they are going to have to put me somewhere but where faced with the risks I pose to them. 

Can they decide to wait for two years to see how I'm progressing and then decide to retire me or not or does the whole process start again? 

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I believe they can wait two years, after all it has to be shown that you are permanently totally disabled - unable to ever work for the rest of your life.
But you should be asking your Fed rep for help and advice rather than random people on a forum.


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