1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. kazb

    kazb Registered User

    Aug 1, 2015
    71
    Hi All,
    Thanks in advance for help.
    I am a nurse and just been diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimer's at 53.
    Work would like to pension me off and i am worried about money.
    I am married.
    Can anyone help with what i may be able to claim if they do pension me off.
    I have only worked at the university as a nurse for 3 years, so will only get back what i have paid into it, as the other pension you had to be in it for 5 years and i have not been.:(
    We have children, but they are all grown up and moved home, except for my son at 28 yrs old, who still lives at home.
    He will be the one who will be looking after me to be honest as and when i need it.
    We couldn't afford or want hubby to leave his job.
    Please any help or information will be helpful.
    Could i get back all the other pensions i have paid into as a nurse in the past ??.
    I have spoken to NMC and they have advised that as and when i am ready to leave work they will support me as the governing body, but if i dont want to leave then they said that work have to support me to stay as long as i can.
    I am not sure i want all the hassle and pressure of being assessed and someone over my shoulder all day every day.
    Just really need to know where i stand.
     
  2. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    5,737
    North East Lincs
    Just one thought: is it possible to get your pension enhanced on the grounds of ill health? Some L G schemes used to enhance pensions when they paid staff off on the grounds of ill health.
     
  3. Early Girlie

    Early Girlie Registered User

    Jul 5, 2015
    66
    St Albans
    Hello kazb

    I can't help with respect to pensions, but I can tell you a bit about benefits. I've just been researching them as my Hubby has been diagnosed with early onset AD at 47. My heart goes out to you, it's a lot to come to terms with.

    The news on benefits is not great either. Disability Living Allowance has been discontinued, and replaced with the Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This is not means-tested, but you would need to have an assessment and score above a certain level on this table: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/G...able-of-activities-descriptors-and-points.pdf
    If you are newly-diagnosed, I suspect you won't come close to this.

    Then you could also look at the Employment & Support Allowance (ESA), which has replaced Incapacity Benefit. This has an income-related component which you probably wouldn't qualify for, as it is means-tested and you wouldn't be eligible if your husband works more than 24 hours a week (and that would also rule out Income Support for you). The other part is the contributory allowance which you could be eligible for if you've paid enough NI contributions. Unfortunately though, this is also dependent on a medical assessment which must conclude that you have limited capability for work.

    Your son could only look at claiming Carer's Allowance if you receive one of the other benefits, and then only if he cares for you at least 35 hours a week and earns less than £110 net per week.

    The other thing you might want to look at is paying voluntary class 3 National Insurance contributions if you stop working. By doing this, you will make sure you have enough contributions paid when you do start claiming PIP and/or ESA. These both look at your NI conts for the previous 2 tax years before you claim, so if you haven't worked for a while before claiming, you could then miss out. Keeping your NI conts topped up will also ensure you get your full state pension at your state retirement age.

    So it's not a whole heap of good news for the early onset club. Not only is there precious little you can claim for, but your best bet is to pay out even more to safeguard your future potential benefits.

    Hope this is of some use.

    EG
     
  4. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    11,604
    West Midlands
    I have private messaged you.


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  5. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
  6. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    11,604
    West Midlands
    That's an interesting link. My OH was under the impression that under NHS tax rules, you needed 5 years service, and could only get ill health if you had a terminal illness and not expected to live more than 12 months....

    Must be worth a proper chat to NHS pensions, if you have a NHS pension


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  7. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    I agree that's the next step. I have a NHS pension from service which ended in 1989 and I understand that there are various different rules depending on when you became a member.

    This seems to be the starting point for pension queries.

    http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Pensions.aspx

    I wouldn't want to agree or sign anything with your employer until you are clear about what options the pension scheme offers you. It may not be possible to get ill-health retirement if you resign from your job first.

    All this assumes that your employer has fulfilled all their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act to make reasonable accommodation to enable you to continue working and it not practicable for you to do so.

    http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/in...hts-and-the-disability-discrimination-act.htm
     
  8. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,035
    Male
    North Manchester
  9. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
  10. MinnieMouse

    MinnieMouse Registered User

    Jun 24, 2012
    109
    North West
    Really sorry you have been diagnosed with this cruel illness. Apart from the PIP you can also get a discount on your council tax or be exempt from paying it altogether but just check with the council. Also when you get to state pension age you can claim
    Pension credit if your pension is going to be lower. My Mum is at the later stages now and I know what it's like to go through this so if you ever need any help please ask xxx
     
  11. kazb

    kazb Registered User

    Aug 1, 2015
    71
    Omg

    So it seems that if work want to get rid of me if they state i am unable to undertake my current job as a nurse, then i wont be able to claim anything and be out of work with no money or support.
    As i am a nurse of only 5, then they said they cannot re-deploy m in any other job as there isnt any other job i can do.
    I have asked to speak with the head of HR about pensions etc.
    I cannot believe i have been given this diagnosis and then feel like my life cannot get any worse and bang it does.
    Ageuk said they cannot help as i am only 53 and they deal with over 60's. Cannot get appointment with CAB and dont seem to be able to get any help anywhere else other than all you kind people.:mad:
     
  12. jeany123

    jeany123 Registered User

    Mar 24, 2012
    19,049
    Durham
    In our area age Uk help anyone over 50 my husband was just 56 when I got help from them, unless it has been changes,
     
  13. john51

    john51 Registered User

    Apr 26, 2014
    289
    Male
    Dunstable, Bedfordshire
    I'm really sorry to hear about your diagnosis, and can see exactly what you mean when you talk about assessment.
    I was diagnosed just over a year ago at age 52. I was a teacher, and I really hated being told that my lessons which used typically to be outstanding needed improvement. And each time I got this grade another assessment was scheduled. My consultant was is great advised that it would be really wrong to leave the profession having been dismissed for incompetance.
    This doesn't really help you, but what might is that the NHS pension scheme works very much like the Teachers Pension scheme I think. The report my consultant sent them meant that I got an enhanced pension. Normally Teachers Pensions take 15 or so weeks to agree Ill Health retirment. It must have been quite a report because it took them 3 days to agree mine. Really I am not that bad, and can cope pretty well most days.
    I am no longer allowed to drive. My local authority came through with a free bus pass on submission of a very simple form and a copy of the letter from DVLA saying I am no longer allowed to hold a license. When I reach the point of not being able to go out alone, my wife who is my carer can also have one.
    Somebody else commented on PIP. Like them I thought it unlikely that I would qualify. During a spell in hospital after a TIA, they sent a benefits advisor to see me who said she was pretty sure I would get it. My wife and daughter hated filling in the forms saying what things were like on the worst days, but the advisor said you really have to. The Consultant was asked for another report. It combined with the form meant that I was assessed as needing the daily living component at enhance level and the being able to get about bit at standard level. It really may well be worth a try, particularly if you have a supportive consultant.
    Having got PIP you can apply for other benefits. I have recently been told that my claim for being disregarded for Council Tax purposes has been accepted. If there is only 1 other adult in the house apart from you, this means you get a 25% discount on Council Tax.
    I hope some of these things help.
    A reflection: on pre dementia days I could have tyoped this in about 5 minutes. today we are just about at the 2 hour mark.
    Its great this condition isnt it.
    John
     
  14. john51

    john51 Registered User

    Apr 26, 2014
    289
    Male
    Dunstable, Bedfordshire
    I've just seen the comment advising you not to resign from work. I agree definately don't. Ill Health Retirement is only likely to be granted if you are still in work. If you are really struggling will your GP sign you off?
    Having had the doctor appointed by HR agree that I was not fir to work I was signed off until the agreed date of leaving
    John
     
  15. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    Thank you john51 and kazb I hope you find this reassuring. If your employer is saying you are unfit for work through illness then ill-health retirement is the way to go. If HR don't propose this, ask for it and do not, as john51 says, agree to resign. If they are unhelpful go straight to your GP and ask to be signed off as unfit to work while this is resolved. If your employer is saying you are unfit to work, they can hardly argue with this.
     
  16. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    1,955
    I thought your post was really helpful, John. The explanations were beautifully clear and sympathetic. It's no surprise you were so often rated as an outstanding teacher, in the right conditions you still are.
     
  17. kazb

    kazb Registered User

    Aug 1, 2015
    71
    Thanks

    Thank you again everyone.
    I work at at university as a occupational Health Nurse and not the NHS anymore,its classed as a private sector. I used to work for the NHS for over 15 years before the university.
    I have managed with grit determination, to get a social worker assigned to me, through a nurse friend who gave her my number and she is going to call at my home in a few weeks,so hopefully i might get more information.
    I have sent the signed disclosure letter to the university doctor and now await them getting back to me after they get have spoken with my consultant.
    I am term time only at the university and should be going back in september, looks like this may not be happening at the moment.
    So i think if i am correct in saying, everyone is saying don't just leave work, let them finish me on ill health.
    If i get stressed with it all and the assessments, would you suggest i speak with my GP or Consultant or both ??.
    To be honest i am unsure if i will be able to undertake the nursing work/job i used to do as keep forgetting things i need to know, to do the job.
    I am only 53,can i claim pension at 55 , from work ??.
    The university at the moment is making lots of people redundant and the unision is involved with this as everyone is unhappy, so if they can get rid of me they will be happy.
    Do you suggest i speak with my Unison rep ??.:confused:
    So stressed and angry and scared ........
    there is myself and hubby at home.
    Son of 28 comes home every now and then. Is on the register at our home,so he can vote.
    All help from you kind people is the only help i am getting, so a big thankyou xxx
     
  18. john51

    john51 Registered User

    Apr 26, 2014
    289
    Male
    Dunstable, Bedfordshire
    Hi Kazb
    I have a really dark part of every day. When I read your posts during one of these, I could feel the world closing in. I'm sure that's how you feel too.
    Well done for getting the social worker assigned. I'm sure that like many of us you find communicating with 'normal people' very difficult. It was this difficulty which probably helped with my pip application.
    If the stress of work gets on top of you, go and see your GP. Unless they have a magic cure In which case share it with us all) they can sign you off work. This should help with your own stress, but also helps maintain the quality of service to the young people at the university. As the dad of a daughter doing post grad and working to cope with bipolar this is important to me. I'm sure it is to you too.
    You mention your Unison rep. Most certianly contact them. My union were brilliant in supporting me through applying for ill health retirement.
    You should be able to get this at any age it applies, not have to wait for early retirement at 55.
    You also mention redundancies at work. If your employer decided to make you redundant, you should get redundancy pay from them and you should be able to apply for ill health retirement too.
    Definately speak to that union rep who should be able to advise about all the possibilites, or know a man who does if he can't
    Good luck with it all.
    We're all behind you

    John
     
  19. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    Unison should definitely be contacted. You should have the right to have a union rep. with you at any meeting with your employers, HR, whatever. One of the benefits of union membership is the legal advice and support they can give you especially on this type of issue.
     
  20. kazb

    kazb Registered User

    Aug 1, 2015
    71
    Update

    Hi all you kind people,
    I have contacted my local unison rep and awaiting him getting back to me, also tomorrow i have writtend down a list of people to contact
    1) HR at work re advise my pension (forewarnd and all that)
    2) NHS pension helpline (as paid in for yrs when was a ward nurse at local hospital).
    3) GP as getting really bad headaches and also not sleeping/
    4) PIP new clain Line.

    Just want to get everything in order while i can, just in case they do finish me on ill health.

    Thank you again everyone.
    Start on Donepezil 5mg x1 a day tomorrow :eek:
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.