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Ill Health Retirement Assessments

 
 
 

What is an ill health retirement assessment?

An ill health retirement assessment is a meeting / review to establish if an individual is eligible to retire early due to being permanently medically unfit for the job that they were hired to do.

Who is entitled to apply for ‘ill health retirement’?

An employee who believes s/he is permanently medically unfit for work has the option to apply for early retirement on the grounds of ill health.

Who should I contact with regard to ill health retirement?

If the employee wishes to apply for ill health retirement they must contact the Pensions section of the Department of Education and Skills or appropriate ETB and request an application form.

How should the teacher/SNA apply for ill health retirement?

An employee who believes s/he is permanently medically unfit for work has the option to apply for early retirement on the grounds of ill health.

There are two forms, to be completed when making an application for Ill Health Retirement, both of which are available from the Pensions Section of the Department or ETB as appropriate:

For Teachers:

  • RET.D.1. to be returned to the Department/ETB and
  • TMED1 to be returned to the Occupational Health Service

For SNAs:

  • RET.D.2. to be returned to the Department/ETB and
  • TMED2 to be returned to the Occupational Health Service

The forms are available from the Department of Education & Skills pension division or your ETB Human Resource department.

The procedure is as follows:

  • An application for retirement on ill-health pension must be completed on the prescribed Application Form RET.D.1. and submitted to the employer.
  • Once the declaration is signed by the employer, this Application Form must be forwarded to the Department/ETB.
  • Simultaneously Form TMED1 and all medical evidence from the employee’s treating Physician must be sent to the Occupational Health Service. It is essential that the medical evidence submitted is comprehensive and include all relevant clinical details. It must address diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
  • The compilation of reports is the responsibility of the employee who will bear the cost of any such reports.
  • Upon receipt of the necessary reports the Occupational Health Service will contact the employee to arrange an appointment, if appropriate.
  • The employee will attend for a medical assessment, part of which will involve completing an assessment form. A sample assessment form (OHA1) is located on page 16 of the Standard Operating Procedure Manual.
  • Following medical assessment, a report will be filed by the Occupational Health Service and a recommendation will issue to the Department/ETB.
  • The decision to approve or reject an application for ill-health retirement pension is made by the Department in its role as pension provider (or in the case of ETB employee by the relevant ETB). The decision is made following consideration of the recommendation on the case from the Occupational Health Service and will issue directly to the employee.

In exceptional cases it may be possible to make a decision without calling the employee to attend for an assessment. For instance, in a case where overwhelming evidence exists in support of an application or where the employee has recently attended the Occupational Health Service for an assessment.

 

The appeals process: how to appeal a decision?

In cases where an application for ill-health retirement is not recommended the issue of an appeal may arise. A panel of medical referees will be established comprised of registered medical practitioners who are suitably qualified to assess medical fitness for work.

In cases where an application for ill-health retirement is not recommended the employee may request a copy of the medical assessment report from the Occupational Health ServiceThe Occupational Health Service will make available the report and the list of medical referees to assist the employee in the event of an appeal.

This is the procedure to be followed when it is decided to make an appeal:

  • The appeal must be made to the Department/ETB in writing within 30 days of the date of the letter informing the employee of the outcome of his/her application for ill health retirement. This notification must indicate the name of the medical referee chosen from the approved list.
  • The Department/ETB will notify the Occupational Health Service of the appeal and the name of the medical referee chosen.
  • The Occupational Health Service will forward all relevant medical reports to the medical referee.
  • The applicant will contact the medical referee and arrange a suitable time for this assessment.
  • The employee will bear the cost of this assessment. If the appeal is successful the cost of the assessment is refunded to the employee.
  • The medical referee will send a report to the Occupational Health Service for record purposes and a recommendation to the Department/ETB for action.
  • The decision to approve or reject an ill-health retirement pension appeal is made by the Department in its role as pension provider or in the case of ETB employees by the relevant ETB following consideration of all the facts.
  • The Department makes a final determination and issues a notification to the employee concerned.
  • The determination will include a statement that the determination is not binding upon any person unless the employee agrees in writing to be bound by it and a statement that the employee may wish to refer the dispute or complaint to the Pensions Ombudsman.

Withdrawal of Recognition on Medical Grounds

Medical fitness for admission to removal from or suspension from the Register of Teachers is a matter for the Teaching Council.

 

 
 
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