There are two scenarios for when you might apply for ill health benefit. The first is if you are applying within two years of leaving pensionable service or you are still in employment when you were forced to stop work because of ill-health. The second is if you are applying for ill-health benefits more than two years after leaving pensionable service or you are applying because of a condition from which you did not suffer before you left teaching.
Scenario One: Still teaching
In this scenario, you will be within two years of leaving pensionable service, and you are still a contributing member.
It is essential to understand what it means to be a contributing member. You are considered to be in pensionable service if you are still contributing to the scheme. Therefore, if you are on sick leave receiving at least half pay, then you are a contributing member. If you are on less than half pay, you are not a contributing member.
If you are a contributing member then you will be making an in-service application and your employer should provide you will the appropriate forms. You could arrange for your employer to forward the completed application, or you can send them yourself. If your employer submits these forms, you still have a right to review the medical evidence before this application is submitted. You may want to discuss evidence with occupational health professionals before submitting the application.
Scenario two: You left teaching more than two years ago, and you are unwell with an unrelated illness
In a situation where you are applying after you have left pensionable service then you will be making an out-of-service application. You must complete part A of the application for ill-health benefits, but you are not required to complete parts B and C. The medical information form will need to be completed by your chosen medical practitioner. The forms are available on the Teachers’ Pension Scheme website.
In both scenarios, you will be expected to support your application with medical evidence from accredited medical professionals. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be to get your application approved. If you are concerned that your medical condition may not get approval and so may wish to involve a third party to support you, such as a union representative.
The content in this article was correct on 12th September 2019. You should not rely on this article to make important financial decisions. Teachers Financial Planning offers advice on pensions for teachers and non-teachers. Please use the contact form below to arrange an informal chat with an advisor and see how we can help you.