Ill Health Retirement - Coronavirus/COVID-19 update

This is an important message for members affected by ill health retirement during the Coronavirus pandemic.

As a result of the Coronavirus, the Scheme Medical Advisor (SMA) has advised that it has put contingency plans in place to ensure minimal disruption to services. This includes working from home for clinical and SMA administration teams.

Due to the unprecedented demands on the NHS, there may be delays in processing applications where it is not possible to obtain information from GPs and specialists. Additional delays may also occur if Government legislation is introduced that redirects healthcare providers to assist NHS activities.

Frequently asked questions

The SMA has prepared the following FAQs and answers about activities carried out for ill health retirements during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Q: I have applied to take my pension early under medical grounds; will I still be able to apply?

A: Yes, you will still be able to apply for ill health retirement.

In partnership with your employer, you should ensure the relevant application form is completed, providing details of your GP and any relevant treating medical specialist. In order to process your application promptly, where possible, you should include:

  • any relevant medical information you hold, such as copies of out-patient clinic letters from your specialist to your GP; and
  • copies of investigations like x-rays and/or scans.

In addition, if you are currently under the care of your GP or specialist, you may be able to ask them to complete the medical section of the application form.

Given the unprecedented demands on the NHS at this time, delays may be experienced as the SMA may be unable to receive reports from either your GP or specialists. Please provide as much supporting information upfront to minimise the volume of information required from your GP or medical specialist.

Q: If I need a consultation, how will this take place?

A: If a consultation is required, this will be arranged by telephone rather than face-to-face.

Q: Is the SMA able to receive paperwork through the post?

A: Unfortunately, the SMA is currently unable to receive paperwork through the post at this time. However, most of your paperwork should be provided as part of your application, which will go via your employer. If you do need to send paperwork directly to the SMA please email