I was pensioned out of the police a few years ago, after being diagnosed with PTSD as a result of a prior injury . I was awarded a band 3 IOD pension, as the SMP’s decision was to reduce my percentage for reasons of a perceived failure to engage with treatment, and because my psychological reaction to my specific injury may not happen to others.
I queried the justification of these reductions at the time and I was advised not to appeal.
I was made aware of IODPA by a serving officer and made initial contact, mainly venting my frustration at how my force dealt with my mental illness over the five years before ill health retirement but also the pension decision.
At the time, I remember being surprised to hear that I was far from the only person to have been treated in this way. As a serving cop, you never get to hear these stories, and in a disappointing way, it was reassuring to hear that I was not alone.
IODPA did give me the advice to challenge the pension when I first contacted them, but it wasn’t until late last year that I felt strong enough mentally to go through the process.
I spoke with Mark Botham at Haven solicitors who then dealt with my case.
It was all a paperwork exercise so thankfully I didn’t need to go back in front of the SMP.
The challenge was around unlawful actions by the SMP, which Mark documented. The SMP made no effort to dispute the challenge, his reply stated that he had been picked up on doing the same unlawful actions on previous cases.
The result is that I am now being put on band 4 and also receiving the relevant back pay.
I would like to thank the great work by IODPA and for all their help and advice, I would not have gone through with this challenge, and been successful, without your knowledge and recommendation.
I am very grateful for all that you do.