In the mid 90’s I left the Police with 16 years pensionable service to seek a different career in London having moved there from a northern provincial force area. Some 18 months or so before leaving I had sustained injuries to my back, neck, and face during an arrest of a violent offender on duty. Although my injuries resulted in several flare-ups requiring time off and further hospital visits over my last year of service, as I was about to leave the force, I felt that I was relatively okay.
However, within months of starting my new career which involved lots of overseas travel my neck injury began to cause problems which progressively worsened over many years eventually negatively impacting my ability to fully undertake my role which led to my having to find other forms of employment.
I never considered any Police or injury related entitlements having moved away from former colleagues and force area so many years earlier.
Only because of a chance conversion some years later about my disabling injury with an industry colleague, whom it turned out was a former Police Detective who himself had applied for a deferred pension under similar circumstances. He recommended that I should be eligible as it related to an Injury on Duty.
I had no knowledge of the Police Regulations, nor could I find any source of advice or information around this time. (Sadly IODPA did not exist at this period in time.)
I applied to my former force HR outlining the full circumstances of my IOD.
I also subsequently provided my force HR with detailed medical reports dating from some 12 months after leaving the force outlining the extent of my disabling injury and the numerous documented recurring occasions and treatments over an 11 year period. I also provided 4 witness statements, injury photographs a Newspaper article naming me as one of several officers assaulted on duty, a DWP letter acknowledging an Industrial Injury caused by an IOD, which I had fortunately retained copies of. (Note: don’t throw away ‘old’ documents that relate to your service in particular injuries)
I was invited to be examined by the Force Medical Officer requiring a 300 mile round trip.
On arrival for the examination, I was abruptly and briefly dealt with by the FMO who advised me that none of the documents that I had provided to the force had been forwarded to him, nonetheless he stated that I was ‘not entitled to anything’ as I was neither unemployed or unemployable. Nor did my pending Spinal Operation to deal with my now deteriorated spinal injury prove influential as it ‘had not taken place at the time of my application.’
Having returned home I immediately made a written complaint to HR for wasting my time as HR ought to have been aware of my supposed non entitlement beforehand.
Needless to say, this ‘eventually’ resulted, (following numerous back and forth emails) in an acknowledgement from HR that the FMO was not correct in respect if my entitlements and that I would be awarded a deferred ill health pension from the date of my application some months earlier.
By this time I had become aware from a former colleague that the regulations stated entitlement should be from the earliest dated medical confirmation of the recurrence/continuation of the injury or if unproven from the date of the application. This information was essential in my case.
As I had provided medical reports dated 14 years before my application the force, eventually, albeit reluctantly, they agreed (some 10 months later) to backdate my deferred pension by 14 yrs to the date of the earliest medical record that I could prove and provide. (Note : Specific knowledge of Police Regulations is required when going down this route which is why the support available today from the iodpa.org is essential)
At that time in the mid 2000’s I was relieved having eventually succeed in obtaining my Deferred ill health Pension and having no specific knowledge of Injury on Duty awards/pension entitlements I could only accept and (naively) ‘trust’ that I had received any and all entitlements.
(Note: Don’t trust/rely on your Force/HR dept to advise you of any entitlements… they will ONLY act if you ‘already know’ and apply for specific entitlements, in reality your Federation rep should be able to advise you I had not sought out a Federation representative at that time)
Some 10 years passed by and by chance I discovered the iodpa.org online and very quickly realised that in my circumstances I should have been entitled to be considered for an IOD and sought their advice and guidance including a referral to Roy Thompson at Haven Solicitors who agreed that I had a substantial and potentially valid case. I was advised to contact the Police Federation in order to pursue. I was then made aware that a near identical case Lloyd Kelly v Chief Constable South Yorkshire Police was pending and that my case would be legally supported by the PF in anticipation of the outcome of that case.
Throughout this initial period the IODPA assisted and guided me throughout, answering any questions and concerns that I had in dealing with the entire process. They were invaluable and on conclusion of the process I was eventually awarded a band 3 IOD award but like in the case of my Deferred Ill Health Pension 10 years earlier I was again told that the IOD award would only apply from the date of my application earlier that same year. Again with the assistance and support of the IODPA I appealed this decision but had to await the outcome of the Lloyd Kelly case which was fought several times over a 5 year+ period (please read the case on the iodpa.org website) through the courts to the highest level to its final successful conclusion at the end of 2021 resulting in my IOD award/pension being backdated 21 years prior to my IOD Pension being implemented.
Without the assistance of the IODPA I would not have realised my entitlements nor eventually financially secured my families future. Despite the ups and downs and lengthy process and court battles by those who have gone before us, in my case Sgt Lloyd Kelly we would all be in a weaker position. So thank you IODPA and Lloyd Kelly.
The IODPA provides an invaluable service both for Police Pensioners and most importantly serving officers facing or going through Injury/health related issues, we should all ensure that serving or former colleagues are made aware of their existence.