Testimonial

Martin

Martin

Martin’s story

This is my story and I am writing it in the hope that it may give other Police IOD pensioners the confidence to appeal and challenge grossly unfair injury pension awards with the help and support of the IODPA.

In the early 2000’s I was a Police Motorcyclist in a Midlands Police force and enjoyed going after criminals.

All was well until some well meaning soul decided that we had to go on an off-road appreciation course with another Midlands force, run by an instructor with an ego the size of Texas. Although we weren’t required to take our patrol bikes, Honda had loaned the force a couple of Honda Varadero’s and we were ordered to take those on the course.

Whilst these were better than our road bikes for off roading, they were still totally inappropriate for the course as they were way too cumbersome and heavy but the instructor would hear none of it. He of course was riding a purpose built CCM off road bike and took us to a nearby wood in order to show off his skills at jumping fallen trees.

Imagine our surprise then when, following a demonstration, he suggested that we could do the same on our Varaderos!

Doing everything he said to the letter, I attempted the manoeuvre, hit the fallen tree very hard and fell from the machine in spectacular fashion. The initial laughter soon turned to something more serious when we realised that I couldn’t walk properly and was suffering excruciating pain from my lower back.

Having returned back to force I sought medical advice and treatment which resulted in the diagnosis that I had displaced a disc in my lower back (pushing on a sciatic nerve) and would need surgery to correct it. Although the surgery was successful broadly speaking I still experienced a lot of pain meaning that I could not participate on officer protection and therefore had my patrol ticket pulled which was very hard to take.

The other thing that concerned the organisation was that I was taking very strong prescribed drugs for the pain and that limited the sort of jobs I could do. I did however manage to find other meaningful roles within the organisation up to my retirement.

It is only fair to point out that prior to this incident I did have a problematic back but only in so far as it would ache after a lot of lifting or bending over and this could be addressed with mild over the counter pain killers. The condition had never stopped me carrying out the full duties of a Constable.

I completed my 30 years and after I had left that I was tipped off (as it is a well kept secret) that I could claim for an IOD award.

An application was made and around 11 months later, I was ordered to go and see an SMP one evening in another part of the country in order that my IOD banding could be determined. My wife came with me as it was a long drive and we both remember wandering into this dismal and poorly lit surgery where we were greeted by the good doctor straight from a film set of Lord of the Rings (well that is what he reminded us of).

We recall that he had a horrible way about him and it was clear that he had been given an awful lot of direction by my ex force to drive down the cost of injury pensions by any means fair or foul. We spent about 5 minutes talking about what had caused my injury and the rest of the time discussing my medical records where he was clearly looking for some weakness or chink in my armour.

Imagine then the delight of the doctor when he found that I had previously had back issues albeit minor ones. He then concerned himself with working out my banding with figures obtained straight from the Beano and even with this I still initially was placed into the band 3 area.

It was then that the Doctor dropped his bombshell and took 50% of my award away in light of my previous back issues, which dropped me down into a band 2 (just). I was of course in no position to argue as I had not applied for an IOD pension before and did not know the rules so we left thinking that although the encounter was far from pleasant, I had done OK. Incidentally, I have since found out that this so called doctor died abroad in 2016 in suspicious circumstances.

Wind on if you will to 2018 when I read a circulation from NARPO about injury pensions. This was when I became aware of the IODPA and began to read some articles on their site. I also began to exchange emails with IODPA. The charity came across as extremely switched on, knowledgeable but friendly too. IODPA told me there and then that in their opinion I had been short changed and had clearly been the victim of unlwful practice due to the incorrect use of apportionment by the SMP.

I am by nature a moderate and ended up speaking to our local NARPO boss who said he would be very careful about rocking boats, the worry being that the IOD pension could go down as well as up during an appeal. This bit of advice unsettled me so in short I did nothing.

This is perhaps a good time to say that anyone looking at me or interacting with me would not immediately guess that I have a serious and debilitating back injury.

I am and always have been a believer in ‘best foot forward’ and just try to get on with it.

The truth of the matter however is that I am still in a lot of pain, even with the strong drugs and cannot sit, stand, walk, drive or even lie down for any length of time. This then makes me very tired and irritable and I often need to sleep in the day to catch up with lost sleep, which strangely enough prospective employers have something of an opinion about!!!

In 2020 another ex-cop from my force, who I really like and rate, had just retired and asked me if I would help him with an IOD submission. I was quite willing to do this but wanted to make sure I was up on current law etc so began reading the IODPA site once more. Imagine then my surprise when I found 2 stated cases, South Wales Police vs Crocker and Met Police vs Walther that were both in existence when I retired and were more or less carbon copies of my circumstances in that a previous medical condition had been incorrectly taken into account.

In Met vs Walther, Walther even had exactly the same pre-existing back condition as me but like me had never stopped carrying out the full duties of a Constable until his injury on duty, although his was sustained during officer protection rather than by falling from a motorcycle.

The other thing from reading the IODPA site, it made me aware of the existence of the solicitor, Ron Thompson and the QC David Lock, who were winning cases on behalf of wronged IOD pensioners left right and centre.

Nothing ventured nothing gained I thought and tracked Ron Thompson down to his practice ‘Haven Solicitors’ in the North of England where I rang him. What a lovely approachable guy. The advice to me was to politely write to my ex force and request a Section 32 (3) reconsideration of my IOD award as it considered that I had an open and shut case.

This is a little known method of revisiting decisions made by an SMP when deciding upon an IOD award, the (3) aspect being because my original SMP was deceased, therefore I had to be referred to a different SMP.

Armed with all of this info, I re contacted IODPA who remembered me and my case (quite impressive when you think of the hundreds of cases they deal with) who urged me to pursue it in the way Ron had suggested. It was this backing and complete support by the IODPA, which finally gave me the push I needed to make my move.

In April this year I wrote to the new Chief Constable of my old force requesting a Sec 32 (3) reconsideration of my IOD pension.

The more I read the IODPA site the wiser I got with regard to some of the dirty and underhand tricks forces will go to in order to stop paying former officers their dues in IOD pensions. It is my view that three forces Staffordshire, Merseyside and Northumbria should hang their heads in shame at the way in which they treat former cops, particularly where IOD pensions are concerned.

Happily, my ex force, whilst not perfect, is no longer like the aforementioned outfits and the current Chief is extremely welfare minded, if what I hear is true. Straight away senior people from the force made contact with me in order to progress my request, which was dealt with considerably more expediently and efficiently than my original IOD pension!

Eventually, my case was passed to the force Medical Adviser with whom I had a telephone interview due to Covid. This Doctor listened to the reasoning behind my request for reconsideration and agreed that it appeared that I had been assessed incorrectly by the original SMP. He then referred me to a new SMP in the Midlands.

All of the way through this I was keeping IODPA appraised of the situation and they were advising me of potential pitfalls and tricks used by some less reputable forces during these appeals. I will freely admit that some of these moves are not obvious to an everyday person so their help, support and assistance were invaluable and potentially stopped me from making some grave errors in my application.

I am not a person who can be made to worry easily. It did, however, occur to me that the reconsideration could go against me (investments may go down as well as up) and that this could cost me a lot of money and a resultant change of lifestyle too. This of course cost me a lot of sleepless nights (to go with the ones I have already) and was beginning to takes its toll on my general health and temper. Even my wife who is wonderful and massively supportive was beginning to question the wisdom of pursuing the reconsideration!!

Once the new SMP began to see people for face to face appointments once again (when the Covid rules were relaxed) I was asked to go for a meeting with him at his offices in a large Midland City. My wife came with me to drive and offer general support. Straight away the difference between this SMP and the former one was obvious. His manner was kind, considerate and extremely professional.

The SMP questioned me with how my disability had affected me since the accident and whether any additional medical complaints had raised their heads since I had retired. I believe in being truthful so I told the SMP about a couple of medical issues that I had although he was happy that my original injury was still the only cause of my disability.

The Doctor then moved on to the banding calculations. I provided evidence of my yearly earnings since retirement, which he took note of and he also used a far more realistic figure than the previous SMP when calculating my potential loss of earnings.

The Doctor awarded me with a band 4 injury pension stating that apportionment was not in any way appropriate as my early back problems had not stopped me carrying out the full duties of a Constable up to the point of my injury. What an open, honest and fair man that guy is!!!!!

The SMP report quickly found its way back to my force, who did not question its findings.

There was a slight confusion over the back pension I was due but both IODPA and Ron the solicitor told me in no uncertain terms that I was due it. Put simply, with a Regulation 32(3) reconsideration, the new SMP report replaces the old SMP report as though it never existed, therefore the revised banding applies from the day after retirement.

We were a bit close to pay day for all of the back calculations to be made but I received my pension at the revised rate more or less straight away. Credit where credit is due and a senior person in my old force got to hear what had happened and made contact with our pension administrators, authorising a one off payment to be made to me as soon as the back calculations had been done. That was a lovely surprise for me as I had just gone onto my internet banking to see what sort of pennies I had now that the monthly bills had been paid and had no idea that the pension arrears had been paid!!

So that is about it. I guess the main feeling is one of relief.

My wife now thinks that I am extremely heroic for standing by my principles pursuing what is right!! lol

There is no way on this earth that I would have had the nerve to go for this had it not been for the help, support, general encouragement and superb subject knowledge of IODPA.

It is only right that Ron Thompson of Haven Solicitors is mentioned too as his accurate and legal wording of the acts and sections involved played a significant part in my case. The thing is I would have never even have known about Ron had it not been for the IODPA and their amazing site so my sincere thanks and admiration go out to them.

The other really important thing is that because of the private nature of the IOD pension, both financially and medically, there are not too many people that you can talk to about it, which is in itself, very frustrating. The IODPA therefore provide a really good outlet for this as they not only give fantastic advice and guidance but they listen and don’t repeat what is after all a deeply confidential matter.

Other than my wife the only other person I have felt comfortable speaking to about this in any depth is my best friend, who is a builder, and knows nothing about the inner workings of the Police IOD pension system. When I told him that it was all sorted he just smiled and said ‘A serious wrong has been righted’ which I guess sums it up perfectly.

The IODPA empowered me to make that happen.

Patrick

Patrick

Patrick’s story

I was ill health retired a few years ago, near the end of my full Police career but refused an Injury on duty award by my force. All of my adult life has been spent serving the public in Police service.

I had no hope of being able to fight the organisation that had washed their hands of me, they didn’t want to know about me as I had PTSD from my Police service. My career and future had been taken away from me. Trying to cope with complex PTSD, was having a terrible impact on my daily life and that of my family.

Sometime later, a friend told me about the IODPA. I was in a terrible place with my mental illness but I did eventually contact them. Since then I have had the most wonderful advice, personal support, understanding and health treatment from the charity staff.

I know now that I am not alone, fighting for my entitlements and rights. I have had the charity supporting me throughout all my challenges, signposting legal support.

I have hope now for the future, as the charity understands that so many officers has been treated this way by the Police forces, they served.
I would urge all officers who are going through ill health retirement to contact the charity. The charity staff are truly dedicated to fighting for your rights every day, to stop those who are taking unlawful and immoral actions against injured officers.

The charity staff recognised the extent of my PTSD injury and offered me treatment. I took up their kind offer up and went on an intensive course of Craniosacral therapy, which was provided for by the charity. This Therapy was exceptional, as it has helped me understand and cope with my complex PTSD injury.

I wish that I had known about the IODPA, when I was going through my ill health retirement. I would have not have been alone, trying to fight back, to secure my rights to an injury pension.

Don’t lose hope, the charity is here to support you and your family.

Thank you IODPA, for all your wonderful dedication and support you have given me over the years.

Please join the IODPA, you will be helping them to keep on supporting those of us that have been injured on duty.

Alex

Alex

Alex’s story

I had nearly completed my full thirty years but one event put paid to that followed by a complete breakdown which ensured that I never entered my police station again as a serving officer.

After twelve months on sick leave, the force decided to grant me early ill health requirement after the SMP recommended it for various physical injuries, depression and anxiety.

My own GP, who I had seen regularly over the twelve months told me that he thought that I was suffering from PTSD but couldn’t give me a definitive diagnosis. Being confused and not in a great position to understand what was required by the regulations, I was told by a friend to contact IODPA.

From the moment that I contacted them, I was supported and guided. I felt like I had a genuine friend who was always there and never left my side. (I still have regular contact now and eternally grateful for that support).

I was directed to get a proper diagnosis of PTSD from a consultant psychiatrist and approached my local official body asking them if they could assist with an injury on duty application. They told me in no uncertain terms that I wouldn’t get anything for a psychological injury. Initially I believed this to be the case, but took this info back to IODPA for their thoughts.

With the support of IODPA and a bit of (gentle) persuasion, my application was submitted and not long after that I received an IOD award. IODPA were right in that my PTSD was most definitely an IOD.

Without the support of IODPA, I would not have received what I was entitled to.  I would urge any retired injured officers who are going through the “process” to contact IODPA as the support and advice is second to none.

Adam

Adam

Adam’s story

To whom it may concern, including police officers and their families of both serving and retired officers across the country.

Please take the short time it will require you to read this testimony the importance of which cannot be over estimated; it may save the life of someone you know.

I joined the police in January of 1991, thoroughly relishing the opportunity of helping the public I served and doing my very best to keep them safe from harm. Over many years I was successful in apprehending criminals and preventing crime. Suffice to say I relished my role as a police officer and was fortunate enough to be commended by chief officers on many occasions for my actions.

In the mid 2000’s I decided to join the police dog section and until the middle of 2013, continued to patrol extremely effectively, in fact now becoming involved in even more serious criminal activity on a far more regular basis whilst also being aware of the seriousness of my role in the preservation of life and property. Again, my actions in work continued to be regularly awarded by chief officers and the Chief Constable himself – I was extremely proud to be making a positive impact against crime in my role.

However, in mid 2013 I became the victim of malicious allegations which were made against me by juveniles that I had assaulted them whilst attending incidents on duty. Within days of the allegations being made against me, I was stripped of my role as a patrol officer, prevented from wearing my uniform in view of the public and ordered not to become involved in any matter, no matter how serious, where a police officer was required. I spent the next 12 months cleaning forty dog kennels for my entire shift every day, as soon as I finished the cleaning of the kennels to start again and carry on until that shift was over.

Whilst the investigation was ongoing (as the allegations were made by juveniles), my family was forced to attend a social services assessment to ensure that I was not assaulting any of my family, having been told that if my family did not go through this procedure the front door of our home “would be taken off its hinges” to allow social services access to our family home.

Although denying the allegations in two interviews, I was subsequently taken to the criminal courts with two offences of assault against me. Eventually found not guilty at trial, with the judge heavily criticising the prosecution case against me, I was eventually able to clear my name.

Catastrophically, during the trial, one of my accusers carried out the rape of a 92 year old and details further came to light as to false details being passed to the court by the police to my detriment.

To this date I am still unsure whether or not a dog which was at the scene of the alleged assault has gone on to kill a woman since my dealing with him, the police failing to take any action in this regard.

With all these issues taking place, I succumbed to ill health with psychological problems and was treated literally as an outcast by my police organisation – the phrases “thrown under a bus” and “sent to Coventry” probably best explain the circumstances I found myself in.

Having been placed on long term sick leave, I eventually spent over a year without my wage and was finally ill health retired from the police.

My family and I also sought independent legal advice resulting in us being successful in winning an out of court financial settlement against the police with regard to their actions against me. At this point the solicitor dealing with the matter then passed me details of IODPA, the Injury on Duty Pensioners Association as in his opinion I required the assistance of police regulation experts to further my case.

Having contacted IODPA and then meeting with them, it immediately became obvious that not only were they willing to listen to my circumstances but were also able to direct me to the best legal advice with regard to police pension regulations that could greatly affect me. The staff at IODPA have been absolutely critical in their signposting of me to Haven Solicitors with Ron Thompson and Mark Botham whose skill has been paramount whilst representing me throughout the police injury on duty pension process.

To have a role you excelled at and were praised for time and time again ripped from under your feet through lies has left me with great psychological damage which I continue to fight at great financial expense to my family and I.

I can state that had it not been for the unwavering support of my family, my civil claim solicitors, IODPA and Haven Solicitors then the circumstances of our situation would no doubt have been deadly.

I implore anyone reading this who either is or has been a member of the police service, or who is related to or friends with someone who is, then please advise them to join the IODPA organisation – they were the ONLY people who will listen to me AND support me when I needed help.

As the saying goes, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. I can tell you from a truly horrible experience, no other organisation who you would think will support you will do so no matter how many years your subscriptions have been taken from your pay.

Join IODPA as quickly as you can, it’s a move that without exaggeration literally could well save your life!

Jim

Jim

Jim’s story

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.

Ray

Ray

Ray is 56 years old, married and father to two adult children.

Following two duty motorcycle collisions in the late 1990’s, he required emergency spinal surgery and was eventually medically retired from the Police due to these injuries in June 2000.

His injuries were assessed to reduce his earning potential by 32% and he was given an injury pension based on that.

In 2002, his injury pension was reviewed and as there was no change in his condition it was left unaltered.

In 2004, his injury pension was reviewed again. This time, although it was stated that there was no medical change in his injury, his assessed earning potential disablement was reduced to 0% and his injury pension reduced to the lowest possible level.

Since his pension was reduced to the lowest possible level, he has not been called back to be reviewed again.

The justification given for the injury pension reduction was that, since medical retirement, he had been fully employed in a new career which made use of his engineering qualifications and knowledge, qualifications and experience as a traffic patrol officer.

He did well in his new career quickly progressing into a management position.

As his actual earnings had risen to a similar level to his previous police salary, it was decided that his earnings were no longer adversely affected by his injury.

In about 2016, he found out about the Injured On Duty Pensioners Association (IODPA).

Having studied their blogs and discussed his situation with other members he soon realised that the justification for his pension reduction was based on an incorrect interpretation of the Police Injury Pension Regulations.

The regulations require an assessment of uninjured earning potential based on ALL of the individual’s qualifications and experience which must be compared to realistic injured earning potential.

The 2004 review did not look at his skills and qualifications gained before and during his police career or make any comparison between his injured and uninjured earning potential, but merely showed his actual earnings were comparable to his old police pay.

The Police Federation funded a specialist solicitor to write to his former police employer, detailing judicial reviews which demonstrated that the 2004 review was contrary to the regulations.

A few months later, he received over 13 years worth of injury pension underpayment with interest and was reinstated at his previous level of injury award.

Unfortunately his back has now deteriorated to a point where he cannot walk up or down stairs, he can only walk short distances slowly using crutches and cannot sit upright for more than about an hour.

As a result of this deterioration in his duty injury his new employer ended his career last year, following a report from an Occupational Physician who found that as a result of his spinal injury that he is now unfit for any work of any description.

This doctors report renders him unemployable, so effectively his earnings disablement should now be 100%.

He knows that being unemployed and on the lowest level of injury pension, he would have struggled to pay his bills and so is very grateful that IODPA were able to provide him with knowledge and support, so that he received what he is entitled to.

He hopes that this article will help to spread the message to injured officers and those who know injured officers, that IODPA may be able to help those who are unaware of their rights under the injury pension regulations.

He would also like to express his thanks to the Police Federation for funding a solicitor with specialist knowledge of the judicial reviews and regulations governing police pensions who were able resolve the situation for him.

Sue

Sue

Sue’s story

“I devotedly served in  my chosen vocation for twenty years.  Entering it as a strong and enthusiastic young woman, but leaving it as a broken and lost soul. I was so ill, I couldn’t even resolve my retirement effectively –  as is often the case with mental health affected retirees.  After years of trying to help myself,  I was encouraged by another grateful user to trust and contact IODPA.

Suffering with PTSD means having real difficulties with trust and dealing with matters to do with previous illness related issues that have to be resurrected.  Letting go of control and handing it to someone you may have never met – and have to share the most personal situations with.  It’s painful.

I was taken in hand by one of the wonderful members of the charity.  Their method of communication, dedication to the task, courage and persistence in the face of challenging times for police pensioners, is admirable, inspiring and most of all, a breath of fresh air.  Anyone who can handle a panic attack via email, deserves a gold medal!

After years of not being able to move anywhere in my thoughts and needs to receive help, in a few months, they convinced me to keep moving forwards, that I was safe and anything I was sharing was in confidence. These are big things for police officers, especially when those things have been disregarded previously and in my case, brazenly so.

If you are feeling, like I was, desperate, flailing and very, very sad and alone in your circumstances, please give IODPA a shout – it might just save your life.  Minimally, you could find peace in your thoughts and move forwards.  I don’t have a result yet, but I am hopeful and feel safe in the hands of IODPA.”

Thank you IODPA.

Rosie Mac

Rosie Mac

Rosie Mac’s Testimonial to IODPA

 

I found a group of people, now named ‘IODPA’

I listened very carefully to what they had to say

This group is full of members sharing research and advice

I’ve found that every single member is very, very nice.

 

They spoke of many cases of the IOD retired

And how a few Police Forces have seemingly conspired

To reduce as many as they could of IOD paid pensions

Their ‘goings on’ so blatant they’ve attracted much attention

 

Some Forces methods of ‘reviews’ unlawful, even tricky

Their intended ‘victims lists’ well show that they’ve been very picky.

High bandings are the ones that they will always, always choose

That’s because they are the ones that have the most to lose

 

Terrific legal help we have with IODPA

And many ‘ripped off’ Pensioners got chance to have their say

Appeals, JR’s and other legal work has now been done

And in almost all of those the IOD pensioner won

 

It seems a little knowledge now can go a long, long way

And those offending Forces are going to have to pay

ALL the DUE IOD pensions, with backdating adding interest

The Forces will soon learn that doing ‘reviews’ is not best

 

As we all know the membership of IODPA is growing

The difference they are making now so large that it is showing

As word gets round about the group and everything they’ve done

All bullying and harassment by the Forces will be gone.

 

It is my fondest hope that one day soon ALL officers will know

That an Injury On Duty has a legal way to go

There are written Regulations about pensions for that cause

And how membership in IODPA will prevent a Forces ‘claws’.

 

 

Karen

Karen

Karen’s story

On 23rd January 2004, at about 8.00 pm, Karen’s life changed forever.

Karen, a police constable, aged just thirty eight, was attacked whilst attempting to arrest a male for robbery. The suspect resisted arrest; he fought with Karen, reigning several blows down on her head.

The struggle continued for some time. Karen made attempts to call for assistance via her personal radio but was unable to make the transmission due to the punches being thrown at her.

Eventually, there was a lull in the fighting where Karen was able to make the urgent call to her colleagues.

The male suspect, knowing that help was on its way, then made his final bid for freedom by catching hold of Karen’s hair and slammed her head against the wall. He was able to make off, leaving Karen crumpled in a heap on the ground.

Within a couple of minutes, Karen’s work colleagues arrived at the scene and immediately administered first aid to Karen. She was conveyed to hospital by ambulance, where she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, where she remained for three days.

Karen never went back to work following this incident.

Retirement

Karen’s injuries led to her early retirement from the police service on medical grounds. She had just eleven years service.

Karen was awarded an ill health retirement as well as an injury award and she attempted to move on with her life.

Life was never the same again for Karen or her family. Karen had changed beyond all recognition. As well as her physical head injuries, she was also diagnosed with PTSD.

Sadly, her former force has been a constant presence and Karen has undergone a number of (Regulation 37(1)) reviews since she was first awarded an injury pension in 2004, namely in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2016.

In 2016, Karen’s former police force again reviewed her injury award and reduced her to a zero percent (which is still a band one).

The reason why she was reduced?  The Selected Medical Practitioner (SMP) stated that her head injuries were due to a childhood injury.

Contacting IODPA

Karen contacted IODPA via email and asked for help. She was unaware that SMPs are not permitted to go beyond previous reviews nor are they permitted to go back and look at her original ill health retirement decision. A review is a comparative exercise (as per the Belinda Laws v Metropolitan Police & PMAB). Karen was last reviewed in 2011, so the SMP should have been looking at evidence between 2011 and the review date in 2016.

The only question that the SMP should have answered was “Has there been substantial alteration in her degree of disablement?”

IODPA knew that Karen was out of time to formerly appeal the decision and that there was another route to right this potential wrong, which is by using the mechanism of a Regulation 32(2).

The team at IODPA first of all, reassured Karen that there was hope for her and we immediately signposted her to one of our trusted, expert solicitors. We helped her with her funding application, which enabled her to engage the solicitor.

Karen then joined the IODPA support network, where she was able to chat with others who had been through the same process. She was warmly welcomed and received good advice from her peers. Knowing that others had been through the traumatic process and had come out the other side, was comforting.

Karen found the strength to appeal her case, and we are pleased to report that she did indeed win. Her original banding was restored and all monies back paid.

Karen has told us “If it wasn’t for the support of IODPA, I would never have had the courage to take it all the way. I thought I had gone past my twenty eight days to appeal the decision, not knowing that this Regulation called a 32(2) existed. It was the best email I have written in years. Thank you.”