The Nursing Home Support Scheme is also known as the “Fair Deal”. This HSE run scheme provides financial support to those who need long-term nursing home care. If you qualify under the scheme, you pay a contribution towards the cost of your care while the State pays the balance. The scheme covers approved private nursing homes, voluntary nursing homes and public nursing homes.
There are three steps in the process:-
Step 1:- A Care Needs Assessment is carried out by appropriate healthcare professionals and determines if you are in need of long-term nursing home care.
Step 2:- A Financial Assessment is made of your income and assets. This assessment will determine your financial contribution to the cost of you care. The first €36,000 for an individual or €72,000 for a couple will not be counted. You will be required to contribute 80% of your income together with 7.5% of the value of your assets (if any) per annum towards the cost of your nursing home care. The value of your principal residence will be included in the financial assessment only for the first three years of your time in care. This is known as the 22.5% or three year cap. This means that you will pay 7.5% per annum based on the value of your principal residence for a period of three years only regardless of how much longer you remain in nursing home care. In the case of a couple, the contribution based on the principal residence will be capped at 11.25% where one spouse or partner remains in the family home while the other is in long-term nursing home care. All other assets will be taken into account for as long as you remain in long-term nursing home care.
There are a number of safeguards built in to the Financial Assessment one of which is that no person will pay more than the cost of their nursing home care.
Step 3:-There is an optional step which allows you to apply for a Nursing Home Loan or Ancillary State Support. Where your assets include land or property, the 7.5% contribution based on the value of such assets can be deferred and paid to Revenue after your death. In the case of a couple your spouse or partner can also apply to have the repayment of the loan deferred for their life-time in circumstances where they continue to reside in the property. The charge is registered against the property in the form of a Charging Order.
If the person applying for the Fair Deal has reduced mental capacity then a Specified Person can apply on their behalf. I f a person does not have the legal capacity to consent to the Nursing Home Loan and a Charging Order then a Care Representative will need to be appointed.
If you or someone you know requires long term nursing home care and may be eligible to benefit under the Fair Deal Scheme, at Douglas Law Solicitors we can advise you as to your options and we can assist with the entire process of applying for the scheme. Should you be unable to travel to our offices we will gladly facilitate an appointment at your preferred location.
For more information please contact Teresa O’Sullivan, Solicitor on 021 489 7256 or by email at info@douglaslawsolicitors or Teresa@douglaslawsolicitors.ie