The Fair Deal Scheme is a government scheme put in place to ensure that everyone can avail of nursing home care at a nursing home of their choice regardless of their means.
The contribution that is required from the resident of the nursing home depends on their income and assets. If they have very significant income and assets, they may end up paying all of the nursing home charges which will generally range upwards from €50,000 per year. If they have no assets and little income (for example, just their old age pension) the Government will look to them only for 80% of their pension as a contribution towards their nursing home care.
There are two parts to the application to join the scheme. The first relates to the “Care Needs Assessment” and this is to establish that the person does need full time nursing home care. This care needs assessment is generally carried out by a nurse on behalf of the HSE who can liaise with the medical personnel currently looking after the applicant. The second part of the application relates to the finances of the person applying for the scheme. They must submit evidence of all of their income and assets including their property and savings. They cannot avoid having assets included by transferring them to others unless they have done so more than five years ago.
The Scheme ignores the first €36,000 worth of assets for every applicant. All of the assets of a married couple are divided in two and half is attributed to each person. An annual contribution is then required from the applicant of 7.5% of their share of the assets. In the case of their home and certain business assets, this contribution of 7.5% per year is limited to three years. For all other assets it continues indefinitely.
Half the total income of a couple is attributed to each person and a contribution of 80% of that person’s income is also required.
When these contributions from your assets and income are put together, if they are less than the cost of the nursing home, the State will pay the balance. If they are more than the cost of the nursing home, the State will not make any contribution.
Where assets consist of property (i.e. land or buildings) the State will not insist that these be sold so that the 7.5% can be contributed. In these cases, the State will pay the 7.5% of the value of the assets but recover this money when the applicant and their spouse have passed away (subject to certain exceptions).
We are very experienced at Patrick J. Farrell and Company in advising on the Fair Deal Application and if you have any questions for us please contact Niall Farrell.