Fair Deal Scheme

The Fair Deal Scheme was enacted in 2009 to assist those who cannot afford to pay full cost of nursing home care. The Fair Deal Scheme mainly applies to those in need of long term nursing home care, but cannot afford it. The main purpose of the scheme is to ensure that no one needs to sell their family home to pay for cost of care.

Nursing home care costs are managed under the Health Service Executive (HSE).  The costs can be paid in full or partially. Those charged with paying the resident’s portion of the cost are allowed to defer the charge. Under the Fair Deal Scheme, every person contributions to the cost of care is based on their means and the state will then pay the balance.

A financial assessment is needed to define the level of contribution an individual makes towards the cost of future care. Income and assets of each individual are assessed. Ultimately if you have little income and assets you pay less than those who have more income and assets.

Financial assessment requires proof of income, assets and expenses with the application. Documentation for assessment can be done with bank statements, pension statements, proof of social welfare payments and deeds of property. The cost of the nursing home does not matter, the HSE will pay the balance.

Individuals who own assets, 7.5 % of the value of the assets will go towards the cost of care each year. Assessable income will be paid at a rate of 80% annually. Assessable income is defined as your total income minus allowable deductions.

Income is assessed based on earnings of an individual and their partners income. However, assessments of income do not include relatives’ or children’s income. Assets that are assessable include cash assets, like savings, deposits, stocks, bonds, and loans. Non-cash assets are also assessed and include homes, property, land, businesses and overseas land/ property. The main property where you live will only be included in the financial assessment for first 3 years while in care.

The three year cap also applies to individuals who have farms or businesses that have been effected by sudden illness or disability which caused long term need for care. In other words, the farms or businesses will only be included in the financial assessment with in the first three years of care. However, if the individual sells the home, farm or business before the three year cap, the money from the sale becomes apart of cash assets which are assessable.

The 2016 National Census has confirmed that there has been a 19.1% increase in people aged over 65. The census has defined this category of people the fastest growing in Ireland. Thus, increase in demand for nursing homes is inevitable.

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