The Fair deal-Help!
At a time when stress can already be high the idea of having a loved one entering a nursing home can seem even harder by the daunting task of applying for the fair deal. When people begin to discuss this process it can be easy to get distracted by hearsay and what other people have heard. We hope this short instruction on the Fair Deal process may eliminate some of the stress and leave you with more time to choose the right Nursing Home for your loved one where they will get the loving care they need..
What is the Fair Deal?
The Nursing Homes Support Scheme, also known as the “Fair Deal”, provides financial support to people who require long-term nursing home care. It is not as yet applicable to home care but this may occur in the future. The scheme is operated by the Health Service Executive (HSE). Under this scheme, the Residents assets and income is assessed and calculations made where you make a contribution towards the cost of your care and the State pays the balance.
The scheme covers approved private nursing homes, voluntary nursing homes and public nursing homes.
Am I eligible?
Anyone who is ordinarily resident in the State and is assessed as needing long-term nursing home care can apply for the scheme. The person’s care needs are assessed to confirm they require full time nursing care.
There are three main steps
Step 1 is an application for a Care Needs Assessment
Step 2 is an application for State support
Step 3 is an optional application for the Nursing Home Loan
Will I have to give up my house?
Your financial situation will be assessed in order to see how much you will have to pay, in the case of a couple they will assess half the combined income and assets. For full details of the assets and income the HSE will look at see http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/health/health_services/health_services_for_older_people/nursing_homes_support_scheme_1.html
Once they determine how much you have to contribute the HSE will pay the balance directly to the Nursing home you choose. E.g. if they determine that you need to contribute €200 per week but the cost of care is €1200, they will pay the shortfall of €1000 per week. This is called State support.
You can apply for the Nursing Home Loan if you want to defer making the part of your contribution that is based on your home or other property. This is where people think they will lose their homes where in fact this is not the case. The house can be used as collateral and then at the end of the term of care or if your loved one passes away any monies owed
to the HSE will be taken from the sale of the house. A spouse who is living in the house is not affected by this loan and is safe to remain in the house for their lifetime.
How long does it last?
It lasts as long as the person remains in nursing home care, in most cases upon the death of the Resident.
What happens after my loved one passes on?
If you have applied for the Nursing Home Loan, this may be paid after the death of the Resident. If their spouse/partner is still living in the home, this loan will not be called upon for repayment until the spouse/partner dies or sells the house. This payment will be taken from the sale of the house.
5 helpful tips for the fair deal
1. Before starting the process speak to someone who has gone through the process and has successfully completed it.
2. Remember there is lots of help and support out there for you use it, access it and if you don’t have access on line you can contact your Citizens information office who are a great source of knowledge.
3. Often help or advice can be given by Nursing Homes, make a call and start with baby steps.
4. Look at the options out there regarding Nursing Homes available. Make an appointment to visit Nursing homes so you have one chosen for when your relative needs it. It is important you do not wait until the Fair deal approval to start this process as the approval only lasts 3 months and you will have to reapply if you cannot agree on a suitable nursing home facility.
5. Get legal advice. There are changes coming in 2018 regarding farm or commercial assets. If you started the process a few years ago and have not proceeded with it. Check again as the conditions may have changed.
To download an application form click on the following link
For further information