Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (368)

Fiona O'Loughlin


368. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) can be considered for the fair deal scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16260/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme (NHSS), commonly referred to as Fair Deal, is a system of financial support for people who require long-term residential care. Participants contribute to the cost of their care according to their means while the State pays the balance of the cost. The Scheme aims to ensure that long-term nursing home care is accessible and affordable for everyone and that people are cared for in the most appropriate settings.

Participants in the Scheme contribute up to 80% of their assessable income and a maximum of 7.5% per annum of the value of assets held. In the case of a couple, the applicant’s means are assessed as 50% of the couple’s combined income and assets. The first €36,000 of an individual’s assets, or €72,000 in the case of a couple, is not counted at all in the financial assessment. The capital value of an individual’s principal private residence is only included in the financial assessment for the first three years of their time in care. This is known as the three year cap.

In order to determine how much an applicant will contribute to the cost of their care, a financial assessment is carried out by the HSE which takes account of a person's income and assets. 

Where a resident under the NHSS has assets including land or property, they may defer their contribution to care based on such assets under Ancillary State Support (also known as Nursing Home Loan). This contribution becomes payable on their death. However, where the asset concerned is the principal residence of the surviving partner of the person who has died, the surviving partner may request that repayment of the loan is further deferred for their lifetime. A person wishing to apply for a further deferral, or a representative acting on their behalf, must apply for such a deferral not later than 3 months after the death of the applicant. In compelling circumstances, an application may be made up until 6 months after the death of the applicant. The application should be made on the form specified by the HSE.

The person in question should contact their local HSE Nursing Homes Support Scheme Office who can assist them on an individual basis to understand the factors that they need to consider.