The Fair Deal Nursing Home Support Scheme is a scheme set up by the government to provide financial support to people intending to enter long term care in a nursing home.
Based on a financial and care assessment, the state will decide what degree of care you require and assess your contribution towards your own care costs. The state will pay the balance.
There are 2 criteria to be eligible for the Fair Deal Scheme:
You need to be assessed as requiring long term care
You will be means tested to assess your contribution towards the cost of your care
All applicants are means tested to assess their contribution towards the cost of their care. The application form will direct you to exhibit and disclose all of your assets and the value of your assets at the day of your application. You will include all assets and income held and being received by you at the time the application is made.
You will be charged and asked to contribute up to 80% of your assessable income to your care bill per week. Annually you will also pay 7.5% of the value of your assets. The first €36,000 (€72,000 if a couple are applying) will not be counted. After 3 years, the value of your residential property will not be taken into consideration any longer.
The 7.5% annual payment can be deferred to be paid at a later stage and you can choose to have it paid from your estate upon your death. This is more commonly known as a nursing home loan.
Any assets that you have transferred in the 5 years before applying for the scheme are also taken into account for the 7.5% annual payment. It can be worth considering transferring your assets if you plan on applying for the fair deal scheme in 5 years time.
All public and voluntary care homes automatically qualify for this scheme. The HSE website also has a list of private care homes that qualify.
Anybody who is an ordinary resident of Ireland qualifies for the scheme, this means that in order to apply you must have been living in Ireland for a year or intend to live in Ireland for a year, the age of the potential applicant is irrelevant.