Fair Deal Nursing Home Scheme: What you should know before applying

At some point in everyones life, nursing home care is something that is considered. The fear for many is how to financial afford comfortable nursing home care. The Fair Deal scheme is a nursing home grant to help support residents.

At FirstCare, we recognise that the Fair Deal scheme application process for a preferred nursing home can be quite a difficult and laborious task.

That’s why we’ve got a dedicated team of social workers on hand to provide information and advice on the Fair Deal application process and what the Fair Deal covers. It is important that all parties understand the basics before choosing which public or private nursing home support scheme will best suit your situation.

Deciding to come to a FirstCare nursing home means access to a complimentary 1:1 service with a social worker and a public health nurse, who’ll advise and assist with completion of all relevant documents and understanding any extra costs involved.

Before making the appointment, read more about the Fair Deal nursing home scheme and learn what it’s really all about.

Table of Content

What is the fair deal scheme?

The fair deal scheme is a financial support package for a person needing long-term nursing home care, facilitated by the Irish Government.

The Fair Deal scheme is a nursing home grant that gives many Irish citizens the nursing care they need later in life.

How does the fair deal scheme work?

Open to any older person who has been living in Ireland for at least a year, individuals make a contribution towards the cost of their care and the Irish Government’s HSE pays the balance.

The Fair Deal scheme is administered by the HSE within the available resources and applies whether it is for a private nursing home, public or voluntary.

Applicants can’t make use of State support for a nursing home place before receiving approval of their application.

The great benefit of the Fair Deal nursing home grant scheme is the opportunity to choose which nursing home suits the daily living schedule of the individual in need of personalised care.

Breaking down the three-year cap

Under the Fair Deal in Ireland, each applicant will have to undergo a financial assessment.

This means people wanting to apply for the Fair Deal scheme will have to contribute 7.5 percent of the value of certain assets each year towards the cost of their care.

Known as the ‘3-year cap’, this payment will carry on for a maximum of 3 years and applies whether or not you choose to take out a nursing home loan.

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What qualifies as value assets in the Fair Deal scheme?

Value assets, in the eyes of the Fair Deal scheme, can include:

  • Homes
  • Farms or businesses
  • Proceeds of home sales

Using your home as an asset

Choosing this method to tackle the financial assessment for the Fair Deal scheme is one of the easier routes to go down.

This is because, after three years in care your home is automatically removed from the assessment, so requires you to take no action.

However, if you do decide to sell your home during the first three years the net proceeds of the sale can be put towards the 3-year cap.

Farms and businesses as qualifying assets

If you want your farm or business to be approved as payment for the Fair Deal financial assessment, you need to make an application and meet a set of service conditions.

This list includes of conditions includes:

  • Appointing a family successor that can run the farm or business for at least six years
  • Proof your farm or business was run by you, the proposed family successor or partner for at least three of the last five years
  • Make payment towards the HSE charge that will be put on the property of the business or farm

If you sell your farm or business at any stage, the money from that sale will be placed under assessment as part of cash assets and this rule applies despite the 3-year cap running out.

What you need to know about appointing a family successor

Firstly, this process will begin once an application form has been submitted (in particular part 7 of the Fair Deal form), acknowledging the fact that you wish to appoint a family successor.

Next, the proposed person for the role must be cross-checked against a list of qualifying factors, including:

  • Aged 18 or older
  • Must be a partner, a relative or a partner’s relative

Alongside the form, supporting documents such as affidavits must be submitted.

It is important to remember, the family successor has to complete six years committed maintenance of your farm or business, so applying for them to become a successor should be done as quickly as possible to start the process.

What about people with a reduced capacity to make decisions?

In the case of a person not being able to make sound decisions for themselves, there are allowances in place for other individuals to step in.

Note, there are legalities surrounding this occurrence and so seeking advice from legal professionals is advised.

A registered enduring power of attorney must be in place before the person becomes unable to make decisions for themselves.

Who can apply on their behalf?

  • someone appointed as a care representative (this is done by Circuit Court)
  • committee for Ward of Court (carried out by the Office of Ward of Courts)
  • a holder of a registered enduring power of attorney (chosen to act on behalf of another person)

‘Backdating’ payments – can I do it?

No, the ‘backdating’ of payments is not prohibited in as part of the Fair Deal scheme.

It is impossible to get a refund for any payments made before the 3-year cap and qualifying for this scheme depends heavily on the amount of time spent in care since appointing the family successor.

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How much are you required to pay under the Fair Deal scheme?

The amount deducted to go towards your nursing home care will depend entirely on your income and your assets.

The higher your income and assets, the higher the amount.

Your required contribution will not change depending on the price of the nursing home care you decided to choose.

In order to prove your situation, you will need to submit a number of files alongside your application.

These include:

  • pension and bank statements
  • social welfare payments
  • property valuation

Percentages and costs of care

Ultimately, you will pay 80 percent towards this based on your total income minus allowable deductions. This will decrease to 40 percent if you are in a couple.

In addition to the above, you will pay:

  • 7.5 percent (3.75% if you are in a couple) of assets such as land or property. This will change if your assets include land and property as you can defer it by applying for an optional nursing home loan
  • The first €36,000 (€72,000 for couples) of your assets is excluded from the assessment

Definition of income

This constitutes any of the following and is assessed against your individual figures and your partners:

  • earnings and pension
  • social welfare benefits and allowances
  • rental income
  • income from holding an office or directorship
  • income from fees, commissions, dividends or interest
  • income you deprived yourself of in the five years before your application

What are assets?

These include the following and any other commodities outside Ireland:

  • Investments
  • Repayable money loaned to another person
  • Cash

Assets are broken up into two assessments:

  • Cash assets
  • Non-cash assets

Is the fair deal scheme tax deductible?

During the financial assessment, there are scenarios where deductions can be made. Note the following:

  • Income tax, PAYE, Universal Social Charge and PRSI
  • Health expenses
  • Maintenance payments to other people.
  • Interest on home loans
  • Levies required by law e.g. property tax
  • A dependent child in full-time education
  • Qualifying redress schemes
  • Loans for buying, repairing or improving an asset

Reassessing your payments

Whilst it is a lot to process, there is a chance to reassess payment amounts every 12 months.

This will allow the person to understand whether the current services are working for them.

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How to apply for the Fair Deal scheme

To Begin your application process, simply fill our the application for that can be found by clicking here. This form should be printed out and once complete, submitted in person to the Nursing Homes Support Office of the HSE.

What extra documents will I need for my application?

In order to make applying a seamless process, there are documents and other elements you should have to hand before pressing apply.

As mentioned above, proof of income, combined income and assets will be requested by the HSE.

If you are planning to repay through an estate, the HSE will require a schedule of assets and a notice in writing of any intention to distribute the assets.

If you are unsure of what you could need, visit the Fair Deal information booklet for further information.

What to do after you receive nursing home support scheme funding?

Once a Fair Deal fund is granted, there are two things you may want to do immediately afterwards.

Request a review of your financial assessment

This can be done every 12 months however if your care needs assessment reveals you do not need long-term care, you can apply for a review six months after the initial assessment.

Should you have applied for the 3-year cap with a farm or business, the HSE will carry out a review on the person appointed as family successor.

What happens if circumstances change?

You will need to inform the HSE should this be the case.

If you do not inform your local nursing home support office of changes in circumstances within 10 working days, you will be fined extra fees.

What qualify as circumstances?

  • death of partner/ former spouse
  • income increase for you or your spouse/partner
  • dividends increase from shares
  • extra rental income or rental of your home/ properties
  • sale of asset
  • legal settlement/receipt of compensation
  • cash assets increase
  • addition to relevant assets such as an inheritance or beneficiary in a Will
  • legal separation
  • family successor unable to meet the 3-year cap commitments

Find nursing homes near you

Moving out of your home into a new space is a big change and at FirstCare, we strive to make that transition as seamless as possible.

Choose from one of our four approved nursing homes locations and let our healthcare professionals help you get settled in to live independently in a safe, secure environment.

Located in Dublin, Bray, Wicklow and Kildare, get in touch to find out which nursing home is best suited to your specific needs and comforts.

In each of our nursing homes, families can rest assured their loved one is receiving 24 hour care from registered nursing homes with personalised care representatives in place.

Each of our patents benefit from:

From certain therapeutic activities to a sense of community and homely atmosphere, our locations aim to replicate the family home for each resident as much as possible.

Speak to us today!

Let us help you through the process of choosing a long term care home for your family member, spouse and loved one. Click here for further information.

Speak to us today!

Let us help you through the process of choosing a home for your loved one.

Nursing Home Dublin

Beneavin Campus

Nursing Home Wicklow

Blainroe Lodge

Nursing Home Bray

Earlsbrook House

Nursing Home Kildare

Mountpleasant Lodge