Citizens corner | Fair Deal Scheme

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Q. I have been quite unwell for the last few years and my medical team say I need full-time care in a nursing home. What help can I get with the cost and how will I know if I’m eligible?

Thank you for your question, I think it will be of interest to many of our readers.

You can apply for financial support to help pay for the cost of care in a nursing home through the Nursing Home Support Scheme, also known as the Fair Deal scheme.

Under this scheme, you pay a certain amount towards the cost of your care and the HSE pays the rest.

The scheme does not cover short-term care such as respite, convalescent, or day care.

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To be eligible, you must be ordinarily resident in Ireland and need long-term nursing home care. You need to be approved for the scheme before you can get funding for a nursing home.

When you apply, the HSE assesses both your care needs and your financial situation.

In terms of a breakdown of costs and who pays what, the HSE assesses your income, cash assets, and non-cash assets (including your home and property) to work out how much you pay towards your care. The assessment does not count the first €36,000 of your assets, or €72,000 for a couple.

If you are renting your home out while you are in a nursing home, you can apply to keep 100 per cent of your rental income.

You pay 80 per cent of your income towards your care. Items such as income tax and health expenses are excluded from the assessment.

In addition, you will also pay 7.5 per cent of the value of your assets per year to a maximum total of 22.5 per cent, regardless of how long you stay in care. These assets can include your home, the proceeds of the sale of your home, your farm, or business. All other assets will be taken into account for assessment for as long as you are in care.

To apply for the scheme, you can fill in a Nursing Support Scheme application and send it to your Local Nursing Home Support Office. After this, both an HSE and financial assessment will be carried out, after which you can apply for an optional Nursing Home Loan.

Limerick Citizens Information Centre answer your questions in the Limerick Post. If you have a question relating to social welfare issues, tenant or consumer rights, immigration, money, tax, housing, or employment, email limerick@citinfo.ie, call 0818 075 780, or drop in to Riverstone House, Henry Street, V93 T28.

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