Don’t assume that you are too well off for the Fair Deal Scheme. Emer Lavin Eldercare has come across people who are under the misconception that the Fair Deal scheme is not for them. They think that they are too rich. But it pays to do the calculations and then decide and not prejudge the issues involved.
The Fair Deal scheme is a centralised system to fund the cost of nursing home care organised through the Health Service Executive (HSE). In the real world timing is an important consideration because people can get sick and need care at any time in their lives.
The costs are balanced out between all residents based upon ability to pay. The financial contribution depends upon how a person’s wealth is structured between income and assets. Income is money that is paid regularly such as wages or a pensions. Income may also include rental income or income from a business. Assets include your family home, savings, stocks and shares, land, holiday homes and business. Don’t forget that if you are married or living with a partner for over 3 years their income and assets will also be taken into account. People are unclear on this issue of payment between couples and for clients who are used to keeping their finances separate from their partner they tend to get a bit of a shock when they realise that the financial contribution worked out in relation to the Fair Deal scheme is based on the collective assets of a couple. This is particularly true when one partner becomes ill and the other partner is still working.
No two residents pay exactly the same. The reasoning behind the Fair Deal scheme is that those with less pay less and that those with more pay more. Whilst it is true to say that the Fair Deal scheme is potentially more advantageous to people on lower incomes that is NOT to say that Fair Deal is automatically unsuitable for people who own a valuable family home.
There are rules governing the amount of State money paid to nursing homes throughout and the Fair Deal rate for each nursing home is decided by the National Treatment Purchase Fund www.ntpf.ie. The National Treatment Purchase Fund determines a Fair Deal rate for each public and private nursing home in Ireland. If your assessed contribution is in excess of the amount stated by the NTPF for the home of your choice then you will not get any help from the HSE when it comes to paying the weekly cost for the nursing home of your choice.
But that is not the end of the matter. Just because you will not get help with the weekly cost of the nursing home does NOT mean that you should dismiss the option of the Fair Deal Scheme in its entirety. The main benefit of the Fair Deal scheme is that the value of the family home is discounted for the purposes of the assessed contribution once a period of 3 years has elapsed. So if you own a home worth €1 million in Howth, Co. Dublin or Taylor’s Hill, Co. Galway or Kinsale, Co. Cork it is imperative that you understand how the Fair Deal works and weigh up your options before making a decision about whether or not to apply for the Fair Deal Scheme.
Decisions relating to the Fair Deal Scheme are complicated and must take account of multiple factors. If you want advice from an experienced eldercare professional go to www.emerlavineldercare.ie to book a consultation today. Emer will guide you through your options so that you are fully informed before you make a decision on the Fair Deal Scheme. Together we will you to plan a strategy to best take advantage of your relative’s income and assets and their health requirements. Don’t assume that the Fair Deal won’t work for your relative.