Changes to the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (Fair Deal)
From July 24th some changes to the Nursing Homes Support Scheme were made –
· An increase in the contribution from assets
· Abolition of the requirement to backdate State support
We wrote about the Fair Deal scheme here back in 2009 when it was introduced .
It gives financial support towards the cost of long-term residential care and is expected to cost €974 million in 2013. The average weekly long-term residential care charges paid by people in the scheme are €280.
Contribution from assets
At present, 5% of the value of assets(including a home) is taken into account in the means test. From July 24th this has been increased to 7.5% for all new applicants for the Nursing Home Support Scheme. Existing residents of nursing homes will continue under the old arrangements.
The principal private residence will continue to be taken into account for just three years – so a total of 22.5% will be assessed for a single person rather than 15% under the old rules and 11.25% for one of a married couple rather than 7.5% before July
If one of a couple is already in the scheme and the other applies for support after the new rules come into effect, the existing resident will be liable for 7.5% of the value and the other for 11.25% (total 18.75%).
At present, State support can be backdated to the time the scheme started (27 October 2009) for people who were in nursing home care at that time. This provision has been abolished.