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HomeFarming NewsNew Fair Deal Scheme legislation: What is changing?
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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New Fair Deal Scheme legislation: What is changing?

Changes to the Fair Deal Scheme – the  Nursing Home Support Scheme – come into effect today (Wednesday, October 20th, 2021).

The scheme’s aim is that participants contribute to the cost of their care according to their means, while the state pays the balance of the cost.

The main changes to the scheme are:

  • The 3-year cap is extended to family farms and business assets;
  • The net proceeds of the sale of the family home is subject to the 3-year cap.

The changes to the scheme may affect:

  • Farmers or business owners availing of nursing home care under Fair Deal;
  • A person in nursing home care who intends to sell their family home;
  • A person in nursing home care who has already sold their family home.

The scheme provides financial support to people who require long-term residential care. The amount you pay towards the cost of nursing home care depends on your income and assets.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the HSE said:

“If you have little income and assets, you pay less. If you have more income and assets, you pay more.”

“The scheme applies to approved public, private and voluntary nursing homes.”

“No one receiving nursing home care will be negatively impacted by these changes.”

Participants in the scheme contribute up to 80% of their assessable income and a maximum of 7.5% per annum of the value of assets held.

3-year cap

To calculate the cost of nursing home care, the value of certain assets is only included in the financial assessment for three years. This is known as the ‘3-year cap’.

From today, farmers and business owners may also avail of the 3-year cap on family farms and business assets once certain conditions are met.

For example, a family successor is appointed who commits to run the family farm or business for 6 years from their date of appointment.

“If a person sells their family home while in nursing home care, the net proceeds of the sale will also qualify for the 3-year cap. This change may remove a disincentive for people who want to sell their vacant home while in Fair Deal.”

People in care under Fair Deal before October 20th, 2021 may still be able to apply for the 3-year cap under the old guidelines. This will have to be done by April 20th, 2022.

Commenting, Ultan Hynes, National Nursing Home Support Scheme office, said:

“Firstly, we have written to recipients of Fair Deal funding to outline the changes. We have held information webinars and briefings for nursing home staff, hospital and community staff, older person representative organisations and key stakeholders.”

“We recognise that it is a big decision for families to avail of Fair Deal. Also, we advise families to read about the changes on our website and discuss how they could benefit from them.”

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