The Nursing Homes Support Scheme, also known as the Fair Deal, is a scheme that provides financial help to elderly people who need long-term nursing care. The programme is run by the Health Service Executives (HSE). Under this scheme, applicants make contributions toward the cost of their care in the nursing home, while the state pays the balance. The programme covers all approved voluntary nursing homes, public nursing homes and voluntary nursing homes. In essence, anyone who is ordinarily resident in the state and is assessed as needing long-term nursing care can apply for the scheme. Usually, the amounts of contribution each applicant contribute each week depend on the income and the value of their assets.
How Do You Qualify for the Fair Deal –Nursing Home Support Scheme?
To qualify for this scheme, the applicant must complete two critical assessments which include financial, and care needs assessment.
Care Needs Assessment
Care needs assessment look at whether the applicant really needs long-term nursing home care. It is either carried in a hospital or at home by a healthcare professional such as an occupational therapist, geriatrician or public health nurse. During the assessment, they’ll look at the care needs for the elderly person, such as their ability to carry out their everyday activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, and moving around. They will also assess the medical, health and social services being provided as well as the family/community support available. Once the assessment is completed, the health practitioner, prepare a report that helps the HSE to decide whether or not the individual need long-term nursing care.
Financial assessment looks at the incomes, assets and liabilities of the applicant. This assessment helps to work out how much you need to contribute towards the nursing home fees. In this case, If you have a lot of assets and income, you pay more and vice versa. However, the candidate must provide proof of income, assets or expenses during the assessment. This can be in the form of deeds of property, bank statement, pension statements or even evidence of social welfare payments.
What is covered by the Nursing Home Support Scheme?
The Fair Deal Scheme covers the level of care appropriate to the individual as well as the bed, board and laundry services. The scheme also includes therapeutic activities plus aids and appliances that elders need to assist them with daily living. In instances where the candidate has a medical card, it covers the cost of aids and devices as well as medical care such as medication and GP charges. In cases where the candidate doesn’t have a medical card, an individual’s family members or representative of that candidate cover the cost.
What is Ancillary State Support?
The cost covered by HSE is known as State support. However, if a candidate wishes to defer payment of their assessed portion of the cost, then they can apply for ancillary sate support. This means the state will cover both the resident cost portion as well as the state cost portion. However, the resident part is considered as a loan that must be repaid back.
What else do I Need to Know?
Usually, the waiting time to get a Fair Deal support takes about four to six week depending on the individual’s circumstances. It is important to note that while there are no thresholds within the scheme, people whose assessed income exceeds the cost of care, do not warrant financial Support from the state. Finally, in situations where the candidate applying Support is of diminished mental capacity, then a close family member can act on his/her behalf on the application process. In this case, the person becomes a care representative to the candidate. However, the person has to get evidence from a health practitioner that the elderly is of diminished mental capacity.