25th July 2018
Fair deal scheme changes will benefit older people in Kerry – Griffin
Changes to the treatment of farms and businesses under the Fair Deal Scheme is a great development for older people and their families according to Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin
Fair Deal, is a scheme under which the cost of nursing home care is managed through the HSE paying either the full or part of the cost. The scheme allows those responsible with paying the resident’s portion to defer the charges.
Minister Griffin said: “I’m delighted that the Government has decided to make the Fair Deal scheme even fairer. The Programme for a Partnership Government committed to remove discrimination against small business and family farms under the scheme.
“The Government has now agreed to extend this three year cap to farms and businesses where a family successor continues to operate the farm or business for six years.
“This is a very welcome move. It will go some way to easing the pressure on older people and their families here in Kerry.
“I want to thank my colleague Minister of State, Jim Daly for his hard work on this,” Minister Griffin said.
This week, the Cabinet met and gave approval for Minister of State with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly to immediately begin work on the necessary legislation to introduce the changes.
Under the current regime, farm and business owners are required to give the State 7.5pc of the value of their land for each year spent in a nursing home. This will now be capped at three years.
Minister Daly said: “I am very pleased the government has today approved the proposed changes to the scheme, this move will remove a great deal of stress and worry from the affected families and allow them to plan for the future.
“It will allow them to continue to run the family business without the fear of losing it. I look forward to progressing the matter in the Oireachtas in the autumn session,” Minister Daly said.
For Further Information please contact Brendan on 087-6528841
· Approximately 22,000 people use the Nursing Home Support Scheme better known as Fair Deal, budget in 2018 is €962 million.
· Participants in the scheme contribute up to 80% of their income and up to 7.5% per annum of the value of assets held. A three year cap is applied to contributions based on the value of a person’s home, i.e. they contribute a maximum of 22.5% of the value of their home.
· However all other assets inc. family farms or business assets are levied 7.5% of value every year the person is in the nursing home – no cap unless you can prove a sudden illness or disability that prevented successor planning, in this case you can also avail of three year cap
· The review of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, published in 2015, committed to reviewing how productive assets are treated under the scheme. The Programme for a Partnership Government committed to remove discrimination against small business and family farms under the scheme.
Under the proposed changes:
· People in nursing homes for longer than 3 years who currently contribute 7.5% of the value of their farm or business per year will no longer have to make this contribution. There will be no provision for recoupment of past payments.
· People using the scheme for less than 3 years who currently contribute 7.5% of the value of their farm or business per year will continue to make this contribution until the 3 year cap is reached.
· A 3 year cap on contributions based on the asset value of farms and businesses will apply for all new entrants to the scheme.
· Rental income is treated the same as all other forms of income with people contributing up to 80% towards the cost of their care. Cash proceeds arising from the sale of any assets, including a person’s home, are counted as cash assets. It has been suggested that this approach should be changed to encourage the rental or sale of vacant homes.
· The Department of Health is conducting an impact assessment to determine if any change to the treatment of rental income and proceeds from the sale of homes under the scheme would have an impact on housing supply.
· This move is correction of an existing anomaly in the scheme and will and will bring about fairness to all families who need to avail of the scheme without the added stress of losing the family farm or business for long term care.