Changes to the scheme Oct 21

Legislative changes changes regarding the 3 year rule for Farms, Businesses and principal residences became law on the 20th October 2021.

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Legislative changes

At last a number of important changes to the scheme are about to become operational. These are incorporated in the Nursing Home Support Scheme (Amendment) Bill 2021
The Bill has passed all stages at the Dail and Seanad and has been sent to the President for signature.
It is proposed that it will become operative within 90 days of been enacted.

The main changes are :-

1. To cap financial contributions based on farm and business assets at three years, where a nominated family successor commits to working the productive asset for a period of 6 years

2. Extend the existing 3 year cap on contributions to the cost of care based on the value of a principal residence to the proceeds from the sale of that residence. This means that the proceeds from the sale of the principal residence will be treated the same as the residence itself and will not be included in the assessment of means after the 3 year period has elapsed. This will enable a sale of the residence at any time after entering the Fair Deal scheme.
3. To allow any person over 18 years of age to attend any interview in connection with the Scheme with the recipient of care .

Further legislation expected re Rental Income

Further changes are expected regarding the treatment of rental income from a property vacated by an individual who is receiving support under the Scheme. It is expected that legislation will be prepared after the Dail Summer recess.

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Update on vacant properties

According to media reports the Government is continuing to look at financial incentives to home owners who are in receipt of  support under the Fair Deal Scheme in order to release their vacant properties on to the market either for sale or to rent.  It is expected that there may be some information on this  in the forthcoming Budget in October 2018.

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Update State pension

The calculator has been updated for the changes to the State Non contributory pension
i.e €5 per week from 26th March 2018

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Update on proposed Home care scheme

The Minister of State Mr. Jim Daly in an address to the Senate yesterday stated that there had been 2600 responses to the recent invitation for submissions to the consultation process on the Finance and Regulation of home care services. These responses will be considered in a full report to the Dept. of Health in early 2018 and will assist in the development of a new funding scheme and regulatory arrangements. No timeline for implementation of a new scheme was given.

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Budget 2018

No changes that affect the Fair Deal scheme have been flagged in today’s budget. The increase of €5 per week in the State pension in March 2018 will increase the personal contribution of those in the Scheme by €4 per week.

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Vacant Properties

Eoghan Murphy ( Minister for Housing) on and interview with RTE Morning Ireland said that he is looking at ways of bringing vacant properties belonging to people in Nursing homes into the rental market to go some way to relieving pressure on the growing homeless problem. Obviously this will have financial implications for those in the Fair Deal Scheme.

He is in discussions with Simon Harris ( Minister for Health) and Jim Daly ( Minister for older people) and the Department of Finance to come up with a viable scheme. No timeline has been given but work is ongoing.

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Ministerial Responsibility

In the Ministerial shake up in June Junior Minister of State Helen McEntee has now moved on to European Affairs and responsibility for Mental Health and Older People  has passed to Junior Minister of State  Jim Daly.

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Author updates

The government is currently looking at ways it may extend the scheme to people living in their own homes. It is expected that the working team will report before the Dail Summer recess.

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