Assistance with Fair Deal applications can help the applicant get the most from the scheme. Looking for the best care possible can be daunting, but using the right solicitor can help you get through the paperwork. 

The HSE runs the Fair Deal Scheme, which is a government initiative to help cover the costs of care in private, voluntary, and public nursing homes. 

The application process for the Fair Deal Scheme is not without its difficulties, but a solicitor can use their expertise and experience to give you and your family the assistance needed. 

O’Brien & Company Solicitors in Dublin and Cork give assistance with Fair Deal applications to get the scheme working for all involved.

What is the Fair Deal scheme?

The Fair Deal scheme is a nursing home grant to support you with paying for your care costs. Introduced by the government as the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, it is run by the HSE and open to anyone resident in the Republic of Ireland. 

Under the Fair Deal scheme, you pay a certain amount towards your nursing home care, and the HSE grant covers the rest of your costs. The Fair Deal scheme is for those needing long-term care only and is not for respite care or for when recovering from health issues. 

Applicants for the Fair Deal scheme work with the HSE to find the nursing home care they need and can afford. By taking in your ability to pay, along with your needs, a ‘fair deal’ is done to pay for your long-term care. 

Many applicants use a solicitor to guide and advise them through the application process and to understand fully how the Fair Deal scheme works.

How does the Fair Deal scheme work?

The Fair Deal scheme works by applying for a grant from the HSE to cover the part of your nursing home care costs which you cannot afford to pay.

You will first need to undergo an assessment to decide if you are suitable for long-term nursing care. You can apply to the Fair Deal scheme once you are assessed as needing long-term nursing care. 

You fill out the form, assisted by your solicitor if you wish, and submit the completed Fair Deal scheme application to the HSE local nursing homes support office. Your solicitor can help with private financial matters you may not wish to share with others but are mandatory for the Fair Deal scheme application. 

The Fair Deal application form needs:

  • Income details, if you have any income
  • Details on savings and investments
  • Rental income
  • Property
  • Assets of value

The HSE will assess your ability to pay for the nursing home care. By submitting your details, they can see how much you may be able to afford to pay after making the necessary deductions. 

The final grant takes into account your assets, your income, and the many deductions you may claim. The Fair Deal scheme grant will cover the balance of the costs, but it is vital that you fill out the application accurately to get the best deal possible. 

Your solicitor can help you fill out the three stages of the Fair Deal scheme without bias and with full knowledge of your affairs.

What are the three stages of the Fair Deal scheme application?

The three stages of the Fair Deal scheme application look at your needs and what you can afford to pay for your nursing home care. Each stage is designed to get an accurate picture of your situation and to help the HSE decide on your grant. 

The three stages of the Fair Deal scheme are:

The Care Needs assessment determines if you qualify for nursing home care. You can only apply for financial assistance for nursing home care if the care is needed long-term and not for recovery from surgery or an illness.

The financial assessment considers your income and what you may earn from assets such as property, shares and other interests you may hold. It also looks at your deductions and what other outgoings you may have to pay. 

A solicitor can play a significant part in this process as you may wish to keep some details private from other family members.

The Nursing Home loan is a scheme where people choose to cover the costs of their nursing home care from the value of their property. The payment that part of the costs is deferred until the home or property is sold on your passing, and the HSE plays a role in assessing the value of your home. 

The HSE will confirm that long-term nursing care is appropriate for you and decide how much of a grant they will give towards the costs. 

How you fill out the form and the advice you get at the time is vital towards getting the best outcome from the Fair Deal scheme.

What if I cannot represent myself when doing a Fair Deal scheme application?

If you cannot represent yourself when doing a Fair Deal scheme assessment due to mental incapacity, a Specified Person can do so on your behalf. 

Your solicitor can be a Specified Person if you wish. If you have not appointed your solicitor as your Specified Person, they can still play a key role in dealing with the Specified Person and the HSE. 

Your solicitor may advise you in advance to put a Specified Person arrangement in place. The reasons behind this could include you having a degenerative brain condition such as Parkinson’s, a brain injury, or a history of dementia in the family.

A Specified Person is usually one of the following:

  • A spouse or partner
  • Your Care Representative
  • A relative who is over 18 years of age
  • A person appointed under your enduring power of attorney
  • A GP, nurse, or social worker
  • A legal representative, such as a solicitor
  • The committee appointed by the Ward of Court system

A solicitor can put the system in place that your wishes are in writing before you become incapacitated, and the person appointed to look after your affairs has your needs front and centre.

What is the role of a solicitor in the Fair Deal scheme application?

The role of a solicitor in the Fair Deal scheme application is to give legal advice and counsel to you during the process. Your solicitor should be a trusted advisor and one whose opinion you should be able to value as they are working in your favour. 

If your solicitor acts as your Specified Person, they will be directly involved in the Fair Deal scheme application. The solicitor will know your private financial and legal affairs as well as your property interests and can fill out the application form on your behalf. 

It can be a difficult process when you are filling out the Fair Deal scheme application form on your own. You will need to gather all your documents and ensure you are filling out the form accurately and without errors. You may be entitled to deductions on your income assessment, and an experienced solicitor could be invaluable at this stage of the application process. 

Your solicitor can be a guide during the Fair Deal application process, an experienced person who knows your affairs and can give you good counsel during what can be a trying time. 

An independent solicitor working on your behalf can help you get the best value from the Fair Deal scheme. Using one will make sense, and you will be glad of their helping hand along the way.

Speak with an O’Brien & Company Solicitors today

Speak with an O’Brien & Company Solicitors today for all you need to know about the Fair Deal Scheme application process. We have the experience and the solicitors to help with your future arrangements and ensure you get the best representation possible. 

The government introduced the Fair Deal Scheme for nursing home arrangements to allow you access the care you want and when the time comes in your life. 

You know what you want, and your solicitor can help you get it through the Fair Deal scheme. 

At O’Brien & Company Solicitors, we use our expertise to guide and advise our clients in the right direction and to get the best possible outcome from a Fair Deal scheme application. 

Contact us today and let O’Brien & Company Solicitors help with your Fair Deal scheme application.