Fair Deal Scheme
Fair Deal to Benefit Families with Dependent Children
After many years advocating on the issue, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland welcomes a recent change to the Fair Deal scheme that recognises the financial cost of dependents.
Fair Deal – what has changed?
The costs of a dependent child are now an allowable deduction under the Fair Deal scheme. This has been in place since 1st September 2014.
What does this mean?
When you apply to take part in the Fair Deal scheme there will be a financial assessment as part of the application process. This financial assessment looks at all of your income and assets to determine what contribution you must make to the cost of your care. Some items can be deducted from your income, for example, tax which has been paid.
From 1st September 2014, the costs of a child who is under the age of 21 years or a child who is in full time education will be deducted from your annual income during the financial assessment.
What will this mean for you?
If you have a dependent child who is under the age of 21 or in full time education their costs will be deducted from your annual income when it is being decided how much you have to pay towards the cost of your care.
The amount deducted will not exceed (i) the amount of Child Benefit plus the full rate of the increase for a Qualified Child and (ii) childcare costs, where relevant.
This will not be retrospective so only the costs of a dependent child on/after 01 September 2014 will be deducted.
What should you do now?
If you and your partner do not have dependent children there is no need to take any action as this change will not affect you.
If you have a dependent child and you are already enrolled in the Fair Deal scheme you should apply for a review of your financial assessment. You should contact your local Nursing Homes Support Office to request this review. The HSE is also planning to contact individuals who will be affected by this change to advise them to request this review.
The HSE will be updating its guidelines on the Fair Deal scheme to reflect this change to allowable deductions. These updated guidelines and contact details for local Nursing Homes Support Offices will be made available at www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/4/olderpeople/nhss/nhss.html