1) The Care needs assessment – This is an assessment that looks at the applicant’s health and care need, their ability to live independently, capacity to make everyday decisions and examines what available supports are at home and in the community. To qualify for the Nursing Home Support scheme the care needs assessment once completed needs to recommend long term care for the applicant. The Care needs assessment is carried out by healthcare professionals such as a Geriatrician or a District Health Nurse who will need to meet and assess the applicant.
2) The Financial Assessment – This looks at the income, assets and liabilities of the applicant and determines the applicant’s contribution to their cost of care and the corresponding level of financial assistance (“State Support”) that they will receive. Under the Scheme the applicant will pay 80% of their income and 7.5% of the value of any assets they may have per annum. These figures are reduced for couples.
Many applicants may be asset rich but cash poor. They may have difficulty making the asset contribution as could be living off a pension. In such circumstances the applicant may apply for what is called Ancillary State Support – The Nursing Home Loan.
Where the applicant has assets including a Family home the applicant is required to pay 7.5% of these assets as a contribution towards their cost of care. Under the Nursing Home Support Scheme, you do not have to pay the asset contribution during your lifetime. This is helpful if you have assets such as property and investments but don’t have funds available to pay towards your care costs The HSE pays this element of your assessed contribution towards your cost of care which will be accumulated as a loan (Called the Nursing Home Loan) and collected by the Revenue Commissioners from your estate after your death. The loan will be registered as a charge on your property. Where you have a partner living in your family home this debt can be further deferred if funds are not available to pay the loan from your estate. This is a complex area and we will happily discuss how it will impact the applicant’s personnel circumstances.