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24 May 2022

Ifac highlights changes to the Fair Deal Scheme for farms in Tipperary

Ifac highlights changes to the Fair Deal Scheme for farms in Tipperary

Ifac highlights changes to the Fair Deal Scheme for farms in Tipperary

Ifac would like to make professionals in farming, food, and agribusiness aware of some recent Fair Deal Scheme changes. 

The Nursing Home Support Scheme or Fair Deal Scheme means that qualifying individuals contribute a weekly amount to cover some of the costs of nursing home care, and the state pays the shortfall. 

Until now, the capital value of an individual's principal private residence is only included in means testing for the first three years of their time in care. 

However, until recently, productive assets such as farms and businesses did not qualify for this so-called 'three-year cap' unless the farmer or business owner had suffered a sudden illness or disability that required nursing home care.

From October 2021, the value of family-owned farms and businesses is no longer considered after three years when calculating the cost of a person's nursing home care if specific criteria are met. 

Those criteria are: 

  • You must apply to the HSE to appoint a family successor who will commit to running your farm or business for at least six years. 
  • Your farm or business must have been actively run by you, your partner or your proposed family successor for at least three out of the last five years. 
  • The successor must be 18 years of age or older and must be either your partner, your relative or a relative of your partner. 

The second change relates to proceeds from the sale of th family home. 

The three-year cap now also applies to proceeds from the sale of an individual's principal primary residence. 

This means that where a nursing home resident's family home is sold, the proceeds are not included in the scheme's financial assessment after three years. 

Applicants should note that the assessment includes assets gifted away in the five years before applying for the Fair Deal Scheme.

Additionally, if an individual's assessed weekly contribution is greater than the cost of care, they will not qualify for the scheme.

Those who qualify for the Fair Deal Scheme contribute 80% of their assessable income annually, plus a maximum of 7.5% of the value of their assets, investments and savings, which is now capped at three years.

The first €36,000 of an individual's assets or €72,000 for a couple is not counted in the financial assessment. 

If one of the couple avails of the scheme, their contribution is 40% of the assessable income and 3.75% of assets.

Tax relief is also available on the weekly contribution towards nursing home expenses even if the person is supported by the Fair Deal Scheme.

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