ie: the person’s spouse/partner who remains at home in the principal private residence must not be left with less than the maximum rate of the state pension (non-contributory).
While your instinct may be to avoid talking about moving away from home until it becomes an emergency, it would be more productive to prepare yourself and your loved one for the next stage in their life.
Under the Irish ‘Fair Deal’ system, the State may pay a large proportion of the cost of a FirstCare nursing home.
Having reviewed your income and assets, under the Fair Deal Financial Assessment, the HSE will work out your financial contribution to your care.
You will contribute 80% of your assessable income and 7.5% of the value of any assets per annum.
However, the first €36,000 of your assets, or €72,000 for a couple, will not be counted at all in the financial assessment.
Where your assets include your principal residence, the 7.5% contribution based on this asset may be deferred by applying for Ancillary State Support. (also known as the Nursing Home Loan).
Your principal residence will only be included in the financial assessment for the first 3 years of your time in care. This is known as the 22.5% or ‘3 year’ cap.
It means that you will pay a 7.5% contribution based on your principal residence for a maximum of 3 years regardless of the time you spend in nursing home care.
After 3 years, even if you are still getting long-term nursing home care, you will not pay any further contribution based on your principal residence. This ‘3 year’ cap applies regardless of whether you choose to opt for the Ancillary State Support loan or not.