The Government has approved a General Scheme of a Bill intended to change the treatment of family farms and businesses under the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, also known as the Fair Deal.
At present, people using the scheme contribute up to 80% of their income and up to 7.5% of the value of any assets held towards their cost of care. The value of a person’s home is only included in the financial assessment for the first three years of their time in a care.
The Government has now decided is to extend this three year cap to farms and businesses where a family successor continues to operate the farm or business for six years.
As the law currently stands and will continue to stand, farm and business assets (along with all other assets) are not considered under the financial assessment in the Scheme if they have been transferred to others, including the next generation, over five years before nursing home care is required, making this the most financially prudent approach.
The Department of Health will now engage in Pre-Legislative Scrutiny and will engage with the Office of the Attorney General in preparing the legislation for publication.