– Information from John O’Connor Solicitors
Fair Deal Scheme – Care Representative
The Nursing Homes Support Scheme or “Fair Deal Scheme”, provides financial support to people who require long-term nursing home care. More details in relation to the scheme are set out in another article in this website however by way of overview under the scheme, a person makes a contribution towards the cost of their care based on a financial assessment and the State steps in to pays the balance.
In the event that a person is not in a position to pay the contribution which they are deemed liable for they may apply for a Nursing Home Loan under the scheme. This loan is provided by the HSE to cover the said contribution and is charged against the home or other property of an applicant by way of Charging Order which is a simple type of mortgage/charge. The said loan must be repaid within 12 months from the date on which the person residing within the nursing home dies or 6 months from the date the property is sold.
In some cases the person who requires nursing home care will not have the requisite capacity to sign the relevant Charging Order. In the event that the person who has lost capacity has already been made a ward of court or has appointed an Attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney the relevant Committee or Attorney can step in to sign the required paperwork. However if no Attorney has been appointed or an application for wardship has not been made a Care Representative can be appointed by the Circuit Court to act on behalf of an incapacitated person in respect of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme and especially in respect of the Nursing Home Loan.
An application grounded on Affidavit may be made by a person seeking to be appointed as Care Representative to the County Registrar in the county which the person requiring the Care Representative now lives or has lived in the previous 3 years. The person applying for appointment as Care Representative must confirm their entitlement to be appointed within the said Affidavit. The following persons, in order of priority, may apply to be appointed as a Care Representative once they are 18 years of age or over:
- A spouse/partner
- A parent
- A child
- A sibling
- A Niece/Nephew
- A grandchild
- A grandparent
- An aunt or uncle
- Any other person who appears to the court to have a good and sufficient interest in the welfare of the person requiring care,
An applicant must also obtain and exhibit consents from any person/s who have a greater or equal priority to them for the purpose of the application.
Within the said Affidavit the applicant must also set out details of the person who requires the appointment of a Care Representative including proof of their diminished mental capacity. A person is considered to be of diminished mental capacity if they are found to be unable to understand and communicate the decision to apply for the Nursing Home Loan and/or consent to the relevant Charging Order. The Applicant will be required to obtain and exhibit within their Affidavit two reports from two medical practitioners confirming that the person is of diminished mental capacity.
Download an information booklet on the Nursing Home Support Scheme here: https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/4/olderpeople/nhss/NHSS%20Information%20Booklet.pdf
Read more about the Nursing Home Support Scheme here: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/health/health_services/health_services_for_older_people/nursing_homes_support_scheme_1.html