In my work running Fairdealadvice.ie, I am regularly engaged by clients to help resolve issues with Fair Deal/Nursing Home Support Scheme applications that have been submitted incorrectly. These errors have resulted in excessive contributions been taken by the HSE from applicants or under payments by the recipient sometimes for protracted periods before the errors have been discovered.
While we can recover over payments for our clients, we often are engaged by clients to help resolve situations where underpayments have been made. Underpayments can occur due to to incorrect asset and income figures supplied deliberately or otherwise or delays in notification of the death of a spouse which changes the status of the person receiving Fair Deal financial assistance from a couple to a single person and results in the recipient’s pension and asset contributions doubling and allowances halving. Delays in notification can result in a substantial debt accumulating and where under declaration of income and assets is discovered the recipient of Fair Deal support can be removed from the Scheme and all underpayments and Fair Deal funding paid to date by the HSE will be reclaimed by the HSE.
Errors also occur typically due to lack of information been available at the time of application and often by people applying for the Fair Deal for a relative who do not have the necessary skills to complete the forms correctly and or who are stressed from the pressure and emotional distress of having to admit a loved one to long term care.
Most worrying however is bad advice from persons who are not qualified to advise or who don’t know the specific circumstances financial and otherwise of the applicant. From my experience these can be friends, relatives, medical professionals and even some financial advisers. Often this advice is not to declare all of a person’s assets and income to reduce the applicant’s contribution to their long- term care costs under the Fair Deal. A recent example of this was a friend of a client applying for the Fair Deal telling her that she did not declare all her assets when applying for the Fair Deal for her husband and her application was not audited.
The HSE will find out that a recipient of Fair Deal support has undeclared and undervalued assets and income only after the person has died. Before an estate can now be distributed and where the deceased was in receipt of Fair Deal support a copy of the Inland Revenue Affidavit in respect of the Deceased’s Estate is filed with the HSE for the purpose of obtaining a Certificate of Clearance prior to the distribution of the Estate. This allows the HSE to crosscheck the assets and income declared by the deceased person or their representative in their Fair Deal Application. Any discrepancies will result in the HSE recovering any loss it may have incurred by undeclared income and assets and may result in any subsidy given being recovered in full from the Estate. This will result in delays in the distribution and in a reduction in the value of the estate to be distributed.
I trust you find this article informative and helpful and it highlights to you the importance of ensuring that the information submitted on your application for Fair Deal is correct. If you are looking to apply for the Fair Deal and need help and advice regarding any aspect of the Fair Deal please contact me Tom Murray on 086 6015042 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information visit our website www.fairdealadvice.ie.
At Fair Deal Advice we offer impartial advice to our Clients on the Fair Deal and are not linked to any financial institutions or will attempt to sell any financial or investment products to you.