MORE than 4,500 applications have been received by the Health Service Executive for support under the Fair Deal nursing home support scheme since it was launched at the end of October.
A total of 886 applications have been processed with determinations made while decisions are awaited in a further 3,788.
There are 9,500 private nursing home residents receiving state subvention who can apply for state support under the new scheme as well as those entering nursing homes.
Nursing home residents who sign up to the new deal will pay 80% of their disposable income, 5% of the value of their non-cash assets above €36,000 (above €72,000 for a couple) and up to 15% of their homes following their death, to cover the cost of their accommodation.
A spokesman for the HSE said there was an initial “flurry” of applications when the scheme was launched but the number of applications being made had since slowed down.
This month, Health Minister Mary Harney said €35 million of the €55m provided under the deal would be spent this year and that the payment would apply from the date of application. An additional €97m is being provided under the scheme next year.
Nursing Home Ireland chief executive Tadhg Daly said it had been expected that the vast majority of private nursing home residents in receipt of state subvention would transfer to the new scheme.
Mr Daly was critical of the number of applications processed to date and was concerned that the scheme would result in older people having to wait for a nursing home bed.
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