State Pension: Anyone aged 66 or over can apply for a State Pension from the Department of Social and Family Affairs.
State Pension (Contributory) is available if you have enough paid PRSI (Social Insurance) contributions. It is paid at a maximum weekly rate of €230.00 and is payable regardless of any other pensions, income, savings or property. There are a number of different contributory state pensions depending of the number and type of PRSI contributions you have paid.
State Pension (Non-Contributory) can be applied for if you do not qualify for a contributory pension. Weekly maximum payment rates are €219.00 (aged under 80yrs) and €229 (aged over 80yrs). It is means-tested so all other income, investments, savings and property (except your own home) will be taken into account when calculation.
Other Benefits: There are a range of other benefits and supports available to people of pension age such as the Free Travel scheme, Household Benefits package and the National Fuel Scheme (Fuel Allowance).
Application forms and further information on all these payments can be found at: http://www.welfare.ie/EN/Pages/retired.aspx
Nursing Home Support Scheme: On 27th October 2009, the new “Fair Deal” Scheme to pay for nursing home care came into force. New patients seeking a place in either a private or a public nursing home now have the same assessment of need and the same means-test.
The amount a patient will pay will be calculated on 80% of their assessable income (i.e. after tax, PRSI, mortgage/rent & some medical expenses), plus 5% of the value of any assets (over the limit of €36,000). The balance of the cost will be met by the State.
If you are married you will be assessed as owning half of your joint income and assets.
The HSE can assess assets transferred in the past 5 years. If the assets are in property, the contribution can be deferred until settlement of the person’s estate, but the money owing will be increased by the Consumer Price Index each year. In the case of the family home only, the deferred contribution will be capped at 15% (i.e. after three years of care).
The deferred charge against the home will not be collected during the life time of a surviving spouse or a disabled child. This deferral must be separately requested by the patient, or by a care representative approved by the Circuit Court for a patient who is not capable of making the decision themselves.
Further information on the Fair Deal scheme including how to apply can be found at: http://www.dohc.ie/issues/fair_deal/