Table of contents
– *All information from CitizensInformation.ie
Fair Deal Scheme / Nursing Home Support Scheme
The Nursing Homes Support Scheme, also known as the “Fair Deal”, provides financial support to people who need long-term nursing home care.
Here is an excellent information booklet from the HSE: Information Booklet on the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (pdf)
Under this scheme, you make a contribution towards the cost of your care and the State pays the balance. The scheme covers approved private nursing homes, voluntary nursing homes and public nursing homes. You can get the list of approved nursing homes from the HSE.
Anyone who is ordinarily resident in the State and is assessed as needing long-term nursing home care can apply for the scheme.
When you apply for the scheme your care needs are assessed to confirm that long-term nursing home care is the most appropriate option for you.
Your financial situation is also assessed to see how much you will have to contribute towards your nursing home fees. If your contribution is less than the amount of the fees, the HSE will pay the rest.
Assets, such as savings and property, are taken into account when assessing your financial situation. You can apply for the Nursing Home Loan if you want to defer making the part of your contribution that is based on your home or other property.
What is covered by the NHSS
The scheme covers long-term nursing home care only. It does not cover short-term care such as respite, convalescent care or day care.
The Act defines “long-term residential care services” as maintenance, health and personal care services. The Department of Health has further clarified that this includes: bed and board, nursing and personal care appropriate to the level of care needs of the person, laundry service, and basic aids and appliances necessary to assist a person with the activities of daily living.
There is a set level of funding for the scheme each year, so there may be situations where a person’s name must go onto a waiting list until funding becomes available. If this is the case the HSE will let you know when it writes to advise you whether you are eligible for State support.
Moving from hospital care to long-term care
If you are in hospital, but no longer need acute care, then you can be charged for long-term care in that hospital. If, for example, you are waiting to move to long-term care, then you should apply for the NHSS scheme as soon as possible.
Rules and Assessment
You must apply to the HSE on the standard application form.
There are 3 steps in the application process:
Step 1 is an application for a Care Needs Assessment. The Care Needs Assessment identifies whether or not you need long-term nursing home care, that is, whether you can be supported to continue living at home or whether long-term nursing home care is more appropriate.
Step 2 is an application for State support. The information that you give will be used to complete the Financial Assessment which decides how much you contribute to your care and how much State support you get. The Financial Assessment looks at your income and assets in order to work out what your contribution to the cost of your care will be. The HSE will then pay the balance of your cost of care. This payment by the HSE is called State support.
All applicants must complete Steps 1 and 2.
Step 3 is an optional application for the Nursing Home Loan, that is, if you want to defer paying the part of your contribution which is based on your home or other property.
The application form should be completed and signed by the person who is applying for nursing home care. However, in certain cases, another person, called a Specified Person may apply on their behalf (see below).
– For details on the Care Needs Assessment and Financial Assessment, visit Citizens Information (https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/health/health_services/health_services_for_older_people/nursing_homes_support_scheme_1.html) or the HSE website (https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/4/olderpeople/nhss/)
How to apply for the Fair Deal Scheme
You can fill in the application form yourself, or ask someone else to help to fill it in. If a person has reduced mental capacity, then a Specified Person can apply on their behalf.
Applying on behalf of someone else
If the applicant is not able to apply his/herself, a Specified Person can act on his/her behalf for Steps 1 and 2 of the application process.
Only a court appointed Care Representative can act on the applicant’s behalf for the Nursing Home Loan.
After you send in the application form
When the Care Needs and Financial Assessments have been completed, the HSE will write to you and inform you of your contribution to care, and your eligibility for State support and the Nursing Home Loan (if applicable).
At this stage you will also be provided with the list of nursing homes that are participating in the scheme. This list will include public nursing homes, voluntary nursing homes and approved private nursing homes.
You may choose any nursing home from the list subject to the following conditions:
- The home must have a place for you.
- The home must be able to cater for your particular needs. The nursing home will have to carry out an assessment to determine whether it can meet your particular needs.
Your choice of nursing home is not connected in any way to the level of your contribution to care.
Where to apply
- Quick Guide on the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (pdf)
- Information Booklet on the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (pdf)
- FAQs on the Nursing Homes Support Scheme (pdf)
If you have any questions you can contact your local Nursing Homes Support Office or contact the HSE Infoline on Callsave 1850 24 1850 or on (041) 685 0300.
For further details, visit Citizens Information today: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/health/health_services/health_services_for_older_people/nursing_homes_support_scheme_1.html
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