What is the ‘Fair Deal scheme’?

The Fair Deal Scheme provides financial assistance for people who need long-term nursing home care. An individual’s contribution is based on their means. The State through the Health Service Executive (HSE, pays the balance of the costs in public, private and voluntary nursing homes approved under the scheme. This deal can be used if you are someone who requires long term nursing home care.

How to apply for the scheme?

There are 2 parts to the application process: a Care Needs Assessment and a Financial Assessment. The Care Needs assessment is carried out by healthcare staff e.g. Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers, and looks at your healthcare needs and your family and social supports. The outcome will show if you need long-term nursing home care.
If the Care Needs Assessment shows that you need long-term nursing home care, the Financial Assessment will work out the amount that you will pay towards the cost of your care and the amount that the HSE will pay. No-one will pay more than the cost of their care.

How much do you pay?

The contribution is 80% of assessable income and 7.5% of the value of any assets per annum. The first €36,000 of assets, or €72,000 for a couple, will not be counted in the financial assessment. The 7.5% contribution from the principal residence is only included for the first three years of a person’s time in care. If you have no assets, you simply pay 80% of your assessable income.
If you have a partner that is still living at home, they receive 50% of the couple’s income or the maximum rate of the State Pension (Non-Contributory), whichever is the greater.

Do I pay the same contribution for as long as I am in nursing home care?

If you are approved for financial support under the scheme, you will pay the same contribution provided that your circumstances remain the same. The HSE can review, either at your request or on its own initiative your care needs, financial assessment or the amount of the nursing home loan.

What does Fair Deal cover?

Under the scheme, bed and board is covered along with nursing and personal care and laundry.

Who should fill in the form?

The form should be completed by and must be signed by the person applying for nursing home care. Help and advice is available from health care workers and from the HSE Nursing Homes Support Offices. If a person applying for nursing home care has reduced ability to make decisions, a specified person can apply for State Support on their behalf. If the person has reduced ability to make decisions and is applying for the Nursing Home Loan, a Care Representative must make the application. A person appointed under Enduring Power of Attorney or the Committee of a Ward of Court can also make an application in such circumstances.

How long does approval take?

Approximately four to six weeks.