The Scheme

The Scheme

The scheme is officially known as the Nursing home Support Scheme and is administered by the HSE on behalf of the Department of Health

The legislation governing the scheme is the “Nursing Home Support Scheme Act 2009” which became operational in late 2009. There have been some minor amendments to the act in subsequent years.

The scheme is designed to give financial assistance to those who require full-time nursing care, regardless of their financial circumstances. It is designed to be fair to everyone i.e those who have more will contribute more to the cost of their care. Hence the commonly known name for the scheme – the “Fair Deal Scheme”

The basic terms of the scheme are that you pay a proportion of your income and your assets each year to a Nursing Home that has been approved by the HSE and the State pays the shortfall up to an amount agreed between the HSE and the Nursing Home.

Current rates of contribution

Single Applicant                               80% of net income                                  7.5% of net assets                             per annum

Member of a couple applicant      40% of combined net income                3.75% of combined net assets        per annum

You are advised to consult the Act together with the explanatory booklets issued by the HSE when you want precise information or definitions. In this site we have included our interpretations of definitions and terms in the Act but you might need to consider the precise definitions and seek professional advice before taking any action regarding their interpretation.

Operation of the Scheme

Who can apply ?

In order to apply for the Scheme you must be ordinarily resident in the State. That means you have been living in the State for at least one year or that you intend to live here for at least a year. You are known as “The Applicant”

Application process

You apply for the Scheme by using the official Application Form which can be obtained form the HSE offices or downloaded from their website ( Form NHSS1)

There are 3 steps to the application process

Step 1 is an application for a Care Needs Assessment. This identifies whether or not you need long term nursing home care. There are procedures for re-applying if you have been turned down on the basis of care needs.

Step 2 is an application for State support (financial). This is where you complete the Financial Assessment which is used to determine your contribution to the cost of your care and to determine the level of State assistance , if any, will be paid on your behalf to the nursing home . You can use the built in calculator on this site to assist you with this before you officially apply.

Step 3 is an optional step if you wish to apply for the Nursing Home Loan ” Ancillary State Support” whereby you apply for additional assistance to enable you to pay your contribution. An explanatory note is included in the Terms and Definitions page but full details can be obtained form the HSE.