Is there funding available from Government for nursing home care?
The Nursing Homes Support Scheme (Fair Deal) is a new scheme of financial support for people who need long-term care. It replaces the Subvention Scheme which has been in existence since 1993. Under the Fair Deal Scheme, you will make a contribution towards the cost of your care and the State will pay the balance. This applies whether the nursing home is public, private or voluntary - it’s your choice.
The Fair Deal is designed to make residential nursing home care:
Is there tax relief available on monies paid for nursing home fees?
Income tax relief is available on fees paid for nursing homes.
You claim tax relief for nursing home fees under the general scheme for tax relief on medical expenses. Tax relief on nursing home fees applies at the highest rate of income tax that you pay.
If you are paying the charges for a nursing home you can claim the tax relief, whether you are in the nursing home yourself or you are paying for another person to be there.
Usually you claim the tax relief at the end of the year but in certain circumstances tax relief may be available in the current year through the PAYE system. See Revenue’s information leaflet IT 6 Medical Expenses Relief.
What exactly does the Fair Deal cover?
The Fair Deal only covers room and board and basic care. It does not cover therapeutic care nor medication or aids and appliances; the costs of these are covered by the medical card if the resident is entitled to it. If the older person does not have a medical card their cost must be covered by the individual or their family.
What is the nursing home allowed to charge for?
Nursing homes are allowed to charge for all therapeutic or recreational activities unless they are covered by the medical card. They are also allowed to charge for any personal grooming services provided by the nursing home such as hair dressing. Many nursing homes charge a blanket fee to all residents to cover these charges.
How long will it take to get the Fair Deal?
At present the waiting time is about 4 to 6 weeks. This is however dependent on individual circumstances. If an individual has a complicated estate or financial circumstances or there is a dispute regarding the value of an asset this may delay the process. It is important to remember that if an individual was admitted to a nursing home from the community before the Fair Deal was in place then the cost of the nursing home while the Fair Deal Application is being processed will be borne by the older person or their family. If however the older person is admitted from a hospital then HSE may cover this cost so as to free up a hospital bed. It is possible to apply for the scheme before an individual enters the nursing home and in many ways this is preferable as it will give both the older person and or their carer time to choose the correct nursing home.