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The Fair Deal Scheme

By: Georgina O' Halloran | Posted on: 12 Dec 2019

The Fair Deal Scheme

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme or “Fair Deal Scheme”, provides financial support to people who require long-term nursing home care. In very general terms, a person makes a contribution towards the cost of their care based on a financial assessment and the State steps in to pay the balance. In the event that a person is not in a position to pay the contribution which they are deemed liable for, they may apply for a Nursing Home Loan under the scheme. This loan is provided by the HSE to cover the said contribution and is charged against the home or other property of an applicant. It is basically a simple Mortgage on the property in favour of the HSE.  The loan must be repaid within 12 months from the date on which the person residing within the nursing home dies or 6 months from the date the property is sold. 


What happens if the person who wants to apply for state support does not have capacity to make the application?  The most common example of this is when a person has suffered a stroke.  While that person is recovering in hospital waiting to attend a nursing home, they are unlikely to be able to make any decisions in relation to applying for state support.  Indeed, they may not even have the physical capacity to sign the necessary forms.  This can land families in limbo during an already stressful time. 


The solution is provided for under section 21 of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009.  Under this legislation, a close family member can apply to the local Circuit Court to be appointed as Care Representative on behalf of the incapacitated person.  The nearest next of kin (spouse, child, etc.) are the first entitled to apply to be appointed as Care Representative.  Medical reports are required from two of the incapacitated person’s treating medical doctors.  Once appointed, the Care Representative can act on behalf of an incapacitated person in respect of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme and especially in respect of the Nursing Home Loan.  It is important to note that is the extent of the authority given to the Care Representative.  The Care Representative cannot deal with the general assets of the person and they certainly do not have any authority to sell any assets.  That type of authority can only be given to a person on foot of an Enduring Power of Attorney or if a person is made a Ward of Court.  


For advice and assistance on making an application for a Care Representative Order, please telephone or email us.



Georgina O’Halloran



021 431 3333