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About the Scheme

You can apply for financial support to help pay for the cost of care in a nursing home through the Fair Deal scheme.

You need to be approved for Fair Deal before you can receive funding for a nursing home.

You can choose to pay privately for care while you wait for funding.

Fair Deal funding can't be backdated and will only be paid from the date of approval.

Read advice on new 3 year cap guidelines 

Researching different nursing homes

It's important to look at different nursing homes before choosing one. You should make an appointment to visit the nursing home before making a decision.

Contact your preferred nursing home as soon as possible. You will need to see if they have a place available and can meet your care needs. They may have a waiting list.

If the nursing home you want does not have space, you can go to a different one temporarily. You can then apply for a transfer when space becomes available in your preferred nursing home.

If you are assisting someone to apply for nursing home care, involve them as much as you can in the decision. Consider their preferences and personal values before choosing a nursing home.

Cost of nursing home care

The Fair Deal financial assessment will tell you how much you will pay towards the total cost of nursing home care. We will pay the balance.

Your payment will be the same for voluntary, private or a public nursing home.

Find out how much you will need to pay towards nursing home care.

The National Treatment Fund has agreed on maximum prices with registered nursing homes. You can see the maximum prices of approved nursing homes here (this is not the amount you will pay):

Fair Deal does not cover:

  • short-term care such as respite, convalescent or day-care
  • extra fees charged by the nursing home for services like hairdressing, therapies or activities

Ask your nursing home what extra fees will need to be paid. These will need to be agreed and included in your contract with the nursing home.

HIQA nursing home inspection reports

All nursing homes are inspected by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA). You can read the nursing home inspection reports on

Related topics

Care Needs Assessment

page last reviewed: 22/10/2018
next review due: 22/10/2021