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How to apply for Fair Deal

Fair Deal is a scheme that offers financial support for people in long-term nursing home care. You pay part of the nursing home fees and HSE pays the balance.

You need to apply for Fair Deal.

There are 4 steps to the application process.

Complete the application form

Complete and sign the application form (PDF, 1MB, 34 pages). By doing this you are applying for a care needs assessment and financial support.

There is a list of documents you need to send with your application. These are listed on pages 11 of the form.

Send the completed form and documents to your local nursing homes support office. We will let you know when we have received your application.

Applying on behalf of someone else

If a person is unable to apply themselves, a specified person may apply on their behalf.

A specified person can be a:

  • decision-making representative (a person appointed by the Circuit Court )
  • Ward of Court (a person appointed by Office of Ward of Courts)
  • holder of a registered enduring power of attorney (chosen to act on behalf of another person)
  • spouse or partner
  • child of the applicant, if over 18
  • registered medical professional, nurse or social worker

The decision-making representative (DMR) replaces the role of care representative.

If you were previously appointed a care representative, you will not be affected by this change. You can still act on a person's behalf. You do not need to do anything.

How to appoint a decision-making representative

Care needs assessment

We will contact you to arrange a care needs assessment. This will assess your need for nursing home care. It also looks at if you can be supported to continue living at home.

A public health nurse or medical professional will assess your:

  • ability to perform daily tasks such as dressing and washing
  • level of independence
  • mental abilities - levels of attention, memory, learning, and language

You will receive a decision in writing after the assessment.

What happens during the care needs assessment

Financial assessment

We will calculate how much you'll pay towards the cost of nursing home care.

The amount depends on your income (money you get on a regular basis) and assets (investments and property).

The more income and assets you have, the more you will pay towards your nursing home care.

The amount your nursing home charges does not affect the amount you will pay.

For example, if the amount you have to pay is calculated at €200 per week this will be the same whether the nursing home charges €770 per week or €1050 per week. We will pay the balance.

We will send you a letter to confirm the amount you will pay. You will receive another letter to confirm your funding approval.

Find out how we calculate how much you will pay

You can choose to apply for an optional nursing home loan

With a nursing home loan, you can use your property assets to pay for your care. A relevant person must repay the loan after your death.

You can apply for this loan if you own property in Ireland. This can be a house, land, business property or any other property in the State. You use your property to secure the loan.

The nursing home loan is optional. If you want to apply for it, you should complete this section in the Fair Deal application form.

The process of applying for a nursing home loan can sometimes take several months. It's best to apply for the loan when you apply for Fair Deal funding. You do not need to accept the nursing home loan if it is approved.

Read more about the optional nursing home loan

If you do not qualify for long-term nursing home care

If you do not qualify for long-term nursing home care, you must wait 6 months before you can apply again.

If there is a change in your health or circumstances you can apply before the 6-month waiting period ends.

A PHN or other medical professional will assess your:

  • ability to perform daily tasks such as dressing and washing
  • level of independence
  • mental ability, such as levels of attention, memory, learning, and language

We will write to you after the assessment to explain our decision.

How to appoint a decision-making representative

If you are unable to make decisions about your care, you can appoint someone who can act on your behalf. This person is called a decision-making representative. You have to apply to the courts to appoint them.

Go to the Courts Service website (courts.ie) to:

  • learn how to apply 
  • get fees information 
  • get an application form

Your local nursing homes support office can also answer any questions you may have.

Contact us

We know the application process can be complicated.

If you need support or have a question that’s not answered here, contact us at:

Page last reviewed: 25 April 2023
Next review due: 25 April 2026