Financial assessment: How much you pay towards care

If you apply for Fair Deal funding, HSE will carry out a financial assessment. This is to work out how much you need to pay towards your nursing home care.

The amount you pay towards your nursing home fees depends on your:

  • income (money you receive on a regular basis)
  • assets (savings, investments and property)

If you have little income and assets, you pay less. If you have more, you pay more.

What documents we need for the financial assessment

You must provide proof of income, assets and expenses with your application.

For example:

  • bank statements
  • pension statements
  • proof of social welfare payments
  • a valuation of your property

A full list of documents you need to send can be found on page 15 of the Fair Deal nursing home support application form (PDF, 16 pages, 1.78MB) .

Apply for Fair Deal

How much you will pay

How much you pay depends on if you're single or in a couple.

We will look at your assessable income and assets. Assessable income is your total income minus allowable deductions. Income is any money you receive on a regular basis.

If you're single

If you're single you will pay:

  • 80% of your assessable income
  • 40% of any rental income you receive for your home (principal residence)
  • 7.5% of your cash assets such as savings, stocks and shares
  • 7.5% of your non-cash assets such as land or property

The first €36,000 of your assets is exempt from the assessment. This is discounted from your cash assets first, and then your non-cash assets (land or property).

Your home will only be included in the financial assessment for the first 3 years you are in a nursing home. This means you will not pay more than 22.5% (7.5% a year, for 3 years) of the value of your home. This '3-year cap' can also apply to your farm or business.

Examples of a single applicant's costs

The following examples are only working examples. How much you pay will depend on your income and assets.

Example 1:

Applicant A is single. They have an income of €240.30 per week, no cash savings and a home which is valued at €200,000.

Under the Fair Deal scheme, Applicant A will be expected to pay the following amount towards their care costs:

  • 80% of their income - €192.94 per week
  • 7.5% of their home's value (excluding the first €36,000) - €236.54 per week

This means Applicant A will pay a total of €428.78 per week towards their care costs and HSE will pay the rest.

For example, if the nursing home charges €1000 per week, HSE will cover the remaining amount of €571.22 per week.

3-year cap

The 3-year cap means Applicant A will only pay the 7.5% contribution based on the value of their home for the first 3 years. After 3 years, they will pay a weekly amount of €192.94 per week, based only on their income.

Optional nursing home loan

As Applicant A has no savings, they may decide to use the optional nursing home loan to cover part of their weekly contribution.

Example 2:

Applicant B is single. They have an income of €400 per week, cash savings of €100,000 and a home which is valued at €200,000.

Under the Fair Deal scheme, Applicant B will pay the following amount towards their care costs:

  • 80% of their income - €320 per week
  • 7.5% of their cash savings (excluding the first €36,000) - €92.31 per week
  • 7.5% of their home's value - €288.46 per week

This means Applicant B will pay a total of €700.77 per week towards their care costs and HSE will pay the rest.

For example, if the nursing home charges €1000 per week, HSE will pay the remaining amount of €299.23 per week.

3-year cap

The 3-year cap means Applicant B will only pay the weekly contribution based on 7.5% of their home's value for the first 3 years. After 3 years, they will pay €412.31 per week, based entirely on their income and cash savings.

Optional nursing home loan

Applicant B may decide to use the optional nursing home loan to cover part of their weekly contribution.

If you're in a couple

If you have a spouse or partner, the financial assessment will look at both your incomes and assets.

A couple is:

  • a married couple
  • a couple who are living together as life partners for at least 3 years

When you are part of a couple applying for Fair Deal, half of the couple's total income will be assessed.

You will pay:

The first €72,000 of your assets is exempt from the assessment. This is discounted from your cash assets first, and then your non-cash assets (land or property).

Your home will only be included in the financial assessment for the first 3 years you are in a nursing home. This means you will not pay more than 11.25% (3.75% a year, for 3 years) of the value of your home. This '3 year-cap' can also apply to your farm or business.

You can ask to review the payment amount every 12 months.

Example of a non-single applicant's costs

The following example is only a working example. How much you pay will depend on you and your partner's combined income and assets.

Applicant C is married.

They share:

  • a combined income of €800 per week
  • combined cash savings of €100,000
  • a home valued at €200,000

Under the Fair Deal scheme, Applicant C will be expected to pay the following amounts towards their care costs:

  • 40% of their combined income - €320 per week
  • 3.75% of their combined cash savings (excluding the first €72,000) - €20.19 per week
  • 3.75% of their property's value - €144.23 per week

This means they will pay a total of €484.42 per week towards their care costs. If their nursing home charges €1000 per week, HSE will pay the remaining amount of €515.58 per week.

3-year cap

The 3-year cap means Applicant C will only have to pay the weekly contribution based on 3.75% of their property's value for the first 3 years. After 3 years, they will pay a weekly amount of €340.19 per week, based entirely on their income and cash savings.

Optional nursing home loan

If Applicant C decides they can cover their weekly care costs (€484.42), they may prefer not to apply for the optional nursing home loan. But they can still apply for the loan at any stage if they wish.

Nursing home costs

The amount your nursing home charges does not matter. Your contribution will stay the same and we'll pay the balance.

Information:

We will only pay the balance if your contribution does not exceed the cost of nursing home care.

Finding the right nursing home

Getting a review

You can request another financial review 12 months after your first assessment or your last review. The HSE may review a financial assessment at any stage.

If you sell your assets

You must tell the nursing homes support office if you sell any assets, including your home. You must do this within 10 working days of the sale. This is so we can carry out a new assessment of the amount you pay.

Transferred assets

Amount assessed greater than the nursing home cost

If you find that the amount for which you are assessed is greater than the cost of the nursing home then you may not be eligible for Fair Deal at this time.

There may be alternative ways of dealing with the expenses as there are tax allowances available.

Income, assets and deductions

You will need to tell us about all regular income and any property you own. If we do not have all this information your application will be delayed.

Income

We look at both you and your partner’s income.

This includes:

  • earnings
  • pensions - this includes state pensions, private pensions and pensions from abroad
  • social welfare benefits and allowances
  • rental income from properties which are not your main home
  • income from holding an office or directorship
  • income from fees, commissions, dividends or interest
  • income you gave away in the 5 years before your application

The assessment will not include your relatives' or children's income. It will include your partner's income.

Rental income for your home

If you own your home and rent it out, you can apply to pay only 40% of this rental income towards nursing home care.

You will need to fill out the Principal Private Residence Rental Income application form (PDF, 4 pages, 160kb).

You'll also need to send us copies of your:

  • Residential Tenancies Board registration approval letter
  • rental agreement showing the rental amount
  • latest notice of assessment from Revenue

This rate of 40% only applies to any rental income received from your main home (principal residence).

Any rental income received from a property which is not your principal residence will be treated as general income. You will pay 80%

Accommodation recognition payment for hosting Ukrainian refugees

If you host Ukranian refugees and receive the accommodation recognition payment (ARP), we will not include this in the financial assessment. It is not treated as income.

If your home is not registered with the Residential Tenancies Board

Even if your home is not registered with the Residential Tenancies Board, it may still qualify for the reduced rate of 40% on home rental income.

Contact the Residential Tenancies Board for advice on this.

Assets

Assets include property, investments, money loaned to another person (which is repayable) and cash. This includes assets outside Ireland.

Two types of assets are considered:

  • cash assets
  • non-cash assets

Cash assets

These include:

  • savings and deposits including those with banks, credit unions or post offices
  • stocks, shares, bonds and securities
  • approved retirement funds (value of fund at date of application)
  • money loaned by you to another person
  • cash assets transferred to another person

Non-cash assets

These include:

  • your home, if you own or part-own it
  • any property you own
  • any land you own
  • farms
  • businesses
  • overseas land and property
  • transferred property

Transferred Assets

The financial assessment includes any assets you have transferred:

  • in the 5 years before the date of your first application
  • on or after the date of your first application

If you have given any land, property or money to another person in the last 5 years, you will need to tell us. You will also need to tell us if you transfer any property, money or land after you make an application.

Deductions

Deductions you can subtract from the financial assessment include:

  • Income tax, PAYE, Universal Social Charge and PRSI.
  • Health expenses (GP visits, prescription charges, medicines and medical expenses after tax refund).
  • Maintenance payments to other people.
  • Interest on loans on your home.
  • Levies required by law to pay such as property tax.
  • Dependent children in full-time education.
  • Qualifying redress schemes.
  • Loans for buying, repairing or improving an asset.
  • Rent paid by your partner (if they are living in a rented house).

Qualifying redress schemes

You can deduct any redress (compensation) received as part of:

  • Redress for Women in Certain Institutions Act 2015
  • Health Repayments Scheme Act 2006
  • The Lourdes Hospital Redress Scheme 2007
  • The Lourdes Hospital Payment Scheme
  • The Surgical Symphysiotomy ex-gratia scheme
  • payments made under the Conterganstiftung fur behinderte Menschen in respect of a disability caused to that person by Thalidomide

Get support

Contact your local nursing homes support office

Page last reviewed: 1 November 2022
Next review due: 1 November 2025