The nursing home loan is an optional part of the Fair Deal Scheme.
You can apply for it in addition to any financial support you get from Fair Deal.
How it works
With a nursing home loan, a person can delay paying for their care until after death using their assets to secure the loan.
The nursing home loan is an option if you:
- need nursing home care
- have assets including land and property
The amount you receive will depend on the value of your property.
When to apply
You can apply for a nursing home loan:
- when you apply for Fair Deal funding, or
- if you're already a resident in a nursing home
Your loan will be approved on the same date as your Fair Deal funding if you apply for them together.
If you're approved, you can always change your mind before accepting the loan.
Repaying the nursing home loan
The nursing home loan will need to be repaid after death. You can also choose to repay this any time before death.
You will need to repay the loan if:
- you sell or transfer your property (you must notify your local nursing home support office within 10 working days of the sale or transfer)
- you or your partner declare bankruptcy
- you provide false information in the application
The loan is repaid to Revenue Commissioners.
We will notify the relevant person when the loan repayment is due. The consumer price index (CPI) is applied to the amount due. This is linked to inflation.
After the death of the person in care, the loan must be repaid within 12 months. If the loan is not repaid within 12 months, interest will be applied. The interest will start from the date of death.
If their property (home) is sold or transferred when a person is still in care, the loan must be repaid within 6 months of the date of sale or transfer. Interest will be charged from 6 months after the sale.
Deferring repayment of the nursing home loan
The nursing home loan needs to be repaid after death. You can only delay repayment if the loan was secured against the person's main home (principal residence).
A partner, relative or connected person may apply to delay the loan repayment. They need to apply to the Nursing Home Loan Support Office.
People who may apply include:
- your spouse or partner
- your child under the age of 21 (or your spouse’s or partner’s child)
- your child if their assets do not exceed €36,000
- your sibling if their assets do not exceed €36,000
- a relative in receipt of a disability or similar allowance, blind person’s pension, or the State pension (non-contributory), or whose income does not exceed the State pension (contributory)
- a relative who is in receipt of a foreign pension or allowance similar to those outlined above
- a relative who owns a building to which the principal residence is attached (for example ‘a granny flat’)
- any person who cared for the person in care prior to them entering the nursing home (this is defined by relevant social welfare payments such as carer's allowance)
If payment is delayed, the consumer price index (CPI) is applied to the amount due.
People other than a spouse or partner are called 'connected persons'. They may apply for a deferral in loan repayment.
Connected persons must meet the following conditions:
- The house must be their only residence.
- They must have lived in the house for at least 3 years before the original application for the Nursing Home Loan.
- They must not have an interest in any other property.
If circumstances of the connected person change, the loan must be repaid. For example, if the property is sold or they longer live in the house.
Contact the National Nursing Home Loan Office for further information on 057 931 8400.
Couples and applying for a nursing home loan
All of the couple's assets are assessed. Both partners need to sign the application form if applying for a nursing home loan.
If either partner has reduced capacity to make decisions the other partner will need to be either a:
- care representative (a person appointed by Circuit Court)
- Ward of Court (a person appointed by Office of Ward of Courts)
- a holder of a registered enduring power of attorney (chosen to act on behalf of another person)
You need to have a registered enduring power of attorney in place before the person applying is unable to make decisions.