Frequently Asked Questions
HSE Website: http://www.hse.ie/eng/
List of Nursing Home Support Offices: https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/4/olderpeople/nhss/support-offices/
Yes, if the person in question has a diminished mental capacity, a “specified person” can carry out the first two steps of the application process. Only a court appointed care representative can carry out the third step on behalf of another person. This person is usually your next of kin or a family member.
With regard to this issue, a “specified person” is:
People from groups one to three take precedence over people from groups four to eight.
It can be carried out in a hospital, at your home or any other communal setting of your choosing.
During the assessment, the health care professional will look at the help available to you from family members or close members of your community; they will also test and consider your ability to carry out certain day to day tasks such as cooking, cleaning and washing. Health issues and your own personal wishes are also taken into account.
Yes, if you wish to challenge the outcome of either of the two assessments, an appeal process is available to you.
The way the contribution is calculated depends on whether it is a single person enquiring or a couple. If it is a person enquiring alone, the assessment will calculate his/her assessable income, the person will then contribute 80% of this income to the cost of the care, the remainder of the cost is the contribution made by the state. 7.5% of the value of the persons’ assets is due each year. If a couple is enquiring, the 80% is based off half of the couples combined income. The 7.5% annual bill is still due. A review is currently underway by the government as to how assessments will be made in the future.
Your house will be part of the assets billed at the 7.5% for the first three years only, after three years; the value of the principal residence will not be added to the value of your assets in this regard.
Certain “allowable deductions”, can be taken into account during the financial assessment. The applicant must request them and provide the HSE with any information required. Some of these deductions include some health expenses or any interest on loans related to principal residence.
Depending on the circumstances, a farm or business can be excluded alongside the principal residence. If a person requires long term nursing home care because of a sudden illness or disability, if his/her partner was actively involved in the day to day management of the farm or business up to the time of the sudden illness, or if a family successor certifies that he/she will continue the management of the farm or business. This measure is intended to ensure the financial sustainability of family farms and businesses in cases where a person suffered a sudden illness and did not have an opportunity to put appropriate succession arrangements in place. Currently this is an area of contention and it is being reviewed by the government.
No, when carrying out the financial assessment, any assets transferred in the previous five years are taken into account. Some people plan for the scheme by transferring assets five years before applying for the scheme to minimise costs and to distribute their assets in their lifetime. The state assesses your contribution at 80% regardless of the size of your income.
In order to set up a Nursing Home Loan, you must consent to a charging order against an asset. If a couple is enquiring, both people must consent to the order. It is similar to putting a mortgage on your house.
No, if the loan is repaid on time there is no interest due on the loan. The loan is however connected to the Consumer Price Index, so the amount due can increase, but only at the same rate as inflation.
You can only apply for a Nursing Home Loan for someone else if you are a court appointed care representative, the committee of a ward of court or an attorney appointed under an Enduring Power of Attorney, for that person. A care representative can be any of the following people once they have reached the age of 18:
There are two people who cannot become your care representative, they are an owner of a nursing home in which you are intending to stay at or are likely to stay at; or a medical practitioner who examined you and prepared a report for the court in relation to your capacity.
Yes, it is important you be aware of the cost of your contribution and any extras payable as you or a family member needs to be in control of that. Sometimes there can be adjustments or errors in billing just as there can be in hotels. Help the care home help you by being clear of the costs, extras and deductibles.
Yes, the care home can become your agent to receive your state pension. The care home will deduct the cost of your care and hold the balance on your behalf for your bill for extras, incidentals, personal care and hygiene.