As outlined above, where your assets include land and property in the State, the contribution based on such assets may be deferred. This means that you do not have to find the money to pay this contribution during your lifetime. Instead, if approved, the HSE will pay the money to the nursing home on your behalf and it will be collected after your death. This is an optional benefit of the scheme. It is effectively a loan advanced by the State which can be repaid at any time but will ultimately fall due for repayment upon your death. Its purpose is to ensure that you don't have to sell assets such as your house during your lifetime. The legal term for the Nursing Home Loan is "Ancillary State Support". You may choose to apply for this element of the scheme at the date of initial application or at any stage while resident in the nursing home.
You may wish to consider taking independent legal advice if applying for the Nursing Home Loan and you are free to do so.
Repayment of Nursing Home Loan
The Nursing Home Loan (Ancillary State Support) together with interest is repayable (unless the applicant has voluntarily repaid the loan prior to it falling due for repayment)
- when the applicant dies, or
- when any part of the charged asset is transferred/sold (HSE must be notified within 10 working days of transfer/sale), or
- if the applicant or his/her partner is made a bankrupt, or
- if the HSE determines that it has been given false/misleading information relating to the loan application
Repayment of the loan must be made to the Revenue Commissioners.
The person who is responsible for repayment of the nursing home loan to the Revenue Commissioners is called the relevant accountable person. The relevant accountable person may be a different person to the applicant, depending on the circumstances as set out in the following examples:
Example 1: Where you transfer or sell part or all of your property, during your lifetime, you and your spouse/partner will be the relevant accountable persons.
Example 2: Where the loan is repayable after the applicant's death the personal representative of the deceased is the relevant accountable person. A person who inherits or has an interest in the property or any part of it can also be held accountable for repayment of the loan.
When the nursing home loan falls due for repayment, the HSE writes to the relevant accountable person. The HSE notifies him/her that the loan must be repaid and advises of the amount due. In calculating the amount due, the HSE applies the consumer price index to the loan to take account of inflation or deflation since the loan was paid.
The following timeframes apply for repayment of the nursing home loan:
- Where the repayment arises, for example, because of the death of the person in care the loan must be repaid within 12 months of the date of death. Where the repayment is not made within this timeframe, interest on the amount owing will be applied from the date of death.
- Where the loan is repayable because of the sale or transfer of your property during your lifetime, it must be repaid within 6 months of the date of sale or transfer, or Revenue will apply interest back to date of sale/transfer.
The Revenue Commissioners are the collection agent for the HSE in respect of monies advanced by way of a nursing home loan. The Nursing Home Loan must be repaid to Revenue. It should be repaid as soon as possible after notice is received from the HSE and, in any event, within the timeframes outlined above. Further information is available on how to make payments on Revenue's website.
Where the loan becomes repayable on death, the repayment of monies based on the principal residence can be further deferred in certain cases. You can read more about this in the information booklet.
In relation to further deferrals, the following timeframes apply for repayment of the nursing home loan:
- On the death of the partner of the person who was in receipt of care or on the death of the connected person, the loan must be repaid within 12 months of the date of death of that person. For more information on the definition of a connected person please refer to the information booklet.
- Where a person ceases to be a connected person as defined by the legislation or where an interest in the residence is transferred/sold, the loan must be repaid within 6 months of the date the person ceased to be a connected person or date of transfer/sale.