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What are funded nursing care contributions?

Funded nursing care contributions are paid by the Department of Health to nursing homes for nursing care on behalf of their residents.

A person may be eligible for funded nursing care contributions if you need medical assistance from a registered nurse or live in a nursing home. If you move into a nursing home you should make sure that the home carries out a funded nursing care assessment. If successful payments are made directly to the care home and not to the individual resident. The standard payment is made on a weekly rate which can increase annually. Before 1 October 2007 funded nursing care was paid at three rates; low, medium and high. If you were in receipt of the low or medium rate on 1 October 2007 you were moved to the standard rate. If you were in receipt of the higher rate you will have retained the higher rate payment.

It is important to make sure that you claim funded nursing care as it should be deducted from your bill if you pay for your own care. You do need to check how funded nursing care is detailed in your invoice as sometimes homes will charge a fee which does not include the funded nursing care, in which case they are unlikely to pass on the costs. In effect that home is just charging you for the residential element of their charges. In a care home contract the fee payable, including nursing care should be set out clearly.

If your home does charge a fee which takes into account funded nursing care it is important that checks are made to ensure that annual increases in funded nursing care contributions are claimed and collected by the care home. It does depend upon the terms of your contract as to whether any increase is passed to the resident.

To see whether you are entitled to have a reduction in your fees if the funded nursing care contribution is increased you need to review the terms of your contract and any standard information given to the resident when you moved in. If the terms and conditions of the contract are signed and have been explained clearly to show that when increases in fees happen they are not passed on then there may be no argument to receive the payment.

If the terms of the contract were not clear or explained then you may be able to claim any increase in funded nursing care.

If you do not receive a written contract or it does not explain how funded nursing care contributions should be treated you may be eligible for a repayment of the funded nursing care contribution.

As with all payments in relation to care if there is a change in circumstances then funded nursing care payments may be withdrawn.

Nothing in the care world is straightforward and sometimes a little bit of advice is helpful and can go a long way. If you are receiving funded nursing care and want to know more give us a call.

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