Care home fees increase and LA

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Marbella79, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Marbella79

    Marbella79 Registered User

    May 2, 2015
    17
    Hello - and warm new year wishes to all.

    My mother is in care and part LA funded as below the capital depletion level. My father pays a 'top-up' to the home to cover the gap between LA contribution and the fees.

    The care home put their fees up every February, around the 4% mark. I have been ploughing through LA guidelines and various documents as to what happens when the care home increase fees. The LA response is (as expected) very grey - there seems to be a process for financial review annually based on "care needs" but no guarantee that they will raise the contribution when the care home raises fees. Elsewhere however, it does say that the LA raise their annual contribution in line with inflation. Does that mean everyone gets inflation-linked rise in contribution?

    Any views please on precedent here and how to go about opening this topic with the LA? Should we do it before the care home letter arrives in Feb outlining the increase? Or let it lie and see if the LA get in touch (I assume they will try not to have to raise their contribution but is it still worth asking them about the 'process' for annual review?)

    My mother is funded beyond the LA base rate as she was considered ineligible to move to an LA home due to severity of her condition. Does that mean they can potentially get out of reviewing their contribution because she is already funded above base?

    Many thanks for any views. Don't really know what to do but father's remaining funds obviously very depleted now so if there is any hope of LA contribution increasing.....
     
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,234
    Male
    North Manchester
    "My father pays a 'top-up' to the home to cover the gap between LA contribution and the fees."

    Is this the way it works, both the LA and your father having contracts with the home?
    Quite often there is a single contract with with the LA who collect the top up.

    If your father has not signed any contract with the home I would forward any requests for extra top up from the home to the LA and see what happens.

    If the home declare an x% increase this is the maximum increase I would pay on the top up.

    Don't forget that the first of the now annual living wage increases occurs on April 1[SUP]st[/SUP], the over 25 hourly rate goes up by 30p to £7.50, other rates by smaller amounts. The home will factor this into any increase.
     
  3. Marbella79

    Marbella79 Registered User

    May 2, 2015
    17
    LA funding review / care home top up

    hi Nitram
    The LA were most keen not to have anything to do with the top up arrangement - given these arrangements are not technically acknowledged as being 'legal' and they consider their contribution to more than adequate to cover my mother's "care needs". So they said we needed to pay that direct to the home, which we do. But there is lots of grey language in the LA (and gov guidelines) docs that indicate an annual review takes place based on inflation and any "change in care needs". All very deliberately grey and when we asked what the process was they said it was on a 'case by case basis' but have offered no review process so far. :(
    The annual increase is a given from the care home, who will request the full increase from us if we don't ask the LA to review, I suppose.....?
     
  4. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,045
    Staffs
    With the CA 2014 the LA should pay the whole amount including top up. It is perfectly legal and is acknowledged. If arrangements are made like yours it has to be agreed by the home, you and the LA.

    With the LA paying in full there is normally a clause in the contract that limits any increase.

    The way yours is set up should still be reviewed by the LA as they may have to up their contribution although it could also mean a reduction if another home could meet your Mother's needs and is cheaper than their previous contribution.:(
     
  5. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,234
    Male
    North Manchester
    "The LA were most keen not to have anything to do with the top up arrangement"

    They might not be keen but they should be involved.

    Here's some ammunition:-

    9.2. ‘Top ups’ – this term has the usual meaning accorded to it within the care and support sector, but for the avoidance of doubt, top-ups are costs due to a local authority under Section 30 of the Care Act or costs for the provision of the type of care referred to in Section 34(3)(a) of the Care Act.


    28. When entering into a contract to provide care in a setting that is more expensive than
    the amount identified in the personal budget, the local authority is responsible for the total
    cost of that placement. This means that if there is a break down in the arrangement of a
    ‘top-up’, for instance if the person making the ‘top-up’ ceases to make the agreed payments,
    then the local authority would be liable for the fees until it has either recovered the additional
    costs it incurs or made alternative arrangements to meet the cared for person’s needs
    ....
    ....
    agree with the person, the third party paying the ‘top-up’ (if this is not the cared for person) and the provider that payment for the ‘top-up’ element can be made directly to the provider with the local authority paying the remainder. However, as stated earlier, this is not recommended
    ....
    ....


    Also read
    'price increases' 34 onwards

    http://www.nhsbenchmarking.nhs.uk/CubeCore/.uploads/NAIC/43380_23902777_Care_Act_Book.pdf

    The LA also has a duty to ensure that the person paying the top up can afford it, I've lost the reference but there have been posts on TP by people paying top up why they, not the resident, were being financially assessed.
     

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