Care home top up fees

daisydi

Registered User
Feb 25, 2015
255
Norfolk
Would be grateful if somebody could help. My mum went into residential care in January after a couple of weeks respite. We had a best interest meeting so that decision was made but I always wanted her to have her own room as she was sharing in respite and the LA agreed and budgeted for that in her assessment. We pay a top up fee at the moment for her shared room and it will double if she has her own room. The home has been resistant to giving her a room of her own but today we went and sat in another residents room and she was really comfortable watching tv. He is moving out next week and I am sure they have his room allocated but being there today was such a different experience that we have decided we really want to push for this. We understand it will be confusing at first but it will make her and our quality of life and visits so much better as she can have some of her own things in there, we can have some privacy with visits etc. etc.

My question is can we pay the extra top up fees out of her funds now the new care act has been introduced. Also do you think it would be wrong to move her from the shared room she has known for 6 months. She is very fit and healthy apart from the dementia so she could go on for years and we just want to make it nicer for her. I would be grateful for your opinions.
 

Pete R

Registered User
Jul 26, 2014
2,044
Staffs
My question is can we pay the extra top up fees out of her funds now the new care act has been introduced.
Only if there is property involved.:(

I remember you posting before about a top up and that the LA pay the CH in full and then bill you for the top up. If you refuse to pay it then the LA are responsible for it all but may then wish to move your Mum back into the shared room (if you decide to go for it) or in fact move her to a cheaper home that can cater for her needs.

If you do move rooms then there will be a new contract and the LA are now obliged to make sure you can afford the top up for the duration before signing with the CH.

The LA should be able to provide you with details of a CH that can cater for your Mom's needs within her assessed personal budget. If they cannot then the New Care Act says they should pay more. The old days of LA wide pricing limits is supposed to be gone but with mine they are still firmly in place.
 

daisydi

Registered User
Feb 25, 2015
255
Norfolk
Only if there is property involved.:(

I remember you posting before about a top up and that the LA pay the CH in full and then bill you for the top up. If you refuse to pay it then the LA are responsible for it all but may then wish to move your Mum back into the shared room (if you decide to go for it) or in fact move her to a cheaper home that can cater for her needs.

If you do move rooms then there will be a new contract and the LA are now obliged to make sure you can afford the top up for the duration before signing with the CH.

The LA should be able to provide you with details of a CH that can cater for your Mom's needs within her assessed personal budget. If they cannot then the New Care Act says they should pay more. The old days of LA wide pricing limits is supposed to be gone but with mine they are still firmly in place.
Thank you. We are happy to pay the top up but can we pay the extra out of her savings which are under the 23,000 limit. The LA contribute to her fees but she has a large pension and our top up which goes back to them.
 

daisydi

Registered User
Feb 25, 2015
255
Norfolk
Think I have just found the answer reading the new care act. I think it changes in 2016 so at the moment we cannot use her savings to pay the top up but may be able to after April 2016. Also they had budgeted for a single room in her personal budget so it shouldn't come as a surprise to them as it was what I always wanted.
 

Pete R

Registered User
Jul 26, 2014
2,044
Staffs
Thank you. We are happy to pay the top up but can we pay the extra out of her savings which are under the 23,000 limit. The LA contribute to her fees but she has a large pension and our top up which goes back to them.
No, I am afraid you cannot use the savings.:( The New Care Act has not changed that.

However now that the Act is in place you can ask the LA to review their contribution.

In Annexe A of the guidelines it states....

In Sec 10 "........the local authority should not set arbitrary amounts or ceilings for particular types of accommodation that do not reflect a fair cost of care."

In Sec 11. "A person must not be asked to pay a ‘top-up’ towards the cost of their accommodation because of market inadequacies or commissioning failures. Therefore at least one setting should be offered that could meet the person’s needs within the amount in their person budget."
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
19,705
North Manchester
"...it changes in 2016 so at the moment we cannot use her savings to pay the top up but may be able to after April 2016."

You can if there is a deferred payment scheme and the LA agree.

Arguably you can also use up to £14250 of her capital which the LA will then regard as notional capital.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
19,705
North Manchester
"...I think it changes in 2016 so at the moment we cannot use her savings to pay the top up but may be able to after April 2016..."

In order to facilitate choice, the regulations will lift the restrictions on first party top-ups in April 2016.However, the decision to make top up payments will remain completely optional and will, as now, be subject to the person making the payments being willing and able to do so and a written agreement with the local authority.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/400816/Factsheet_-_Funding_Reform.pdf