Top up care home fees

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by TinaT, May 23, 2007.

  1. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    Can anyone advise me please regarding 'top up' fees for private nursing home care?

    To set the scene - husband of a friend of mine has been in care in a private nursing home for a year now. Local Authority have just completed an assessment and have told the wife that she must find in excess of £200 each week as 'top up' fees. This will cause great hardship and financial worry for my friend. The £12,000which they have in a joint bank account will not last long if there is a drain of £200each week being taken out.

    I think that an arrangement is possible whereby the 'top up' fee can be paid by the local authority and this money could eventually be reclaimed when the jointly owned home is sold. I cannot think where I read this or if I misunderstood and have got it all wrong.

    Many thanks to anyone who might be able to clear this up for me.
  2. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    If they only have £12,000 in bank accounts they cant be forced to pay top up fees

    Also he should be entitled to continuing care ......see www.************ and get the help of the main people on there

    If the local authority try to put a charge on the house she can challenge it .......again www.************ will help

    The wife needs to also check her own income and see if she is entitled to benefits

    The legal number at Alzheimers Society will also advise her
  3. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    Hi Helena,

    Thanks for the info. I have read the info on this site before and I admire the people on this site tremendously but don't think she would be able to do all the work and stress involved in trying this route for herself.

    When you say ...if they only have joint savings of £12,000 they can't be forced to pay 'top up' fees.............. where did you get this information from? I ask this as she has been told by the local authority she will have to pay and I want to be clear as to her rights under the law. I will advise her to contact the Alzheimer Society Legal Dept to help her to argue with the LA. It takes a lot of courage for anyone to stand up to a local authority, they are many and we are just one person.

    xx TinaT
  4. lady racer

    lady racer Registered User

    Mar 12, 2007
    northwest england
    top up fees

    I am the deputy manager of a nursing home, as i understand it a top up fee can only be charged to new clients at the homes descretion. If a client is already there then this should not apply.
  5. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    Many thanks for your input Lady Racer (By the way I love your Webname!! Conjures up a strong, independant, and fearless Zena type warrior woman)

    It is a bit complicated and perhaps I shouldn't have called the money she now has to find a 'top up' fee. As far as I can gather it is not the care home who have put up the weekly fee, rather it is the local authority who have paid, up to date, the whole fee. Now they are telling her they will no longer do this and she has to contribute an extra £200. xx TinaT
  6. May

    May Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    I would suggest that she rings the society's helpline armed with all the info she has been given re this 'extra' money being asked for, they would certainly be the best people to talk too I would think.
  7. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Dear Tina,

    In your OP you ask about what is normally called deferred payments. Although this can be done it does not appear that on what you say this would be applicable for your friends. Firstly, when it comes to assessing someones financial assets, LA cannot assess the joint resources of couples. They can only consider the patients own income and capital ( or their share of jointly held capital). Secondly the marital home should be included but then disregarded. Age Concern has a number of fact sheets about charging procedures treatment of a former home and several others.

    I am wondering if what has happened is that in this case the person has moved to a home that costs more than that the LA would normally expect to pay. Different LA's have different upper limits. If there is a legitimate reason for choosing a more expensive home (for example, needing more care than can be provided at another type of home) the LA might be expected to pay for it however I think you would need to prove that. If your friend simply chose a home that a) is £200 more than the LA is prepared to pay and b) the nursing home is not willing to enter into a contract with the LA for the lesser fee (which a lot of private homes will do), your friends have the option to pay the fee, or move the spouse to another home. If this is the case, even if they spent down their savings to 0 the LA would still not have a responsibility to pay more than they normally pay. People tend to have a rather simplistic view of what the LA will or will not pay for if you have little in the way of savings, but it would be true to say that the sky is NOT the limit. It is one of the things you need to consider when selecting a care home: what will happen when the savings run out.

  8. chip

    chip Registered User

    Jul 19, 2005
    This worries me as i think the time is coming soon for my husband to be in full time care. As he is younger and has a occupation pension i've been told half of it is paid to the care home that will leave me with not a lot to live on and too much to get benefits so i don't no how i'm going to keep the house bills going at least we dont have a mortgage. I also beleive half the joint account is taken as well, I don't think this is right as us unpaid carers have saved the government millions a year yet we still have to pay for care.
  9. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    Thanks for everyone's help on this. My friend and I have looked at all your suggestions and the websites. You have provided very sound advice. xxx TinaT

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