Top up fees to care home

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Marbella79, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. Marbella79

    Marbella79 Registered User

    May 2, 2015
    Hello all and thank you for reading.

    Mother currently self-funded in care home and at threshold, so we have just invited the LA in for care needs and financial assessments.

    The care home charges more than the LA will contribute. We will need to negotiate exactly what that top up will be. In other readers' experience, is it better to have that conversation with the care home before the LA produce their personal budget for her, and lock down the top up we will need to pay them? Or is it better to wait until the LA numbers drop out and start negotiating then, possibly under the pressure of the LA wanting all parties to sign up to a 'contract' we have read about?

    And do the LA help us have that conversation with the home, or are we on our own regarding the top-up element?

    Any thoughts and advice really welcome….
  2. piph

    piph Registered User

    Feb 4, 2013
    Don't sign anything to do with top-ups unless you are absolutely sure you can pay it, and continue to pay it ad infinitum. If no other CH can be found, within the LAs budget, or it is the ONLY one that meets her needs, then it is them and not you that should be paying the full fee. However, if there are other homes, and you want to keep your Mum there, then you will have to pay the top-up. It can't come from Mum's money, as far as I'm aware, but with the new Care Act, that may have changed.

    It might be worth it, however, to find out what the top up is likely to be, so you are forewarned.

    Hope it all works out for you.
  3. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    Presumably the reasons Mum is in that home are still in Family able to visit regularly even if using Public Transport, close to Church, near Day Centre, Mum familiar with the area, these are all valid reasons, to me,why Mum should be able to remain there.
    The CH may have a LA rate which is acceptable. Is Mum getting her Attendance Allowance, as a self funder she is allowed to keep this towards her fees. Does she have any property upon which a Deferred Payment scheme could be made? If this is the only home for Mum and you are going to need to pay top ups then you need to be sure you are always going to have the funds. Do not agree to pay anything until a full financial assessment has been made via the LA.
    I'm sure there will be other help coming along for you. :D
  4. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    I would talk to the home now so you know how much any top up will roughly be but agree to nothing.

    The LA should not have a set budget any more as they are now supposed to be helping to shape the market but they do.:rolleyes: My LA have not increased their payments for 3 years.

    They must be able to offer you one placement within your Mum's assessed budget. If they cannot they must up the budget but it still may not be enough to pay for the current home.

    You are entitled to ask the LA to pay the whole amount. You then pay the top up and your Mom's pension to the LA. This helps as the LA contract will stipulate a limit on any yearly increase. Whether you can get the home to stick to that is a different matter.

    Once the LA start paying any AA will stop.

    The LA have an obligation to make sure you are able to keep up paying the top up for the duration. You have to sign an agreement with the LA. It is not legally binding so if for whatever reason you decide to stop paying the LA have to pay the top up till they reassess your Mum and more than likely move her somewhere cheaper.:(

    Whether the LA have any influence on the home depends on if they are regular contractors and if the home needs to keep the LA sweet.:rolleyes:

    Good luck.:)
  5. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    If you look around you should be able to find out the rate your council pays, some councils have it on their website some don't publish the figure saying it's "commercially sensitive". You could google around and see if your council publishes the figure.
  6. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    They may have last years figures but not 2015/16 as they are not supposed to have set rates any more.

    A recent FOI request to my LA for the last 5 year figures came back with this reply.......
    "There is no usual cost of care rate for 2015/16 as the Care Act repeals this."
  7. Raggedrobin

    Raggedrobin Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    I talked to the care home first, so they would know I was not willing to pay the full top up (over £2000 a month). Social services told me not to negotiate with the care home, though, to leave that up to them, which I did and they actually didn't manage to get the care home to reduce their fees at all. At the time the care home had a lot of spaces so I was surprised they didn't manage to do that.

    I then wrote a long letter and had lengthy discussions to Ss about why my Mum should not be moved. I suggested I meet the council in the middle,which meant the council and myself both contributing 50 per cent of the excess to make up the top up. I had been given a nod that going for a 50-50 arrangement on the top up showed willing and that they would be likely to accept that, which they did.

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