Top up who pays ?

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by jon4atee, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. jon4atee

    jon4atee Registered User

    Jan 17, 2016
    We've been told it's only a few months before my mum needs full time care ( currently at home with a full care plan ) very confused by top ups .most care homes we've looked at seen to have them . Mum owns her own home but her partner still lives there , she has savings of less than £23,000 . Her old age pension of around £550 and a private pension of £100 a month . Say the home is £700 a week and the council payment is £550 how is the difference paid and if the family hasn't got the money what happens ??? How does it all work ??
    Thanks for any advice anyone can give a worried daughter x
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    The council has to offer you at least one home meeting her needs that is within their payment range. If they cannot do that as all homes are more expensive, they will simply have to up their payments. Only if you want a different, more expensive home or a bigger room/better view, would top ups come into play. As far as I know, families cannot be forced to pay these. If you have to pay a top up, don't make a contract with the home, make it with the council, and don't sign anything until you have all the facts. Never let yourself get bullied into paying top ups!
  3. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    If your mum has been in the home for some time and is very settled there - knows and likes the staff, knows her way around the home, is friends with other residents, is visited by people living near the home or gets visits from church members, .... - you can make the argument that moving to a different home would be disturbing and unsettling and not in her best interests.

    If you win the LA would just have to pay whatever the home demands.
  4. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    Welcome jon4atee,

    Yes it can at first seem very complicated if you go to this page of the AgeUK website, scroll down to factsheets and read #10,#38 & #39 they will explain most of what you need to know.

    Firstly as long as your Mum's partner lives in the house none of the value can be used to pay for her care. As your Mum has savings less than £23250, as Beate, says the Local Authority have give you one home to look at that they will fund. Bear in mind if the LA budget is £550 (which is generous as my LA will only fund £410) your Mum's pensions will be taken to part fund that.

    If you do not like the LA suggested home and want to go more expensive like the £700/week one then someone other than your Mother has to pay that extra £150/week. If no one can or wants to pay this then you are stuck with the LA home.:(

    If your Mum's partner moves out of the home then half the value becomes your Mum's capital and she will then become self funding and the LA back off till all of that has gone.

    Not the greatest system.:mad:

    Enjoy the reading.

  5. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    The OP's Mum is not in a CH but still at home.:confused:
  6. jj1

    jj1 Registered User

    Nov 26, 2012
    my mums been ch for 3 years and ive been payn top up since she went in direct to the home I'm struggling now a bit do you think I could stop the payments to them
  7. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    #7 Pete R, Jan 20, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
    It really can be a struggle especially if your circumstances change however with all bills you do not pay there are consequences and with this it could well mean your Mum having to move:(

    The CH will obviously want there money so it is doubtful but you could try talking to them and see if they will accept less.

    No one is liable to pay for someone else's care and no one is forced to pay a top up. Under the New Care Act the Local Authority, you will need to speak to the Social Worker, have to supply you with at least one CH that they will fund that can meet your Mum's needs. If you/your Mum do not like this CH then a top up is the only option.

    If the current CH is the only one that can meet the needs then the LA have to up their rate and fund it all although you probably already know if this is anywhere near possible.

    I do hope everything turns out the way you want it.

  8. tigerlady

    tigerlady Registered User

    Nov 29, 2015
    As Pete R says, the council has to offer you a suitable care home within their budget of £550. If they do this they will take all your mothers pensions apart from a small weekly allowance of about £24 (not sure on the exact amount) and then top that up to £550. If they cannot find a home charging that and find one that charges more, they cannot make you pay the top up - they will either have to pay it themselves or negotiate with the home to bring the rate down.

    As £100 of your mums pension is a private, she can elect to have up to 50% of that disregarded and let it go to her husband.

    Read the factsheets Pete R gave you a link to and be prepared to do battle with the council!
  9. realist1234

    realist1234 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014
    AS your mum has been in the home for a while, it could be argued to move her to a new home would be damaging to her health, ie distressing, though I am not sure how much sway that has with the LA. You should speak to the LA and explain your circumstances and ask if the CH would reduce their fees. If all else fails, you may have to move your mum to a different home, though it is important that you think the 'cheaper' home will still give her good care (Ive found from experience that the level of fees does not reflect the care given). I wish you and your mum all the best.
  10. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    Maybe worth listening to Radio 4 programme YOU AND YOURS on today. 12.15- 1pm. Discussing finances regarding care etc, next week a whole week about the sacrifices made to pay fees etc.
  11. chrissie121

    chrissie121 Registered User

    Nov 27, 2013
    Top Ups Contributing to Care

    Hi there, it is rather complicated but I will try and be brief based on my mother's experiences. the local authority will ask you to complete a financial assessment form, in that you will detail all her assets (including her home). does her partner co own the home? savings and income ( ie pension). if they disregard the property ( as your mother's partner lives there) they will then look at her income and savings. Any monies over £14,250 up to £23,000 they take £1 for every £500 and call this additional income. So for example: £8750.00 divided by £500.00 is 17.5 x £1. This is a weekly sum which they add to her overall monthly income. £650.00 plus 4 times £17.50 total monthly income of £720.00. They allow a personal allowance per week of £24.50 x 4 weeks is £98.00. This is deducted from the overall income of £720.00 meaning your mother can make a contribution of £155.00 a week. Hence how they came to the figure they have. Once your mother's savings start to drop down and once they are below £14,250 then the additional income ( savings is no longer counted). The council/local authority will then pay more each week, your mother will not be asked to do so. All of the above though is on the basis they don't take into account her property. My mother contributes £174.23 a week to her care based on her income each month from her pensions and savings additional income. The balance is settled by the LA direct to the home. I pay ( from my mother's income) her share direct to the home. I would suggest, if you don't already have it in place, you obtain Power of Attorney for her health and finances in order to be able to handle all of the above for your mother. Unless of course her partner is in a position to handle on her behalf. Hope this helps.
  12. realist1234

    realist1234 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014
    If the home charges £700/week and the max the LA would pay is £550/w, then regardless of your mum's contributions, family or another 3rd party would have to pay the difference of £150/week if you wanted your mum to stay at that home, assuming the LA can offer her at least 1 other home that only charges the LA rate (ie it is her/your choice to stay at the more expensive home even though a cheaper home is avaiable).

    Given the LA rate you have quoted of £550/w, I wonder if this is a nursing home rather than purely residential, as I think the approx £100/w nursing charge may be included in this fee amount?

    Based on this assumption and that your mum's savings are say £20,000 , I work out your mum would contribute approx £148/w, LA £402/w (incl nursing element), and family £150/w top-up.

    If your mum's partner was able to claim some of her private pension, then her contribution would decrease as her own income would be less.

    Remember - £150/week in top-up is £7800 every year and will likely increase over time. Can you or your family afford this??

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