Demystifying Care Home Top-Up Fees: Are They Your Responsibility and Are They Lawful?

Jo Fellows

Understanding the concept of care home top-up fees, their legality, and your obligations towards them can often seem like a daunting task. To help you navigate this terrain, we present a comprehensive guide that dives into top-up fees, explores their legal aspects, and helps you understand if they are a necessary expenditure.

In this article:

Unpacking Care Home Top-Up Fees

In essence, care home top-up fees, also referred to as 'third-party payments', are the additional charges that arise when a care home resident opts for a care home or a specific facility that exceeds the local authority's standard rate. These extra costs can cover a variety of factors, including a more spacious room, a superior view, or a care home situated in a more sought-after location.

The Legal Stand on Care Home Top-Up Fees

Top-up fees are completely legal and have been a part of the care home funding landscape since the Care Act of 2014. However, they should only be charged under certain conditions. For instance, they are applicable if the resident has specifically chosen a more expensive care home or a specific facility, given that there are more economical alternatives available that can adequately cater to their care needs.

Who Bears the Burden of Top-Up Fees?

Generally, top-up fees are borne by a third party, like a family member or a friend. However, under certain circumstances, the resident themselves can pay these fees. This situation usually arises if they are under a deferred payment agreement or have a 12-week property disregard.

What If Top-Up Fees Become Unaffordable?

If a third party initially agrees to pay the top-up fees but later finds themselves financially incapable of meeting this obligation, they should inform the local authority at their earliest convenience. Consequently, the local authority might have to reassess the resident's care needs, which could possibly result in moving them to a more affordable care home.

How Belmont Healthcare Is Here to Help

At Belmont Healthcare, we fully appreciate that the financial aspect of care homes can be complex and intimidating. Our dedicated team is always ready to provide guidance and support in understanding care home top-up fees and navigating the intricacies of care home funding. Trust in Belmont Healthcare to be your steadfast partner in delivering quality, affordable care for your loved ones.

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