Text Size:
High contrast:
  • White/Black
  • Standard

Current Style: Standard

County Council

County Council



Care Home “Top Ups”

·    Top-ups

·    Related links

·    External links


Sometimes the cost of the care home you choose may be more than the Council is willing to pay, and additional payments are necessary to cover this shortfall.  This is known as a “top up”.

·    When someone enters a private care home for either a short break (respite) or permanently their care needs are assessed to determine the level of funding the local authority will provide - this is called the banding rate

·    Sometimes the full cost of the care home chosen by the person is greater than the banding rate.  In these cases, if they are to go to that home, the short fall between the banding rate and the full cost will have to be paid by a third party i.e. relative or friend and cannot be paid out of the resident’s own money

The only exception to this is if they have capital (for example, savings, cash, bonds, stocks/shares) or assets (for example, property/land/share in a business) above the government set capital threshold (£23,250) only then can they pay the shortfall themselves. (Please see care home deferred payments scheme)

·    The third party top up (shortfall) is a separate payment to the resident’s assessed contribution towards their care, which is based on their income entitlement, for example, state benefits, occupational pension, annuity and capital

·    The resident’s assessed contribution pays towards the Council banding rate

·    The relative or friend agreeing to become the resident’s third party should have no doubt that they can afford these payments from their own funds.  The home may increase these charges annually

·    If the third party cannot afford the shortfall the home is asking for they may be able to negotiate a lower rate with the home

·    If a resident has no one willing to act as a third party and the care home won’t accept the assessed banding rate it may be necessary to look for a care home that will accept the assessed banding rate

·    Two separate invoices, one for the resident’s assessed charge and one for the third party charge, will be sent out 4 or 5 weekly in arrears

·    A direct debit can be set up to pay these invoices.  A direct debit form will be sent with the letter advising of the rates of resident’s contribution and the third party charge and will need to be returned to the Council after completion

See our Third Party Top Up Information sheet for further information (60kb .doc)

Related links

·    Paying for social care and support long term

·    Financial assessment for living in a care home

·    Care home deferred payments scheme

·    NHS continuing healthcare

·    Care home funding

External links

·    The Money Advice Servicegives free impartial information and advice about funding long term care and support.