Top-up payments for care homes

When a top-up fee towards the cost of your care home may be considered and who is allowed to pay it

What is a top-up payment?

Following your financial assessment, if the Council is funding your care home place we will allocate an amount of money to meet your needs. This is called your Personal Budget.

The amount in your personal budget must be enough to meet your eligible care needs. We must also ensure that you have at least one choice of care home that is affordable within that amount.

If you choose a home that is more expensive than the amount we will pay, you can still move there as long as someone agrees to pay the difference between what we will pay and the home fee. This is known as a 'top-up payment'.

Who can pay top-up payments?

There are Government rules about who can pay a top-up and in most circumstances you are not allowed to pay it yourself if you are the person receiving care. This page covers Top Up Payments made by someone else.

A top-up payment may be made by a friend or relative of the person who receives the care. The person making the Top Up Payment is often called the Third Party as they are not the Council and are not the service user. Occasionally, a charity may agree to pay someone’s top-up fees. Contact Turn2us to find out if you could be eligible for help.

There is no legal requirement for family members, friends or anybody else to agree to pay a third-party top-up fee. The decision to meet this cost is a voluntary one.

When will the Council consider a top-up payment?

We may consider a top-up payment if, for example:

  • you, or a family member, would prefer you to live in a care home that costs more than we will fund or to pay for genuine extras, such as living in a larger than standard room or with a better view
  • you have been self-funding but are now eligible for local authority funding; you want to stay in the same home but we believe your care needs could be met in a lower-cost home

We will need to know that anyone offering to make a top-up payment is able to do so. They may wish to complete an optional financial questionnaire to help them decide if they have sufficient resources to keep up the payments. This questionnaire is available from your care practitioner.

Should I pay for a relative's top-up fees?

We suggest you take legal and financial advice before agreeing to pay someone’s top-up fees.

Consider the following:

  • What would happen if your circumstances changed and you couldn’t afford the top-up?
  • Care home fees may increase every year but we may not always increase your relative’s funding by the same amount. Therefore, you could find yourself paying more each year to cover the difference in fees

How is a top-up payment arranged?

If you decide you wish to make a top-up payment, and we agree to enter into the agreement, you will be given two copies of the proposed Deed for your consideration.

If you decide to enter into this arrangement and make payments from your own money, you will be asked to sign both copies of the Deed and return it to us. A Hampshire County Council representative will sign both copies and one copy will be sent to you for your records.

The Deed will tell you:

  • how much the top-up payment will be
  • how often the payment will be reviewed
  • how the costs will be shared if the care home puts up its fees in the future
  • what might happen if you can no longer afford the top-up

If you are unable to continue the payments, or if the payments cease for any reason, we reserve the right to move the person needing care to a less expensive care home that can meet their needs.