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If you receive help from the local authority towards your care home fees, we can help explain what rights you have when choosing which home you live in.

Our information and advice is also relevant to people who will fund their own care to start with, but may need local authority assistance with the fees later.

If someone would prefer a particular care home, the local authority should arrange accommodation in that home, subject to the following conditions:

  • the home chosen is suitable to meet the person's assessed needs.
  • it doesn't cost more than the local authority would usually expect to pay to arrange accommodation for someone with those needs.
  • the provider is willing to enter into a contract on the local authority's usual terms.

Local authorities have a responsibility to provide a range of accommodation to meet identified needs at their ‘usual cost’.

If you'd prefer to live in a care home that costs more than the local authority’s usual cost, the local authority can arrange this, provided that someone else is willing to meet the difference between the usual cost and the actual level of the home’s fees. This is usually known as a top-up or third-party payment.

However, you shouldn't be asked to find a third party to make a top-up payment, if you have moved into a more expensive home out of necessity, rather than personal preference.

Further information


You may find the following document(s) useful

You can download other guides and factsheets from our list of publications

For more information: Call our Advice line: 08000 223 444

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