Care home top-up fees
If your choice of care home accommodation costs more than your local council is willing to pay, someone else can make up the difference between that figure and the home’s fee. This is known as a third party top-up fee.
What's a third party top-up fee?
If the council is funding your care home place, they will allocate an amount of money, known as your personal budget, to meet your needs following the financial assessment.
If you choose a home that is more expensive than the amount your council will pay, you can still move there as long as someone, such as another family member agrees to pay the difference or the ‘top-up fee’.
Should I pay for a relative's top-up fees?
Take financial advice before agreeing to pay someone’s top-up fees. Consider :
- What would happen if your circumstances changed and you couldn’t afford the top-up?
- Care home fees often increase every year but local councils don’t always increase their funding by the same amount. Therefore, you could find yourself paying more each year to cover the difference in fees.
What benefits can you claim?
Do you know what benefits you are entitled to? Find out exactly what you are owed, quickly and easily, using Age UK's benefits calculator.
Can I get financial support to pay a top-up fee?
Occasionally a charity may agree to pay someone’s top-up fees. Contact Turn2us to find out if you could be eligible for help.
If you’re paying someone’s top-up fees but the money is going to run out, speak to the council and manager of the care home as soon as possible.
We're here to help
We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 055 6112. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 140 local Age UKs.