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Luton Borough Council

Care home top up payments

A top-up payment may be required if you choose a care home that is more expensive than our standard rate for someone with your assessed care needs.

You may also need to pay a top up if you have been paying privately for a care home which costs more than our standard rate but then become eligible for financial help from us and want to stay in that care home.

The “Standard” rate

The standard rate is what we have determined to be a fair and reasonable rate for care homes in this area. There are four different standard rates:

  • residential
  • residential with dementia
  • nursing
  • nursing with dementia

What if my assessed care needs will cost more than your “Standard” rate?

When your assessed care needs mean that you require accommodation that will cost more than our standard rate then we will fund the full cost of your care at the higher rate and it will not be necessary for a top up payment to be made.

Who can pay the top up?

This payment must be paid by someone other than yourself or us, usually a relative, friend or organisation (for example, an employer or a voluntary organisation); they are then called the Third Party.
You are not allowed to make a top-up payment yourself, either from any savings or from your personal allowance except in very special circumstances.
These are:

  • if as a result of your financial assessment you are subject to a 12 week property disregard
  • if you have entered into a deferred payment agreement with us
  • If you are in receipt of certain income that has been disregarded following your financial assessment.
The Financial Assessment Officer will be able to give you more information regarding these circumstances during the financial assessment.
The payment will be paid directly to the care home. Before your placement begins we must agree to any top-up payment and ensure that an agreement is signed between you or your third party, the care home and your Care Manager. All parties must be happy that these arrangements are sustainable for the whole time that you are in care.

Moving from private fees to Council funding

We will normally only fund your care at the standard contract rate. If your care home asks for a top-up payment when we are contributing towards the fees, and you or a third party are not in a position to pay it, it may be necessary for you to move to another care home which will accept our rate.

Cost increases

Care home fees are likely to increase each year through inflation and you or your third Party will be responsible for paying any increase in the top-up payment. The increase in the top up payment amount might be different to the increase in the standard rate we pay. Any increase to the top-up payment normally takes place every year on the same date your placement started and you should be given at least four weeks written notice.

Sources of independent advice

Age UK
Citizens Advice Bureau
Independent Age
Follow this link if you want independent financial advice.
© 2023 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ