Paying for your care

"I'd like to know if I can get help with my care and support costs."

Additional care home costs

Do you want to continue living at home?

We know it's important to stay as independent for as long as possible, in your own home.

If the result of your financial assessment is that you qualify for us to pay your care home fees, you will only receive funds up to a maximum set amount, known as 'usual cost'.

Usual cost is the standard amount we would expect a care home that can meet your care needs to charge, and we must be able to show that there is at least 1 suitable care home available at this usual cost.

Choosing a care home above usual cost

Any extra costs, above usual cost, is referred to as either ‘top ups’ or ‘additional payments’.

Who pays 'top ups'

You must ask a relative, such as a son or daughter, or friend, to pay any costs above ‘usual cost’ if you:

  • choose a care home that charges more than your allowance
  • decide on more expensive accommodation within a care home with ‘usual cost’ accommodation

You can not pay the extra care home costs yourself unless:

  • you are entering a deferred payment agreement and it has been agreed that you can add this additional cost to your agreement
  • your services are provided under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

The reason that you can not pay yourself is that your savings would reduce faster and you would need us to contribute more towards your care sooner than necessary.

Please note: if we are unable to find you a suitable placement at a care home within ‘usual cost’ and as a result we arrange to place you in more expensive accommodation out of necessity rather than preference, you will not be asked to pay the ‘top up’ costs.

What someone making ‘top up’ payments should know

The person making the top up payment on your behalf must understand that:

  • the amount they must pay could go up if the care home reviews its charges
  • your funding assistance payments will be regularly reviewed and may change, this could make a difference to the amount they must pay
  • payment top ups will be required for as long as you stay in that care home, this could be a number of years
  • if the payment is not made, or if circumstances change for the person paying and they can no longer afford to pay, you must move to accommodation that charges no more than ‘usual cost’.

How it works

  • Step 1 - Notifying us of your chosen care home


    If your needs assessment identifies that you need to move into a care home, we’ll discuss your options at your needs assessment appointment.

    We will always aim to find you accommodation within usual cost. Please notify us if you would prefer to move into a care home that is above ‘usual cost’ and you have someone willing to pay the ‘top up’ costs.

  • Step 2 - Arranging your care


    We’ll arrange for you to move into your chosen care home.

    As part of this process, we’ll ask the person paying the ‘top up’ costs to sign a ‘top up’ agreement. Their details will then be supplied to the care home so they can be invoiced for the ‘top up’ amount. Payment should be made directly to the care home. The invoice will provide details of how to pay.

Ending ‘top up’ payments

If circumstances change for the person paying your ‘top up’ costs and they can no longer afford to pay, please contact your community wellbeing worker. You should also inform the residential home where you are staying.

Your community wellbeing officer will be able to look at other options for you and may refer you for reassessment.