Top up payments

If you choose a care home which is more expensive than your agreed personal budget, then a 'top up' payment may be required.

People have the right to a choice of a care home. This means that you may choose a care home that is more expensive than what the Council will pay. 

How it works

If you choose a more expensive care home placement than the Council will pay, then someone must be willing and able to pay the difference between the amount of money the Council will pay (this includes the resident’s financial contribution) and the full cost of the placement for as long as necessary. This is called a top up. Normally a third party, like a family member, will pay the top-up.

A top up payment can apply when your care is partly or completely funded by the Council. It may also be required if you were previously paying for your care privately, but you are now eligible for financial support from the Council and want to remain in the same home.

It's important to note that the payment cannot be paid by you or the Council. It must be paid for by a family member, friend or another organisation. This person or group are called the ‘third party’. This payment is then made directly to the care home.

What happens if I own my own home?

For the period of the 12-week Property Disregard, you can pay the top-up yourself, if you have enough income and savings that are not included in the financial assessment. After the 12 weeks, we would usually agree to defer the whole fee.

However, if you are paying the top-up yourself during the Deferred Payment, this can only continue until the debt exceeds the value of your property, less £23,250. You would then have to get a friend or family member to pay the top-up, or you may have to move to another home. 

We advise you to talk to your social worker before you agree to pay for more expensive care, because if you are unable to keep paying the top-up, you may have to move to another home.

Whatever you decide, it is really important to get financial advice at the right time so that you can make informed and balanced decisions about your finances. We would always recommend you to speak with someone independent. A financial adviser can
help you understand how you can make your money work best for you to help cover any long term care costs.


Useful contact:

Richmond Council Charging Helpline
Phone: 020 8831 6400

Acceptance of any application under the Scheme is subject to you meeting the criteria and the Council being able to obtain security in your property.