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Tops ups and third party contributions

If we have assessed that you need a particular type of accommodation (for example, a care home) to meet your needs for care and support, then you have the right to choose between different providers of the same type. However, this is subject to suitability, availability and cost. This factsheet provides information on choice of accommodation and top-up payments

The additional payments (top-ups) will be payable if you choose a setting that is more expensive than the amount in your personal budget, which is provided to meet your care and support needs for provision of accommodation.

What choice do I have about where I live?

Under the Care Act 2014, if we assess that you need accommodation, for example in a care home, we will try to make sure you have a choice of accommodation that meets your needs. We also have to spend our public funds responsibly.

If you express a preference for particular care home, we will make arrangements for care to be provided within that home as long as:

  • it is suitable for your assessed care and support needs
  • the cost is within your personal budget
  • a suitable vacancy is immediately available
  • the care provider is willing to accept the Council’s terms and conditions.

We will make sure you have a genuine choice. If you choose a care home outside Dorset, we will still arrange your care, as long as it will meet your assessed needs. Your personal budget will reflect the cost of care in your chosen area.

If you choose a care home which costs more than the amount in your personal budget, you will need to make arrangements for ‘top-up’ payment.

‘Top-up’ payments are usually made by a third-party, such as a family member or a friend.

If you lack capacity to express your own choices, we will act on the choices expressed by the person authorised to make decisions on your behalf (E.g. Power of Attorney or Court appointed Deputy in the same way that we would act on your own wishes

How is a third-party ‘top-up’ agreed?

When a third party agrees to pay a top-up on your behalf, we will make sure that person is willing and able to pay the top-up for the whole time you will stay in the care home.

We will ask the third party to give us details of their assets and liabilities, as well as their income and expenditure.

If your third-party is unable to show us they will be able to afford the top-up, we will consider moving you to another care home that can meet your assessed needs.

The payment for the top-up cannot come from your own assets and cannot usually be collected from your bank account either.

You can have more than one third party contributing towards your top-up. We will ask all of them to show us that will be able to meet their share of the cost, for the whole time you will stay in the care home. We will ask one person to take responsibility for signing the agreement and paying the third-party top-up by Direct Debit.

Can I appeal against the decision?

You can appeal against our decisions through the Council’s complaints procedure.

What happens if my third party stops paying?

If your third party stops paying the top-up, we will seek to recover any outstanding debt and we may make alternative arrangements to meet the needs for care and support you have at that time. This may mean could mean you have to move away from the care home you are living in.

When are the arrangements reviewed?

We will review the arrangements for the top-up after a two-year period, to ensure that the payment continues to be sustainable.