When you are choosing a care home, we will ensure that you have at least one option that is affordable within your personal budget. Your personal budget is the amount required to pay for a care home place that will meet your assessed needs.
However, you may choose an alternative home, including a more expensive setting. If you choose a more expensive setting, in most cases a third party will need to agree to pay the additional cost ('top-up'). This might be a family member (but not your spouse/partner), a friend, or someone else such as a charity.
We may also be able to offer a Deferred Payment Agreement if you are responsible for paying for your own care, but wish to use the equity in your home to pay for a more expensive care home place.
Can I pay my own top-up?
You may pay your own top-up only in the following circumstances:
- where your home is subject to a 12 week property disregard, for that period only
- where you have entered into a Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA) with the council (NB: there is not an automatic legal entitlement to a DPA for top-up payments, but we will endeavour to agree such arrangements, provided there is adequate security)
- if the accommodation being offered is funded under section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983.
Paying the top-up
Where a top-up arrangement has been agreed, the council will pay the care home for the full cost of the placement. We will then separately invoice the person paying the top-up for that agreed element of the fees.
The person paying the top-up will need to provide evidence that they are able to afford to make the payments on a continuing basis. They must enter into a legally-binding agreement to pay the top-up to the council at an agreed frequency.
The care home should not ask you or a third party to pay a top-up direct to them. If this does happen, ask why they are doing this and contact Adult Social Care Services by calling 01753 475111 (option 1).
Changes in provider charges and review of top-up agreement
We will review your Personal Budget to ensure that it is still sufficient to meet your eligible needs. This usually happens once a year.
We will negotiate price changes with the care home as part of our normal contract management process. We will seek to keep any increase in fees to the lowest appropriate level.
However, if the care home’s charges rise more quickly than the increase in your Personal Budget, this may affect the level of the top-up payment.
Consequences of ceasing to make payments
It is important that the person who has agreed to pay the top-up continues to make the payments. If payments are not maintained, we will take appropriate action to recover the payments due, which can include action through the County Court. It may be necessary for you to move to alternative accommodation that is affordable within your Personal Budget.
Changes in financial circumstances
Slough Borough Council will sympathetically consider any unforeseen changes in financial circumstances. The person who has agreed to pay the top-up must contact us in writing as soon as their circumstances change, or they become aware that their circumstances are likely to change.
They should write to:
Adult Social Care
25 Windsor Road