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Additional charges (top-up fees)

Additional charges (top-up fees)
You'll pay additional charges sometimes called top-up fees if your local council pays for your care home fees, but you choose to stay in a care home that charges more than the council's standard rate.

If there are services offered which have an additional charge like a larger room, more activities or additional qualified staff you can choose to pay for these services too.

Your council's responsibilities

Local councils shouldn't make arrangements that routinely require these additional charges.

If you choose a more expensive care home and the local council is contracting on your behalf, it should only do so if you can still pay the extra cost.

Local councils shouldn't seek additional fees from you if it assesses you as needing a place in a more expensive care home.

Additional charges paid by a third party like a relative, friend or charity aren't generally restricted by councils, but it should make sure that any additional costs are sustainable, including the likelihood of annual cost of living increases.

If the council doesn't think an arrangement is suitable for the long term, it might refuse to help place the resident in the chosen care home.

Read more on contracts with care homes.

Restrictions

Additional charges for residents who pay care home fees themselves are restricted to people who:

  • benefit from the 12-week property disregard for example, until a home is sold
  • are funding through a deferred payment agreement, or
  • are better off as the result of the introduction of free personal and nursing care

Residents are restricted to using certain types of disregarded capital and income to pay top-up fees.

Further information

Read the Scottish Executive guidance on topping up care home fees, as set by the Community Care (Additional Payments) (Scotland) Regulations 2002.

The payment of care home fees is a complex subject and depends on many things which are unique to you.

If you want detailed information or personal advice, ask an experienced independent adviser like:

Citizens Advice Scotland - phone 0808 800 9060, 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday, or 10am to 2pm on a Saturday
Age Scotland - its fact sheets have information on paying for care homes, or phone their helpline on 0800 12 44 222

The information was last updated on: 24th May 2017

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