Relatives paying top up fees for residential care

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    Debbie Wake

    Does anyone know if there is any provision made for account to be taken where a husband or wife have to pay top fees for their partners resident in care. Due to limits on some LA funding some residential care homes ask for a top up that must be paid by someone other than the person in care. In the case in question the partner not in res care is entitled to 50% of his partners occupational pension once she becomes social services funded but due to top up fees nearly all of this money will be used for the top up.

    Can we take these charges into account in the same way as a claimant supporting their child at college? 




    Not unless you can think of a particular regulation? This is a DHP issue perhaps?


    It looks to me that its not so much that the spouse is entitled to the 50% its just part of the social services assessment of the person in care’s funding.

    The person in care may not be obliged to pay anything to the spouse but if he does not pay at least 50% over he will not get the disregard in the funding.

    Nevertheless the payments will be considered to be voluntary payments made by a former partner and so will count as income, unless they are not paid or due to be paid regularly in which case they count as capital.

    As far as the one in care is concerned, he gets the 50% disregard only if he voluntarily pays over at least 50%

    If he is legally obliged to pay any part of that pension over to the spouse, that will not in any case count as part of his income [see R(IS)4/01 for full explanation of the principle] This means that he could pay over 50% voluntarily and get the disregard, and then any part of the other 50% that had a legal attachment to it would not count either.

    We may all need to make careful advance plans just in case we ever need to go into a care home, but it may be too late for this couple. They certainly need to find a high quality adviser

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