A third party top up agreement is just that, it is payable by a third party, usually a friend, relative or charity.  It cannot usually be paid for by the person who is in receipt of care.

Local authorities and the NHS are required to identify and meet eligible needs of anyone requiring care.  The local authority and/or NHS are usually required to provide options for consideration before a placement or care package is agreed.

It is often the case that family members wish for their loved ones to be placed in an alternative and often more expensive care setting to the ones being offered by state bodies.   In those circumstances the local authority or NHS (or the care setting) may require what is known as a “third party top up agreement” whereby the additional cost of the placement is met by the third party.

All too often we come across third party top up arrangements being agreed informally or formally with state bodies and care homes without the correct procedures and formalities being followed exposing the third party to significant cost and future risk.

We strongly recommend that attorneys, deputies and family members obtain advice prior to signing agreements and contracts with state bodies and/or care homes.