Case study

  • Date:
    March 2023
  • Category:
    Insufficient enquiries made


C applied for a crisis grant as they said they had no funds for their immediate living costs. They said that they had spent their benefit on repaying borrowed money, bills and that they had lost £100. It was apparent from the information provided in the application that C had significant vulnerabilities.

The council declined the initial application as they said that C had not supplied the evidence to verify that they were in an emergency situation. C requested a first tier review of the decision. However, the council did not change their decision, again due to lack of evidence.

We reviewed the council's case file and spoke with C for further information about their circumstances. They confirmed that they were struggling to provide the evidence requested by the council, but were able to send the information we deemed necessary to verify that they had no funds available. They also gave us permission to contact a third party to verify access arrangements for their child. Overall, while we assessed that C was not in crisis when they applied for a grant, we were satisfied that they had no funds available by the time they submitted their first tier review. As such, we proceeded to make a decision based on their new circumstances in line with 9.15 of the guidance. We changed the council’s decision and instructed them to make an award. We provided the council with feedback that they made insufficient enquiries and that due to C’s vulnerabilities, they could have provided them with more support to provide the relevant information. We also gave feedback that they did not follow the decision making process and about their decision letters.

Updated: March 21, 2023