Case study

  • Date:
    August 2022
  • Category:
    Inconsistencies/ Reason to doubt


C asked for an independent review of the council’s decision. They had applied for a crisis grant as they stated that they were struggling to cope with cost of living increases.

The council declined the initial application on the basis of evidence of previous fraud and because they were not satisfied of the applicant's identify. C requested a first tier review of the decision, however, the council did not change their original decision.

We reviewed the council’s case file and spoke with C for further information. We noted that the information they provided about their Universal Credit payment dates differed from the information they provided in their application form and previous application. The Department for Work and Pensions also provided payment dates which differed from the dates C had given.

Our investigation found that the telephone number being used by C had been used in connection with previous review requests by another applicant. We provided C with an opportunity to respond to the conflicting evidence in line with section 4.20 of the guidance. However, we agreed with the council that we could not be satisfied of C's identity or that the circumstances presented in the application were true in line with section 4.21 of the guidance. We agreed that there was a risk of potential fraud if an award was made. As such, we did not change the council’s decision but provided feedback about their initial decision letter not containing sufficient information to understand the reasons for the decision.

Updated: August 24, 2022