Case study

  • Date:
    December 2023
  • Category:
    Failure to make reasonable adjustments


C asked for an independent review of the council’s decision about their application for a crisis grant. They advised that they had applied for assistance because their benefit income had been spent on medication and changing their flight after becoming ill on holiday.

The council declined the initial application on the basis that C had received three awards from the fund due to spent income, and they did not consider that the circumstances of the application were exceptional. C requested a first tier review of the decision but the council did not change their original decision as they deemed that the applicant was at fault for their crisis situation.

We reviewed the council’s case file and spoke with C for further information. C advised that that they had spent £350 to change their flight and £250 for an anti -sickness injection. However, they could not provide receipts or a bank statement to evidence the costs. C was unable to clarify discrepancies between information given to the council and ourselves.

As we could not verify the circumstances of the crisis, we agreed with the council that on balance, we could not be satisfied that the eligibility criteria for an exceptional award was met. As such, we did not change the council’s decision. However, we provided feedback that their original decision letter did not provide sufficient information about their decision. We were also critical of the council’s communication with the applicant as they contacted them by telephone, without the use of accessibility services. This did not enable C to accurately present their case as they were profoundly deaf. We determined that it would have been appropriate to make a reasonable adjustment.

Updated: December 19, 2023