Case study

  • Date:
    September 2023
  • Category:
    Incorrect reason to decline


C asked the SPSO to review the council’s calculation of their crisis grant award. They applied for assistance stating they had lost their money.

The council assessed that an award should be made and calculated an award at householder rate. However, as C was not able to provide security verification of their identity, the council rescinded the award after a number of days. C asked the council to review their decision and was able to provide their national insurance (NI) number which satisfied the council's security requirements. The new decision maker noted that C was not a householder, and recalculated the award at the non-householder rate. C asked the council to reconsider the decision but the council upheld the revised calculation.

We received the council’s file and contacted C for additional information. C explained the council had issued two vouchers with the old award on them, but had cancelled them, before C could collect the award. C was also unhappy that they had told the council on a number of occasions that they did not know their NI number, and asked if there was another way to pass security checks. We assessed that the council’s recalculation of the award was correct in line with the guidance. Although we did not change the council’s decision, we provided feedback that an applicant does not need to have a NI number to apply for a grant. We also gave the council feedback on their communication with C, and signposted C to the complaints process.

Updated: September 19, 2023