Case study

  • Date:
    February 2022
  • Category:
    Decision making with limited information


C asked for a review of the council’s decision to refuse their application for a crisis grant. C had applied for assistance stating that they did not have enough money to meet the needs of them and their child. The council refused the application on the basis that C had already received three awards from the fund and they did not consider the circumstances of the crisis were exceptional for a further award to be made.

We received the council’s file and contacted C for additional information. C explained they had borrowed money over Christmas, which subsequently needed repaid. They had also spent money on general household costs and had run out of money.

We assessed that the council’s decision to refuse the application was correct, on the basis that C had applied under similar circumstances previously of having repaid debt and struggled to budget their available income. We agreed that C’s circumstances were not exceptional compared with previous applications. We did not uphold the review request but provided feedback to the council that they did not gather sufficient additional relevant information prior to reaching their original decision, and about their failure to produce a copy of the original decision letter. We also noted the council did not carry out an assessment on whether there had been a relevant change in C's circumstances since their last application less than 28 days previously.

Updated: February 16, 2022