Case study

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


C asked the SPSO to review the council's decision on their application for a Crisis Grant. They had applied for assistance stating that they were awaiting a start date for a new job, and had no money for living expenses. They further noted that they were recently bereaved, following the death of their parent.

The council refused the application as C’s bank statement showed that they had funds available. They also assessed that the application had been made within 28 days of an earlier application for similar circumstances and considered there had been no material change in circumstances.

We received the council's file and spoke with C for further information. They explained that they were due to start a new job, but the start date had been delayed initially because of the bereavement, then due to pre-employment checks. They confirmed that the money in their account had been borrowed money from a family member to enable them to pay their rent and council tax, however, this was now spent. We therefore disagreed that there had been no change in circumstances as C had entered a new period of crisis after spending the money that had been received. We assessed that the remaining criteria was met, and instructed the council to make an award of £200.00. We provided the council with feedback about their failure to gather sufficient information to reach a robust decision, and about delays in issuing the first tier review decision.

Updated: November 21, 2022