Case study

  • Date:
    May 2024
  • Category:
    When two crisis grant applications should have been treated as one


C requested an independent review of the council's decision on their crisis grant application. C applied for money for food as their Universal Credit payment had been reduced due to a sanction. 

The council declined the application on the basis that C had received three awards in the last 12-month period. They did not identify any exceptional circumstances that would allow for an additional award to be made. 

We reviewed the council's file and spoke with C, noting that C had applied twice in one month for the same period of crisis. The council made two awards, each for two weeks, even though the application form indicated the sanction end date. We determined that this should have been treated as one award. 

Consequently, the applicant had only received two official awards, meeting the eligibility criteria without requiring exceptional circumstances. We instructed the council to make an award until the applicant's next benefit income and gave feedback that they had not followed the guidance.

Updated: May 21, 2024