Case study

  • Date:
    January 2017
  • Category:
    Change of circumstances within 28 days


Mr C had applied for a Crisis Grant for living expenses as his first Universal Credit (UC) payment was not due to be paid for approximately six weeks. Mr C advised he had stopped working and made an application to UC and was waiting on his first payment. He explained he lived with his Dad but had no money for food or to contribute to household gas and electricity bills.

The council awarded £69.48 to Mr C at their initial decision to cover living expenses for a non-householder under the age of 25 for a period of 28 days. Mr C contacted the council to make a new application as he had spent the payment of £69.48. Mr C was advised that he was within the 28 day period so not eligible to make a new application (he advised no change in his circumstances). The council advised Mr C to request a first tier review which he submitted by e-mail. The council received the request for review and Mr C’s application was looked at by a different decision maker. The council noted that the payment of £69.48 was for food only and to cover for the period up to a particular date. They agreed with the original decision maker and upheld the original decision.

Mr C asked us for an independent review of the council's decision. We considered the facts and circumstances of his application. This included information provided by Mr C and details of the decision making process provided by the council. We explained to Mr C we could only asses the amount awarded as if there had been a relevant change in his circumstances then he could consider making a new application. Mr C advised that since his application, there has not been a change in his circumstances (s6.1 of SWF guidance); he was still waiting on his UC payment and had spent the award he received. We considered that the council awarded Mr C based on amounts the guidance suggests. We did not change the council’s decision.

Updated: July 17, 2019