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Case study

  • Date:
    June 2017
  • Category:
    Meeting the need


Ms C applied to the council for a crisis grant for living expenses. She stated that her Child Tax Credits (CTC) had been stopped. She had been off sick from her employment and had returned to work but had not received sick pay. She asked for living expenses for gas, electricity and food for her and her two dependent children.
At initial decision, the council considered that Ms C's application met the eligibility and qualifying criteria and priority level to be awarded a grant and in discussion with Ms C, awarded £290.00 as she stated that this would meet her need for 2 weeks. She contact the Council two weeks later stating that she had no money and the council reopened her case and awarded a further £290.00. She then returned again to the council after a further 2 weeks and they took her request for more money as a first tier review and they awarded £145.00 for a week's payment as it had been estimated at the time her case was reopened that the crisis would last 3 weeks and she had been given a 2 week payment so a further one week payment was deemed reasonable.
Ms C applied to the SPSO for an independent review of the council's decision. We took into account all the relevant facts and circumstances and noted that the rate according to the Guidance for 14 days for an over 25 householder and two children would be £355.32, however Ms C and the council agreed that £290.00 for two weeks would meet her need. Additionally the council used their discretion to reopen the case and award a further £290.00 and then at first tier a further £145.00 rather than reviewing if the initial amount was fair and reasonable. We noted that the applicant had received £725.00 in total which was over and above what is suggested in the guidance (7.24 of the guidance). Therefore we did not uphold Ms C's request for review.

Updated: July 17, 2019