C asked for an independent review of the council’s decision. They had applied for a crisis grant due to spending money on furniture which left them with no funds for immediate living costs.
The council declined the initial application on the basis that C had received four awards in the previous 12 months and they did not consider that the circumstances were exceptional.
We reviewed the council’s case file and spoke with C for further information. We agreed with the council’s assessment that the circumstances were not exceptional as C had made several applications within the last 12 months due to not budgeting their Universal Credit income. They had also received three awards during COVID-19, and while we acknowledge that additional funds have been provided to support those affected by COVID-19, SWF is intended to provide one-off assistance and cannot provide a regular income. As such, we did not change the council’s decision but provided feedback about the initial decision letter not providing sufficient information about their decision.