C asked for an independent review of the council’s decision. They had applied for a crisis grant after their mother had passed away. This was because the bank had frozen the mother’s bank account into which C’s furlough payments had been paid into, and so C was unable to access them.
The council initially awarded an amount for 14 days up until their Universal Credit (UC) payment amount. At first tier review, the applicant advised that they were not due to receive any UC and so the council awarded a further amount to take the duration of the award up to their furlough payment.
We reviewed the council’s case file and spoke with C for further information. In doing so, we established that C's mother had debts on their meters when she passed away and as such, this was being deducted when C was topping up the meter. Therefore, we disagreed with the council’s assessment that only £137.94 should be awarded. This was due to the fact that C requested a higher amount on their application form but the council awarded a standard amount and did not make further enquiries about how much was required to meet the need. We also noted that the daily rate calculation did not take into account the 1.7% benefits increase in April 2020. Additionally, we provided feedback that no decision letters were sent. We instructed the council to award an additional £42.42 which had been calculated on a pro-rata basis to cover the debts on the meters.