C asked for an independent review of the council's decision. They had applied for a community care grant for numerous items as they had moved into an unfurnished tenancy. C had previously been staying with a parent but advised that they had encountered violent episodes from family members whilst living there and they needed to seek refuge from this. C also had various physical health issues that were being managed and investigated, as well as mental health issues.
The council initially declined the application on the basis that it did not meet any of the qualifying conditions. The council changed their decision at first tier review, at which they deemed that the application met the qualifying condition in relation to exceptional pressure, and awarded C the items applied for that met high priority.
We reviewed the council's case file and corresponded with C by email. The review was in relation to a 2-seater sofa, carpet in the hallway and flooring in the kitchen and bathroom. C provided further information about the situation that had led to them seeking refuge with their own tenancy, as well as further information about their health issues. We verified most of the information provided by C in relation to their health issues with their GP. We agreed with the council that C met the qualifying condition in relation to exceptional pressure. We thereafter deemed the sofa to meet high priority and the flooring to meet medium priority, so we partially changed the council's decision and awarded C a 2-seater sofa. We provided the council with a finding of incorrect interpretation of information in relation to not assessing the sofa as high priority in C's circumstances. We also provided the council with feedback about their decision-making notes and their written communication in the first tier review letter.