C asked for an independent review of the council's decision. They had applied for a crisis grant as they had lost their job and made a new claim for Universal Credit. As a result of this C had no money to cover their food costs.
The council initially declined the application as C had applied for assistance with their bills and they assessed that this form of assistance was excluded as per Annex A of the guidance. C requested a first tier review. The council then awarded a crisis grant for 14 days as per section 7.8 of the guidance as they deemed that the duration of the crisis was unknown. They calculated the amount using the non-householder rate.
We reviewed the council's case file and spoke with C for further information. C confirmed that their parent had been incarcerated and they were taking over their tenancy. This information had also been available to the council. We assessed that the council should have calculated the award using the householder rate as the applicant was now liable for the bills within the property. We instructed the council to make an award for the difference between the non-householder and householder rate. We also provided feedback to the council on their recording of decisions, written communication, that they had not followed the timescales set out in the guidance and about their lack of information gathering to support their decision at first tier review.