C asked for an independent review of the council's decision on their application for a community care grant. C had applied for a new fridge freezer after their old appliance had broken down.
The council refused the application at initial decision as they deemed that the request for a fridge freezer was considered an ongoing feature of expenditure. In response to the first tier review request, they declined the application for a different reason as they assessed that the application did not meet the qualifying criteria for an award.
We received the council's file and tried to make contact with the applicant but were unable to reach them. We therefore proceeded to reach a decision on the basis of the information we held. Although we noted C had some long standing health conditions, we took into account that C had been in their home for nearly 35 years. We acknowledged that being without this item would cause difficulties for C. However, the information provided about C's health conditions did not lead us to believe that they were experiencing exceptional pressure to maintain their home; or that not receiving the item would put them at risk of not being able to do so. On this basis, we did not change the council's decision but provided them with feedback as we disagreed that the need to replace a fridge freezer could be considered an ongoing feature of expenditure.