C asked for an independent review of the Council's decision on their crisis grant. They had applied due to not having enough income to meet their expenses.
The Council declined the initial application on the basis that C did not meet the low-income criteria set out in the guidance. C requested a first-tier review, but the Council did not change their decision.
We reviewed the Council's case file and spoke with C for further information about their circumstances. C advised that they had a small monthly income generated by an investment. While we recognised that C was reluctant to withdraw these funds and lose the monthly income, we were unable to disregard this as C had access to an alternative source of support as the funds could freely be withdrawn. We changed the rationale for the decision but agreed with the Council’s decision not to make an award on this occasion. We provided feedback to the Council that they had not carried out a low income assessment in line with the guidance. We also noted that they had made comments regarding C’s expenditure which were unnecessary. We reminded them of the importance of focusing on the decision making process, remaining factual and non-judgemental in tone.