C asked the council for a crisis grant as they had lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a consequence, they were unable to pay their rent and were made homeless. C had no funds for food.
The council declined the initial application on the basis that C did not have a national insurance number. C requested a first tier review of the decision, however, the council did not change their original decision, and noted that they should not be entitled to the fund on the basis of their immigration status and not being satisfied they had recourse to public funds.
We reviewed the council’s case file and spoke with C's representative, a housing advisor (A). A advised that C had since applied for Universal Credit and was awaiting the outcome. We disagreed with the council’s assessment that a national insurance number is required as the guidance states this is not a part of the eligibility criteria. As an EEA national, C was also not subject to immigration control and their application should have been assessed in the normal way. As such, we changed the council’s decision and awarded C £175. We also provided the council with feedback about their initial decision letter not containing sufficient detail.