C requested an independent review of the council's decision about their crisis grant application. C applied for money for food after stating that their money had been stolen during a serious assault. The council initially made an award then rescinded this on the basis that they could not verify that C had reported the assault to the police. At first tier review, the council did not change their decision as the applicant did not report the same version of events to the police as they did to the council.
We reviewed the council's file and spoke with C. C confirmed the nature of the assault and their reason for not reporting this to the police which matched with what they had told the council. The council notes confirmed that C had reported their money and bank card stolen but did not report the assault.
We assessed that the assault not being reported was irrelevant to the reason for C being in crisis as this was clearly because their money and bank card were stolen. We also took into account the severity and nature of the assault, and that C was still coming to terms with this and did not yet feel able to report this to the police. We made an on-balance assessment as per section 4.21 of the guidance as there was no inconsistencies in C’s version of events and we had no reason to doubt what they said had happened.
We changed the council's decision and instructed them to make an award to C. We provided feedback that the council had incorrectly interpreted the information available to them. We also provided feedback to the council about their written communications, that they had not followed the guidance and that they had incorrectly calculated the award at initial decision.