C requested an independent review of the council's decision on their community care grant application. C applied for a number of household items and removal costs as they were moving to a new tenancy.
The council declined the application on the basis that they did not consider C's circumstances matched any of the qualifying conditions for a grant as they had been on the waiting list for some time and chosen to move tenancy. C requested a first tier review but they did not change their decision.
We reviewed the council's file and spoke with C, their social worker and their health visitor. The health visitor informed us of health issues facing C's children. C’s social worker advised us that C was at risk remaining in an address known to their ex-partner as they had been a victim of domestic abuse. We considered that these factors represented exceptional pressure and that C qualified for a grant. We awarded the items that met high priority, including removal costs, and instructed the council to make an award. We provided the council with feedback on their inquisitorial process, as the applicant stated that they had experienced domestic violence in their application to the council. We also gave feedback that the guidance does not state that a move cannot be planned.