Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Scottish Welfare Fund Independent Review

0800 014 7299

Date: 
July, 2019
Subject: 
Inconsistencies/ Reason to doubt
Outcome: 
Upheld

Miss C applied for a crisis grant for food and living expenses. She advised that her only income was Child Benefit as she had made a new claim for Universal Credit after a relationship breakdown and was waiting on this claim being paid.

The council declined the application as they noted that her ex-partner had received a crisis grant seven days prior to this application and this award payment was for the family. Miss C’s support worker submitted a first tier review advising that her partner had left her and had withdrawn the crisis grant amount from her bank account therefore she did not have access to these funds. The council considered the review request but did not change the decision. They took into account that her support worker advised that Ms C had recently turned up to an appointment with her ex-partner.

Ms C asked for an independent review of the application. We spoke with Ms C for further information. She reiterated that she had not had access to the crisis grant awarded to her ex-partner and that he had left her. She also explained her partner had turned up at the appointment without her knowledge in order to see their children. We changed the council’s decision and assessed that, on balance, the information provided by the applicant was true. We provided feedback to the council as we considered that they had not allowed the applicant the opportunity to address the conflicting information.

Updated: August 13, 2019