Mr C applied for a community care grant after moving home. He therefore required a number of items for his new tenancy.
The Council considered that he met the eligibility criteria and qualifying criteria and awarded the items that they assessed met their priority level. Mr C applied for a first tier review for the items he was refused. The new decision maker changed their original decision and awarded Mr C a further item. It was unclear from the council’s letter and notes what qualifying criteria they assessed Mr C met.
Mr C asked SPSO for an Independent Review of the council’s decision. We considered the particular facts and circumstances of the application. This included information provided by Mr C and details of the decision making process provided by the council. We considered that Mr C did not meet the qualifying criteria as he had been in his current property for some time and had chosen to relocate to a different area. We also noted that Mr C had on-going support from his family. We recognised that he was on a low income and this makes it difficult for him to budget and buy items for his property. However, overall we did not consider Mr C was facing ‘exceptional pressure’ to establish or maintain a settled home (covered in 8.14-8.15 of the guidance). We did not change the council’s decision as we will never reduce or take away an award. However, we provided feedback that we disagreed that Mr C met the qualifying criteria and that their decision letters did not contain sufficient information.