Mr C applied for a crisis grant for food and living expenses. He said that he was under severe financial pressure as a result of his Universal Credit payment being affected by short term employment.
The council requested Mr C’s previous two bank statements. Although some statements were provided, the balance up until the date of the application were not shown. They did not change their decision following Mr C’s first tier review request.
Mr C contacted us for an independent review of the council’s decision. We considered the facts and circumstances of the case and spoke with Mr C for further information. While we noted that councils can seek additional information as part of their assessment, where they are unable to gather this they should still make an assessment using the available information. On this basis, we directed the council to reconsider their decision in line with our powers under Section 8 of the Welfare Funds Act.