Mr C applied for a crisis grant. He had received a benefit payment but had used the majority of this payment giving money to his mother and buying clothes. He explained that his father had recently died and he had assisted his mother with household bills and funeral costs. The clothing he purchased was to allow him to attend his father's funeral.
The council declined Mr C’s application as did not deem he was in a crisis situation as he had chosen to give money to his mum so his crisis situation was not unexpected. At first tier review, Mr C provided further information about his personal circumstances. The council did not change their decision and noted that they did not consider his situation was an emergency.
Mr C requested an independent review from SPSO. We received the file from the council and spoke with Mr C to get further information. We deemed that Mr C was in a crisis as he was facing a circumstance of pressing need with no funds for his immediate living costs (s7.26 of the guidance). We changed the council’s decision on the basis that they had incorrectly interpreted the available information, and instructed them to award Mr C £43.86. We provided feedback about the council’s decision letters not detailing what had been applied for, failing to provide the reason for refusal and that it had also contained spelling errors.