Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Scottish Welfare Fund Independent Review

0800 014 7299

Mr C asked for an independent review of the council’s decision about his community care grant.

  • Date:
    May 2020
  • Subject:
    Administration of applications
  • Outcome:
    Not upheld

Mr C asked for an independent review of the council’s decision about his community care grant. He had applied for living expenses in addition to funds for winter clothing and to have repairs carried out to his windows. He was living in privately rented accommodation and said that he could not afford these items.

The council assessed that the application for clothing was excluded, as this was an ongoing expense as detailed in Annex A. In regards to the window repairs, the council did not consider that the applicant met any of the qualifying conditions for a grant. Mr C requested a first tier review of the decision in relation to the items not awarded, however, the council did not change their original decision.

We reviewed the council’s case file and spoke with Mr C for further information. We agreed with the council’s assessment that winter clothing was excluded as an ongoing expense that everyone, regardless of their income, has to budget for. We also agreed that Mr C did not met any of the qualifying conditions for a grant in regards to his request for window repairs. We noted that Mr C was on a low income and struggling to budget but had no other vulnerabilities or pressures that could be considered exceptional. We did not change the council’s decision but provided feedback to them about the recording of this application, as we noted that this applicant was applying for both a crisis and community care grant, and that they were not treated as separate applications in line with section 5.1 of the guidance.

Updated: May 20, 2020