Mr C requested applied for a community care grant for a number of items after securing his own tenancy following a period of homeless.
The council declined Mr C’s application as, after speaking with him, they noted that he borrowed money to buy the items he had requested from the fund and was looking for the monies to be refunded. The council assessed that Mr C was applying for an excluded item as debts are listed in Annex A. Mr C submitted a review request, in which he stated that the council had not kept to their timescales for issuing a decision. He therefore said that he had to purchase the items as he would have been unable to accept the tenancy without them. The council considered this information but did not change their decision.
Mr C requested an independent review of his community care grant application. We received the councils file and spoke with Mr C. We noted that despite the fact that the council were late issuing their decision, he purchased the household items four days after making his application to the fund. Council’s normally have 15 days to consider community care grant applications (section 8.42 SWF guidance), after they have the information they need to make the decision. We therefore did not consider that four days was sufficient time to allow them to consider his application. We also noted Mr C worked full time and his earnings meant that he was not on a low income as defined by the guidance. We did not change the council’s decision, but provided feedback to them about their decision letters and also the fact they missed their timescale.