Mr C, a solicitor, applied for a community care grant on behalf of his client, Mr A, who had recently been allocated an unfurnished tenancy.
The council initially refused the application as they stated that none of the qualifying criteria had been met. Mr C requested a first tier review, explaining that Mr A had experienced a relationship breakdown and had a shared custody arrangement for his children. The council attempted to gather further information about the situation, but were unable to contact Mr A, who missed two face-to-face appointments with the council. The first tier review was refused on the basis of this lack of contact.
Mr C asked us for an independent review of the council’s decision. We considered the facts and circumstances of the case and gathered some additional information by speaking with Mr A. We disagreed with the council’s reasons for refusal as noted that in cases where additional information has been sought and not provided, an on balance assessment should be made based on the available information. We changed the council’s decision on the basis of the ‘new information’ provided and provided feedback about the quality of their decision letters.