Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Scottish Welfare Fund Independent Review

0800 014 7299

Date: 
June, 2019
Subject: 
Exceptional pressure qualifying criterion
Outcome: 
Not upheld

Ms C applied for a community care grant for household items. She had been granted refugee status in the UK a number of years previously, but had recently sourced her own tenancy. Ms C had started a higher education course but was finding it difficult to study in the family home as she shared a room.

We acknowledged that sharing a room was far from an ideal arrangement and that this was the primary reason for the applicant moving to a new tenancy. However, we considered that Ms C had the option of using study spaces such as the library as an alternative to studying in her bedroom. We determined that the pressure faced by Ms C was mainly financial as there were no physical or mental health issues, or additional factors that increased the pressure she faced. Overall, while recognising that she faced a difficult situation, we did not assess that the application met the qualifying criteria for an award. We recorded a finding relating to the council’s written communication and their lack of a robust decision making template.

Updated: August 13, 2019