Case study

  • Date:
    November 2018
  • Category:
    Definition of an emergency


Ms C applied for a crisis grant. She applied for money for food and utilities as she had no money after paying her bills and repaying debt to friends and family over the festive period.
The council declined Ms C's application as they could not account for where her last income had been spent. They upheld this decision following the applicant’s first tier review.
Ms C requested an independent review of the council's decision on her crisis grant application. We reviewed the council's file and spoke with Ms C who provided bank statements for her current and savings accounts, along with her partner's account. We found that on the day of her application, the family had no funds available to them and therefore was facing an emergency (s7.26 of the guidance) She explained that she had used her last income to pay bills and to repay people money that she owed them, which she had done in cash. As we considered that Ms C and her family were eligible for an award, were in a crisis situation and met the priority level in place, we instructed the council to award her £300. We assessed that the council had misinterpreted the available information, and provided feedback that the council’s decision letters contained insufficient information to explain the decision.

Updated: July 17, 2019