Case study

  • Date:
    October 2018
  • Category:
    Ongoing feature of expenditure


Ms C applied for a crisis grant for food and living expenses. She had working in temporary employment in the run up to Christmas. Her last wage was received in the first week of January had reduced her February Universal Credit (UC) income to £16.83.

The council noted that the applicant had initially complained of a delay in her UC, not that she had received wages. They also noted that an award made a month previously had been based on the same premise, and that the applicant had failed to mention her January wages. The initial decision appeared to assess the applicant to be excluded due to her situation being ongoing. The first tier decision maker did not change the original decision and stated that it was the applicant’s responsibility for managing her budget, and that she should have ensured that the January wages lasted.

Miss C applied for an independent review. We noted that the SWF guidance (s7.26) states that “how the emergency came about is not relevant, even if the applicant might be judged to have caused it or to have been able to avoid it.” We considered that possibility that the decision was influenced by the perception that the applicant’s previous application had not disclosed her wages. However, we did not consider that to be relevant to this application. We also did not consider that she was applying due to an on-going feature of expenditure (Annex A, point 15) as the reasons behind the crisis were different. We changed the council’s decision as we did not consider it was supported by the guidance.

Updated: July 17, 2019