Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Scottish Welfare Fund Independent Review

0800 014 7299

Ms C asked for an independent review of the council’s decision.

  • Date:
    December 2019
  • Subject:
    Entitlement to SWF for people from abroad
  • Outcome:
    Upheld

Ms C asked for an independent review of the council’s decision. She had applied for a crisis grant as her benefits had stopped after her refugee status ended. She had made a new application to the Home Office for Indefinite Leave to Remain prior to her previous visa ending but was awaiting an outcome on this.

The council declined the previous application on the basis that they could not establish that she had recourse to public funds. Ms C requested a first tier review of the decision, however the council did not change their original decision.

We reviewed the council’s case file and spoke with Ms C. We also spoke with a law centre and Ms C's solicitor for further information regarding the situation. Ms C's solicitor confirmed that she had applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain within the notice period of her previous visa ending, therefore her rights should remain throughout the application process. Documentation to confirm this was also provided by Ms C’s solicitor. On the basis of this new information, which we did not assess that the council could have reasonably gathered, we assessed that the exclusion relating to those with no recourse to public funds (19 under Annex A) did not apply. We instructed the council to make an award and also provided feedback that their decision letters did not explain their decision in the context of the guidance.

Updated: December 17, 2019