Ms C made an application for a community care grant for a number of household items. Ms C explained she had recently had to move as her son has Autism and the previous property was up 16 floors and her son threatened to jump on more than one occasion. Ms C also explained she had to move as she has a 2 year old daughter and the property was overcrowded.
The council considered that Ms C met the eligibility criteria to be awarded a grant and assessed she met the qualifying criteria as set out in the Scottish Welfare Fund Guidance, 'to enable qualifying individuals to maintain a settled home where that individual or another individual in the same household is facing exceptional pressure'. They awarded Ms C a number of household items but refused her application for a hallway carpet, stairway carpet and two wardrobes. Ms C submitted a first tier review request asking for these items to be reviewed, she explained that not having carpeting was a tripping hazard. She also advised that her children's clothing is currently being stored in black bin bags and this is causing major difficulties for her son as he likes order. The council considered the review request but did not change their decision.
Ms C asked us for an independent review of the council’s decision. We considered the particular facts and circumstances of the application. This included information provided by Ms C and details of the decision making process provided by the council. We agreed with the council’s assessment that Ms C met the qualifying criteria for a community care grant. However, we assessed that based on the information Ms C provided the need for carpets in the hallway and stairway met the high priority level in place. Ms C explained that her son was struggling to cope without carpets in these areas and will not walk barefoot. Being without carpeting is impacting on his behaviour and causing him a lot of upset and distress. Additionally, Ms C is concerned that not having carpeting is a trip hazard for her daughter. In regards to the wardrobes Ms C advised her son requires order and sequence and not having somewhere to store his clothing is making it difficult for him to get dressed. For this reason, taking into account s5.5- 5.6 of the guidance, we changed the council's decision and awarded a hallway carpet, a stairway carpet and one wardrobe. We did not award a second wardrobe (for her daughter) as we considered this did not meet the high priority level.