Ms C, a single parent with a young dependent, applied for a crisis grant having lost her purse while shopping. The applicant was in receipt of monthly universal credit (UC) and lost £200.00. She had no food gas or electricity until her next payment in nine days.
The council refused the application on the basis of a previous award having been made due to lost money 10 months ago. They noted that on that occasion advice had been given about preventing losing money, namely that the applicant did not withdraw her benefits income in cash, but this advice was not followed. This decision was upheld at the first tier review.
We noted that the applicant had received two awards in the current rolling 12 month period, one of which was for lost money. Having considered the facts of the application and the SWF Guidance we did not consider this previous award made the applicant ineligible for another. While recognising that carrying large amounts cash is not advisable, the applicant had bank charges, overdraft and direct debit issues that made this her only option. We did not find inconsistencies or reasons to doubt the applicant’s version of events. Having assessed that she met the criteria we instructed the council to award £148.97, which the council rounded up to £150.00. We recorded one finding relating to 'guidance not followed correctly'.