"Family in Context of Community Care Grants"
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Welfare Benefits Officer, Gallions Housing Association, Thamesmead SE London Member since 22nd Jan 2004
Family in Context of Community Care Grants Tue 30-Aug-05 11:26 AM
Does anyone have a copy of R v Social Fund Inspector and Secretary of State for Social Security ex p Healey, Smith and Stitt (No 2) reported in The Times April 22 1991 (Divisional Court)
I have a case where a young person has had to leave the family home because her brothers psychiatric disorder makes it dangerous for her to stay.
Her mother is left behind with her brother, and I am trying to argue that "family" in the context of the Social Fund can be interpreted widely enough to cover both households in this case, and that a payment would ease exceptional pressure on both mother and daughter.
Welfare Benefits Adviser, DACE Carlisle Member since 01st Aug 2005
RE: Family in Context of Community Care Grants Tue 30-Aug-05 03:51 PM
There's a bit in there that says:
"and his family"
The view that, in order to qualify under Direction 4(a)(iii), the applicant must have a family, and the award must ease exceptional pressures on both him and them, is the long-standing position of the IRS. In the Healey Judicial Review, the judge explicitly confirmed this interpretation.
Where the applicant and his family live in the same household or where there is a caring relationship between them, any easing of pressure on one member of the family will almost always lead to an easing of pressure on the other members of the family.
Example Ms K is 19 and lives with her father and two teenage brothers in a two bedroom house. She is pregnant and has begun to outgrow her clothes. She applies for a grant for maternity clothes.
Direction 4(a)(iii) is met. As a result of her pregnancy and the overcrowding in the house, both she and her family are under exceptional pressures. Although an award for clothing for her would not directly ease the pressures on her family, it would do so indirectly because they all live in the same house.
However where the applicant and his family are barely in contact with each other, it is possible that an award might ease pressures on him without easing the pressures on them at all.
The Secretary of State’s guidance (para 2790) addresses the breakdown of relationships:
"A CCG may be awarded to help an applicant move to different accommodation where the applicant was formerly part of a couple with or without children and where the relationship has recently ended. In these circumstances, remember any award must ease the pressures on both the applicant and his family".
In the case of a couple without children, where the relationship has broken down, the Inspector must be satisfied that the applicant and his former partner can be reasonably regarded as "family", and that an award will ease exceptional pressures on both parties. "
I think this supports your client. You would need to show that both the young woman and her family would benefit from her establishing separate accommodation.