(this isn't about SGO as such but some of it is relevant I think to applying for both SGO and RO allowance)
youngagain, residence allowance is means tested. We were assessed as "nil" entitlement and told to apply again when my husband retired. He retired 18 months ago and we haven't bothered because we know we still wouldn't qualify - savings would disqualify us. Yet our house is decrepit and could more than eat up our savings, which we never had until my husband retired anyway: he received a lump sum then, having worked in his job for 35 yrs. We don't have the energy to get all this essential work done now, because I'm ill and my husband is as busy in retirement as he ever was, due to the limitations placed by my illness, and us having our granddaughter! And anyway, if we spent the savings on this work, we wouldn't have it to bring up our g/d, given we don't any help from the LA. I'm sure many of us must sometimes weigh things up and think we should put ourselves into poverty in order to get help from the LA, but reason says that's the road to ruin.
As regards means testing, I listed everything I could think of when we applied for RO allowance to no avail. I believe that the assessment treated us, income-wise, as if we were just any young couple choosing to start a family. It wasn't taken into consideration that we were about to retire and our income would plummet. I think this kind of attitude is at the very heart of the difficulties kinship carers have getting financial support: so many of us are treated as if we are just like any young person or young couple having children, and our position is totally different.
When our complaint went to Stage 2 I updated the financial info and included that we were having to support our son and his then-partner because our son was off work for a year with a disabling injury and only on statutory sick pay, and his then-partner was ill and on incapacity benefit. The LA rep said she didn't see this as something they should concern themselves with, or words to that effect. This came at the end of a long meeting focussing mainly on our g/d's nursery fees, and we didn't have it in us by then to fight the case for our son's needs being taken into account, but the fact is he was on his uppers and he is our SON. The LA didn't give a hang that we had a son who was here long before we had our g/d to bring up and that, through no fault of his own, he was in one hell of a mess, having been in employment from age 16 and finding when he really needed support there wasn't any, except his parents buying his food and paying his bills.
When we finally got the backdated nursery fees, two-thirds went on paying off our son's debts. He never asked for it but they would have been a millstone around his neck for many years to come, and he is a real hard worker who doesn't earn much.
Sorry to wander off topic, but I feel very strongly that other family members should be taken into account and there should be flexibility in these assessments to allow for these kinds of situations. It's natural for parents to want to help out their adult children if they're in genuine difficulty (ie the ones who work hard, not those who live off the state and leave us to bring up their children) I really wished I'd had the energy and the presence of mind to stand up to this LA rep about our son, and point out that whatever we did to help him DID have an impact on our capacity to provide for our g/d's needs. Not that she would have cared [:(]