SGO financial assessement.

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Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:09 pm

SGO financial assessement.

Post by kazztiny » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:19 pm

We really need some help. We have custody of our 5 year old granddaughter, we have had her for over 2 years with no financial help whatsoever (our solicitor is sorting this out) but they are assessing us for an SGO for little one and although everything I have read and people I have spoken to Children's Services have contradicted this. The LA in question (No names on here) have said that although we are on income support our granddaughters child benefit is counted "its their policy" but we have been told by many that child benefit isn't counted if you are receiving income support. Can someone please tell us who is right, because we have been let down from day one by the LA involved and don't believe that this decision is different for different LA's in the country.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 777
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: SGO financial assessement.

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:52 am

Dear Kazztiny,

Welcome to the Friends and family board.

I can see that you have custody of your 5 year old granddaughter. You are in the process of applying for a special guardianship order to secure her with you. Children’s Services are currently assessing you for support for when you become a special guardian.

You have not received support from children services during the last 2 years. This must have made things much more difficult at a time when I imagine things were very tricky anyway.

Your question is: As you are in receipt of income support, should child benefit be counted in and then deducted from any support you might receive?
The answer is no. Your local authority’s policy is incorrect.

As you are in receipt of income support, government guidance states that child benefit should not be deducted from any special guardianship allowance you receive.
This was upheld by Local Government Ombudsman against Liverpool City Council. See complaint no. 12 006 209.

Here is a letter (letter 1) you could use to challenge your local authority.

If they still maintain they are correct take it through children’s services complaints. See our advice sheet about complaints-link below.

You do not say what the current legal position is in respect of your granddaughter. Do you have;
• a child arrangements order for her?
• Or is she accommodated with you (placed with you by children services?)
• Or did she come to you by a private arrangement between you and her parents–with no children services (or police) involvement?

You might find the following advice sheets helpful:
• 21a –Support form children services for friend and family carers.
• 21 b- Support for friends and family carer’s benefits that might be available.
• 19- DIY special guardianship orders. (see page 39 onwards about support).

If you need further advice from us, please do not hesitate to post again or call our free and confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,

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