SGO Payments Stopped

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Dollyhead
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:48 pm

SGO Payments Stopped

Post by Dollyhead » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:29 pm

Hello,
I'm new to this site and wondered if anybody else has been in the same situation as me?
I have an SGO order for my niece, i was single when she came to live with me and when the order went through the courts so the court order only has my name on it.
I have recently married and had a yearly SGO financial review, i have declared my husband on the review and sent in his payslips,the outcome of the review is basically we earn too muc for financial support.
I disagree with the outcome & have challenged this but not getting very far, i don't agree that my husbands wages should be taken into account as i am the carer for my niece and it is my name on the court order, obviously i agree that they have to account for him contributing to the household but as for anything for my niece i pay for as she is my responsibility not his.
Has anybody else had a simular situation that could offer any advice on what i can do?
Many Thanks

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

Re: SGO Payments Stopped

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu May 09, 2019 1:57 pm

Dear Dollyhead

Welcome to the Family and Friends Carers’ discussion board and thank you for posting. I am very sorry that we have not responded to you before now.

Congratulations on your recent wedding. However, I am sorry to hear that as a result of this, the result of your recent SGO allowance review has been that, having taken your husband’s income into account the local authority has advised that this has put you above the threshold for financial support in the form of a SGO allowance.

I understand your argument that you are your niece’s Special Guardian not your husband. However when completing a means-test children’s services consider the household circumstances rather than your individual circumstances. They are required to consider changes of circumstances such as a marriage and how your husband joining your household affects the household income. Therefore, it may be that the local authority are right in what they say.

You are right to seek clarification though and to raise any concerns that you have.

Have you asked for a copy of their policy on means-testing and reviewing SGO allowances? They may be using the Department for Education’s Standardised Means Test Model for Adoption and Special Guardianship Financial Support or they may have their own written policy. The language used in the model document is about family or household indicating that your husband’s income must be included as part of the means-testing.

Either way it is a good idea for you to know how they have worked out the re-assessment and for you to have a copy of the policy or model used.

As you have already begun to challenge the local authority’s decision you may find this advice sheet on challenging decisions and making complaints helpful. Also if you or your niece have additional needs that children’s services have not considered or will face extra difficulties as a result of their decision you should ensure that they are aware of this and consider how they can respond.

Perhaps other special guardians who have faced similar difficulties could let you know what happened in their case?

With best wishes

Suzie

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