This page includes a list of example questions you may want to ask clients when assessing their financial eligibility for advice and assistance, and relevant information you should see. It includes questions to ask child applicants; married or cohabiting applicants; and applicants with more than one dwelling house. It also covers the issue of deprivation of resources, and what to do if the client is unable to answer these questions at a first meeting.
How old is the child? If the child is under 12 and applying themselves, non-qualified staff should refer to you to decide if the child is able to give you instructions.
Has your client disposed of any resources, or converted any part of those resources into a different form of resource? Non-qualified staff should refer to you for a decision on whether these resources should be taken into account.
If your client is married or living with a partner as if married, including same sex couples, the resources of the couple must be aggregated unless:
It must be shown that the partner is seeking a different outcome from your client if resources are to be disregarded. This is not the same as where a partner may have a different interest in the proceedings, for example, where the partner may be called upon to give evidence that is detrimental to themselves or your client’s case but still seeks the same outcome.
The regulation also allows that where your client and partner are no longer living together and have separated then aggregation need not apply. In considering this, it must be shown that not only is there a physical separation but also that the relationship is at an end.
Some periods of physical separation take place without ending a relationship. For example:
The principal factors that we will take into account in deciding if the parties live together and do so as if spouses, cohabitees or civil partners are:
Does your client have an interest in a dwelling house other than the main one in which they live?
If so, how much money could they get by borrowing money on the security of the second house? Non-qualified staff should refer to you to decide how much capital to include in the assessment.
Your client may not be able to answer all these questions at the first meeting. They should be asked to send in any appropriate documents to you, to help you confirm their position. Advice and assistance cannot be granted until you are satisfied your client is eligible.