Complaints about Financial Support. An Analysis of Complaints Pursuant to the Social Services Act Chapter 5 Dealt with by the Offices of the County Governors from 1995 to 2005
Summary of Report of the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision 6/2007
The Group for Inclusive Welfare at Oslo University College carried out an analysis of the material that the Offices of the County Governors have reported annually to the central authorities, about complaints pursuant to the Social Services Act. The report deals with complaints pursuant to Chapter 5 in the Act, which are cases about financial support. Each year, there are about 500 of these cases, which represent about three quarters of the total number of complaints pursuant to the Social Services Act. Most of these cases are about financial support provided by the municipalities to enable people to support themselves. The municipalities have a wide margin of freedom when providing this type of financial support, on the condition that the support is at an appropriate level. In 2001 official guidelines for determining the level of financial support to enable people to support themselves were published.
This report contains an analysis of the way complaints about financial support are dealt with by the Offices of the County Governors. The material covers the period 1995-2005, so provides a picture of the situation both before and after the official guidelines were available. The material has been evaluated in the light of the role of the Offices of the County Governors as a body that has the role of ensuring legal safeguards. It contains an analysis of the number of cases dealt with, the result, the reasons for the result, and the length of time taken to deal with the complaint. The material from the different Offices of the County Governors is compared, and the number of complaints is seen in relation to the number of clients who receive financial report.
Since the decision taken about a complaint has great importance for the legal safeguards of individuals and their life situation, the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision wishes to ensure that complaints are dealt with in a way that is appropriate and fair. This report provides knowledge about the way in which complaints are dealt with, and is of interest for people who work specifically with tasks related to the Social Services Act, and for the relevant organizations. It is also of interest for other people who work with the issue of legal safeguards.