Benefits Service

  1. Summary

    This privacy notice explains what personal information is collected, what it is used for and who it is provided to. The notice also describes why we require your data, and the legal basis on which we do this.

    This privacy notice relates to our Benefits Service, and provides additional information that specifically relates to this particular service, including the use of an SMS messaging service, and should be read together with our general privacy notice, which provides more detail.

  2. What personal information does this service use?

    We use personal information, such as:

    • name
    • address
    • telephone number
    • email
    • date of birth
    • family information
    • National Insurance number.

    We also use the following special category personal information:

    • race
    • health
    • financial information.

    We also use information about criminal convictions and offences as we need to know if the claimant has been found guilty of fraud, or admitted fraud after a caution, or agreed to pay an administrative penalty when working out the maximum weekly deductions from Housing Benefit because of an overpayment

  3. What is your personal information used for?

    We use your personal data for the following reasons:

    • working out and awarding your Benefit and Council Tax Support;
    • keeping the electoral roll right;
    • to meet our obligations under housing legislation, for example the licensing private rented properties;
    • undertaking checks where a child is missing education;
    • collecting debts owed to us;
    • for crime prevention or detection of fraud, including the use of data-matching initiatives designed to protect public funds;
    • to ensure safe systems of work for staff visiting / meeting with customers in their homes / at the Customer Services Centre;
    • to monitor our performance and prepare statistics
    • for consultation purposes, in connection with the administration of Council Tax and Benefits (as required under Schedule 1A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.)

    We will use your personal data in accordance with law enforcement purposes, as set out in Part 3 of the Data Protection Act 2018 ('the 2018 Act'). 

    The term ‘law enforcement purposes’ relates to the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences, or the execution of criminal penalties (including the safeguarding against, and the prevention of, threats to public security.)

    We may need to process sensitive personal data for law enforcement purposes, where it relates to a pressing social need, which cannot reasonably be achieved through less intrusive means. Such processing will only take place if either one of the law enforcement purposes set out in the 2018 Act is satisfied, or you have given your consent.

  4. What is the lawful basis we are relying on?

    We collect and use this information to ensure we can undertake our public duties in the administration of benefits. If you do not provide the requested information we will be unable to assess your entitlement to benefits.

  5. Where has your personal information come from?

    The majority of personal information will be provided by you. We sometimes receive information from other organisations such as Government bodies like the DWP, landlords and their managing agents.

  6. Who will we share your personal information with?

    Your personal data is shared securely where it is both necessary and appropriate to do so. We share your personal data with the following:

    • customers;
    • family, associates or representatives of the person whose personal data we are processing;
    • healthcare, social and welfare organisations;
    • debt collection and tracing agencies;
    • ombudsman and regulatory authorities;
    • courts and tribunals;
    • housing associations and landlords;
    • voluntary and charitable organisations;
    • data processors;
    • regulatory bodies;
    • local and central government;
    • law enforcement and prosecuting authorities.

  7. How long will we keep your information?

    Our retention schedule sets out how long we keep personal information for.

  8. Your personal information and your rights

    You can find out more about your rights regarding the personal information used for this service. Your rights apply to the information held by the Council as a data controller, and the information we hold on behalf of the other data controllers.

  9. Updates

    We may change this privacy notice from time to time. Tell us if you want to know when we change this notice, or any related documents.

    If you have any questions or concerns about how we use your personal information, please contact the Council’s Data Protection Officer.

    You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office if you're unhappy about how we process your information.

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