How we use your personal information for Housing Benefit purposes
The Council provides services for local communities and the people who live in them. Undertaking this work means that we must collect and use information about the people we provide services to and keep a record of those services. Because we collect and use personal information about individuals we must make sure that they know what we intend to do with their information and who it may be shared with.
We have summarised in this privacy notice some of the key ways in which we use your personal information for Housing Benefit purposes. This information should be read in conjunction with the Council’s corporate privacy notice
1. Who we are, what we do.
As a Council, we administer the Housing Benefit (HB) scheme on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). We hold certain information about you, which we use to collect and recover payments. This includes the need to process your information to contact you, to make HB and Discretionary Housing payments to you and recover any overpaid HB from you. Further information about how we use your personal data is provided below.
2. What and whose personal information we hold?
We hold information about past and present residents who have made applications for HB to the Council.
The types of information we hold and process will typically include:
- Contact details, including name, address, telephone numbers and email address.
- Household and income details.
- Financial information such as evidence of savings and bank accounts etc.
- Employer and salary details
- National Insurance Number and Date of Birth
- Information of your entitlement to HB – period, amount awarded etc.
- Tenancy details – period of your tenancy, your rental agreement etc
3. Where does the service get my information from?
The personal information we collect about you can come from a variety of different sources as listed below
- Information provided directly by you for example on an application form or through correspondence with us.
- Information from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) where they notify us directly of a change in your social security benefit entitlement
- Information from Her Majesties Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for example your level of earnings
- Information generated by us during our dealings with you and when we calculate your entitlement.
- Information from other Council Services such as council tax to ensure awards of HB are accurate
- Information from landlords to help administer your claims
- Information from Employers to validate earnings levels
4. What we will do with your personal information?
We will use this personal information to administer the HB scheme. This may include any of the following:
- Verify the information you have provided on your application
- Assess your claim
- Review your claim
- Send you correspondence
- Send you HB payments
- Recover any overpayment of HB from you
- Identify and detect fraud
5. What is the legal basis for the use of this information?
Data Protection law says that we are allowed to use and share personal information only where we have a proper and lawful reason for doing so.
Our lawful basis for processing this information for the above purpose is:
- To undertake our official statutory duties and to satisfy our legal obligations as the administrating Council for the DWP under the following legislation:
- Social Security Administration Act 1992
6. Does the service share my personal information with any other organisation?
From time to time, we will share your personal information with advisers and service providers so that they can help us carry out our duties, rights and discretions in relation to Housing Benefit. These may include:
Government agencies and organisations such as:
- The Cabinet Office – for the purposes of the National Fraud Initiative
- Her Majesties Court Services – for the purposes of dealing with appeals
- The Department for Work and Pensions – for the purposes of administering HB
Payment processing providers:
- Banking Automated Clearing Service (BACS) – to administer direct debit instructions and payments
Trusted third party suppliers and organisations who provide services on our behalf:
- Printing companies – (currently MPS Ltd) to print, pack and post housing benefit documents.
- Software providers – (currently Capita Software Services Ltd) to maintain our housing benefit systems and Team Netsol supply a product to assist in demanding eligibility to Discretionary Housing Payments.
- Data analysis – (currently Datatank Ltd) – for purposes of reviewing entitlement to discounts and reliefs.
Internal Council Services:
- Where a customer may be experiencing difficulties in paying their rent and apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment, we can share your details with the Council’s Supporting People team who may be able to support you, but only where we have had your consent to do so.
- Such as Landlords, letting agents
7. How long will my information be kept?
We will keep your personal information for 7 years for administration purposes and to deal with any questions or complaints that we may receive about this, unless the law requires us to keep it for a longer period.
8. Your information, your rights
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives you important rights, including the right to access the personal information the services hold about you.
View further details on your information rights and how to exercise them
9. Contact us
If you have any concerns or would like to know more about how the service using your personal information please contact us in one of the following ways:
By email : firstname.lastname@example.org
By telephone : 01443 425002
In writing : Financial Services Division, Ty Bronwydd, Porth, CF39 9DL