Privacy Notice - Discretionary Housing Payment

Why we collect information about you

We collect and hold information about you, and those in your household to assess and administer the award of Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) and to determine whether or not you need further financial assistance with your housing costs.

How will we use the information we hold about you?

We collect information you provide, along with other information gathered for the purposes of:

  • The assessment of your entitlement to Discretionary Housing Payment
  • The award or payment of any entitlement;
  • To refer you to our Budget Support Team or Housing Options Team if necessary;
  • Where the processing is necessary to comply with legal obligations, for example the prevention or detection of crime including fraud;
  • The protection of public funds.

What is the basis for us to process your data?

The basis for processing the data is:

The council carries out the administration of DHPs as a task carried out in the public interest under the following legislation:

  • Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000
  • Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations 2001
  • The prevention / detection of crime, including false representation in accordance with the Fraud Act
  • Council Tax Benefit Abolition (Consequential Provision) Regulations 2013 and
  • Universal Credit (Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2013.

Who we will share your information with

We will only share information with other organisations where it is necessary, either to comply with a legal obligation, or where permitted under Data Protection legislation, for example there is a public interest to do so such as the prevention and / or detection of crime. This could include the need to disclose sensitive or confidential information such as medical details to other organisations.

We may share information that is given to us with other organisations that inspect or handle public funds to prevent and detect fraud including:

  • Department for Works and Pensions
  • HM Revenues and Customs
  • National Audit Office
  • Cabinet Office
  • The Police
  • Registered Social Landlords
  • Other Local Authorities

The Cabinet Office is responsible for the National Fraud Initiative which carries out data matching exercises. Data matching is comparing computer records held by one organisation with other computer records held by the same organisation or a different one. This is usually personal information.

Computerised data matching allows us to identify claims and payments that may be fraudulent. A match means that there is an inconsistency between the sets of records that need investigating.

Other ways we may use your details

We may also use our customer details within the Council for:

  • Internal audit procedures
  • Ensure your Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support entitlements are correct
  • Other services areas within the Council where the law allows or requires it, or to improve the service you receive

We may share your information with enforcement agents and / or debt management organisations engaged by us and the courts in relation to outstanding money owed.  It may also be necessary to share your information with credit reference agencies to help prevent and detect fraud and to confirm who is resident at an address.

The Council may utilise the services of Experian to help determine the best course of recovery action.  For further information regarding Experian’s Privacy Policy, please visit their website: Experian

How long do we keep your records?

We will only keep your information for the minimum period necessary.  DHP applications and associated documents are kept for no longer than 7 years. All information will be held securely and will be securely destroyed when it is no longer required.

For further information:

For details regarding your rights under Data Protection law or how to make a complaint if you think we have mishandled your personal information, please visit www.kettering.gov.uk/privacy