Privacy Notice - Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

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 Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support.

How will we use the information we hold about you?

We will collect information about you for:

  • The assessment of your entitlement to benefits and Council Tax support
  • The award or payment of any entitlement;
  • 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:

Our legal obligation under the following legislation:

  • Social Security Contribution & Benefits Act 1992
  • Housing Benefits Regulations 2006
  • Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) Regulations 2006
  • Welfare Reform Act 2011
  • Local Government Finance Act 2012
  • Council Tax Support Reduction Scheme
  • Localism Act 2011
  • The prevention / detection of crime, including false representation in accordance with the Fraud Act.

If you are a tenant of a Private Landlord and you wish to permit the Council to discuss your benefit claim directly with them, we will need your consent to do so.  You do not have to agree to this and it is not a condition of your benefit claim.

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:

  • Keeping the electoral register up to date;
  • Licensing private rented properties;
  • Recovery of funds owed to the Council
  • Internal audit procedures
  • Other services areas within the Council where the law allows or requires it, or to improve the service you receive, for example; with our Council Tax team, or our Housing Management Team to enhance the management of your tenancy

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.  Benefit 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: