A-Z of Services

Benefits and Welfare Scheme Privacy Notices

The following privacy notice  is designed to explain how we collect, process hold and share your personal data for the purposes of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction.

The categories of this information that we collect, process, hold and share include:

  • personal information (such as name, addresses, dates of birth, national insurance numbers for you and certain persons in your household);
  • personal circumstances (such as relationships with others in the household, disabilities, certain medical details, whether you or any members of your household are a carer or being cared for, whether you or any members of your household are students, or persons from abroad)
  • financial information (such as all income and capital details, whether you receive any maintenance, grants, loans or benefits)
  • housing details (such as the type of accommodation you live in, rent paid, landlord details and whether your rent is up to date); and
  • contact details (such as telephone numbers, email addresses to be able to contact you in relation to your claim)

Why we collect and use this information

We use your data and that of the people who live with you to:

  • administer, assess and pay Housing Benefit;
  • administer, assess and award Council Tax Reduction;
  • prevent fraud and abuse of public funds;
  • prevent tax avoidance and tax evasion;
  • enable us to carry out all of our legal duties in relation to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction;
  • derive statistics to inform both local and central government on welfare benefits paid;
  • enable us to carry out specific functions for which we are responsible including ensuring that you receive other council services to which you are entitled; and
  • assess performance and to set targets for the Council

Your personal information will be treated as confidential but it may be shared with other Council services in order to ensure our records are accurate and up-to-date, and to improve the standard of the services we deliver. We will only use your information in ways which are permitted by the General Data Protection Regulation and the current UK Data Protection law.

This Council has a duty to protect the public funds it administers, and may use information held about you for all lawful purposes, including but not limited to the prevention and detection of crime including fraud and money laundering and the matching of Council Tax and Benefits data with other internal and external Government departments including the Department for Work and Pensions and Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs.

The Council may also use your information for the purpose of performing any of its statutory enforcement duties. It will make any disclosures required by law and may also share your information with other bodies responsible for detecting/preventing crime including fraud or auditing/administering public funds.

The lawful basis on which we use this information

We collect and use this information under:

  • The Social Security Administration Act 1992 and subsequent primary legislation;
  • The Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 (as amended);
  • The Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for State Pension Credit) Regulations 2006 (as amended);
  • The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements) (England) Regulations 2012 (as amended); and
  • Where there is a public interest to do so.

Collecting this information

The majority of information you provide to us is mandatory and is essential to carry out the Council’s legal duties. If we require additional information on a voluntary basis, we will inform you whether you are required to provide certain information to us or if you have a choice in this.

If you live in a Community Housing Group (CHG) property, you will have the option to provide Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction information to the Council via CHG. If you choose to do this, then CHG are bound by the same data protection principles as the Council.

Storing this information

Your data will be securely held electronically and will not be stored in a country outside the UK. All paper records containing your personal information will be held securely in our filing systems.

We make sure we do not keep your details for any longer than is necessary and when we no longer have a need to keep your details, we will delete or destroy your details securely. For further information on our policy for retaining personal information, you can request to see our data retention guidelines.

Who we share this information with

Routine sharing of information

We routinely share the information provided with:

  • The Department for Work and Pensions;
  • Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs;
  • Other local authorities to ensure correct assessment of any entitlement, prevention of fraud or the recovery of amounts outstanding;

This is required for the day to day administration of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction as well as the protection of public funds, fraud detection and prevention. The Council must provide the information to the above organisations if requested to do so.

Specific sharing of information

Council Tax

We hold information about household composition, income and capital details. This is essential to process Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction (which is essentially a Council Tax discount). We will share information on a case by case basis to:

  • Ensure details given are consistent with Council Tax records enabling the correct assessment of the tax under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended) and the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (as amended);
  • Enable recovery of outstanding Council Tax where necessary under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended) and the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (as amended); and
  • Prevent fraud and error under the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Detection of Fraud and Enforcement) Regulations 2013.

Other Council Departments

Where other departments of the Council have a legal right to data we hold, information shall be provided which is relevant to their legal powers.

Department for Work and Pensions

Where Housing Benefit has been overpaid or where Council Tax is to be recovered, the Council will share relevant data with the Department for Work and Pensions to enable recovery from benefits in accordance with the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 (as amended), The Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for State Pension Credit) Regulations 2006 (as amended) and the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement Regulations 1992 (as amended).

Recovery of outstanding debts

Where there is outstanding Housing Benefit overpayments or Council Tax, the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 (as amended),the Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for State Pension Credit) Regulations 2006 (as amended) and the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement Regulations 1992 (as amended) allow the Council to take recovery action by:

  • Taking action through the County Court or Magistrates Court;
  • Requesting employers to make deductions from wages; and
  • Instructing enforcement agents.

Where the legislation allows, and on a case by case basis, information will be passed to these third parties. The information shall be limited to the data necessary to recover any outstanding amounts only.

National Fraud Initiative

The Council is required under Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 to participate in the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) data matching exercise that matches electronic data within and between public and private sector bodies to prevent and detect fraud. Council Tax data will be provided to the Cabinet Office for NFI and will be used for cross-system and cross-authority comparison with other relevant organisations’ data for the prevention and detection of fraud.  It does not require the consent of the individuals.

Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a Code of Practice.

View further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, please click here.

Why we share this information

  • This data sharing underpins the administration of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction.
  • We do not share information without consent unless the law and our policies allow us to do so.
  • We will not disclose your personal information to third parties for marketing purposes.

Requesting access to your personal data

Under data protection legislation, all persons subject to a Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction application  have the right to request access to information about them that we hold. To make a request for your personal information, contact the Data Protection Officer, Wyre Forest District Council, Wyre Forest House, Fine Point Way, Kidderminster, Worcestershire DY11 7WF. Email dataprotection@wyreforestdc.gov.uk 

You also have the right to:

  • object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause, or is causing, damage or distress
  • prevent processing for the purpose of direct marketing
  • object to decisions being taken by automated means
  • in certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed; and
  • claim compensation for damages caused by a breach of the Data Protection regulations

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, we request that you raise your concern with us in the first instance. Alternatively, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/

Further information

For enquiries about this privacy notice and for deletion of data held under consent please email customer services 

 

 

 

The following privacy notice  is designed to explain how we collect, process, hold and share your personal data for the purposes of the Local Welfare Scheme.

The categories of information that we collect, process, hold and share include:

  • Personal information (such as name, address, dates of birth, national insurance numbers)
  • Personal circumstances (such as relationships with others in the household, disabilities, certain medical details, whether you or any members of your household are a carer or being cared for)
  • Financial information (such as income and capital details)
  • Housing details (such as the type of accommodation you live in)
  • Contact details (such as telephone numbers, email addresses to be able to contact you regarding your claim for support)

Why we collect and use this information

We use your data and that of the people who live with you to:

  • Assess and award support from the Local Welfare Scheme
  • Prevent fraud and abuse of public funds
  • Prevent tax avoidance and tax evasion
  • Derive statistics to inform both local and central government on local welfare scheme expenditure and awards
  • Provide statistical data in order to respond to Freedom of Information requests

Your personal information will be treated as confidential but it may be shared with other Council services in order to ensure our records are accurate and up to date and to improve the standard of services we deliver.  We will only use your information in ways which are permitted by the General Data Protection Regulation and the current UK Data Protection Law.

This Council has a duty to protect the public funds it administers and may use information held about you for all lawful purposes including but not limited to the prevention and detection of crime including fraud and money laundering.

The Council may also use your information for the purpose of performing any of its statutory enforcement duties.  It will make any disclosures required by law and may also share your information with other bodies responsible for the detection/prevention of crime including fraud or auditing/administering public funds.

The lawful basis on which we use this information

The Council collects and uses information about you on the basis that it is necessary because of a legal obligation that applies to the Council and to do so is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest, or in the exercise of official authority. Legislation is in place to allow the Council to provide financial assistance to any person in their area, the local welfare scheme is designed to fulfil this purpose by helping the most vulnerable residents in meeting their need for support or to help people cope with special difficulties.

Collecting this information

The majority of information you provide to us is essential to carry out the required assessment to determine entitlement.  If we require additional information on a voluntary basis, we will inform you whether you are required to provide certain information to use or if you have a choice in this.

Storing this information

Your data will be securely held electronically and will not be stored in a country outside the UK.  We make sure we do not keep your details for any longer than is necessary and when we no longer have a need to keep your details, we will delete or destroy your details securely.  For further information on our policy for retaining personal information, please  see our data retention guidelines.

Who we share this information with

We will share your information for a variety of reasons such as to provide services to you, for safeguarding purposes and for the prevention and detection of crime.  Where other departments of the Counil have a legal right to data we hold, information shall be provided which is relevant to their legal powers.  The Council will never sell your information to anyone else.

Where you request a referral to an agency or one of our partner services, they will also use your information.  They may use it for their own reasons that are different to organisations but they still have to look after it in the same way.

We will share it with other individuals and organisations including: 

 

  • Supplier(s) of the goods and services you have been awarded
  • Housing Benefit and Council Tax departments
  • Housing department

 

We will only share your information when necessary and when the law allows us to, and we will only share the minimum information we need to.

Requesting access to your personal data

Under data protection legislation, all persons have the right to request information about them that we hold.  To make a request for your personal information, contact the Data Protection Officer.  You also have a right to:

  • Object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause or is causing damage or distress
  • Prevent processing for the purpose of direct marketing
  • Object to decision being taken by automated means
  • In certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed; and
  • Claim compensation for damages caused by a breach of the Data Protection regulations

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, we request that you raise your concern with us in the first instance.  If you are not satisfied with our response, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/

Further information

For enquiries about this privacy notice and for deletion of data held under consent please email customer services 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Privacy Notice last updated on 14th May 2018.