Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

What personal data we collect from you and why

We collect personal information in order to administer and assess your entitlement to Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction. In order to do this, we will collect information about:

  • your circumstances (e.g. income, number of children, benefits, residency status)
  • your household income - this includes savings and capital, pensions and your partner's income
  • your children who live with you
  • other adults who live with you

We may also collect sensitive personal data known as Special Category Data, for example health data.

You and other people who live with you may choose not to provide the information that we request but, in that case, we will be unable to determine if you are entitled to Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction.

In order to prevent and detect fraud, where the law allows us, we may collect information about you and other people who reside with you from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Her Majesty's Revenues and Customs (HMRC), other local authorities, other council departments and in some cases your landlord. We may also obtain information from credit reference agencies.

Our lawful basis for collecting and processing this information

The personal data will be used to assess your entitlement to Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction; the legal basis for this processing is a Public Task carried out by us or official authority vested in us. Our lawful basis for collecting Special Category Data is for reasons of substantial public interest.

Legislation that is applicable is the Social Security Administration Act 1992, the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 and the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

Automated processing

The information we collect from you is usually processed by an individual, however there are occasions when an automated decision may be made, but any changes to your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction will be notified to you. In some circumstances, you have the right to prevent automated processing. For full details of your rights, please see the council's main privacy notice.

Who we share your information with

We share your information with other council departments, the DWP, HMRC, your landlord where the law allows us to do this or if you have given your permission and other local authorities if relevant. We may also use credit reference agencies for the purpose of preventing and detecting fraud where the law allows us to do so. The council also has a legal duty to submit information to the government as part of the National Fraud Initiative.

This includes:

  • other departments within the council including Electoral Services
  • other local authorities
  • Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs
  • Valuation Tribunal
  • Office of National Statistics

How long we keep your data

Records are kept wherever possible in accordance with the council's retention policy. We will not keep your information for longer than necessary.

Your rights

You are entitled to request a copy of any information about you that we hold. Any such requests should be made in writing. If the information we hold about you is inaccurate you have a right to have this corrected and you have the right to request completion of incomplete data.

You have the right to request that we stop, or restrict the processing of your personal data, in certain circumstances. Where possible we will seek to comply with your request, but we may be required to hold or process information to perform our statutory functions.

You can find further details on our website, www.stratford.gov.uk, under Privacy.

If you have any worries or questions about how your personal information is handled please contact our Data Protection Officer at data.protection@stratford-dc.gov.uk.

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number.

Alternatively, visit ico.org.uk or email casework@ico.org.uk.

Contact: The Data Protection team

Last updated on 22/10/2020