Benefits privacy notice
1 Council contact details
1.1 North Northamptonshire Council
41 Meadow Road
Tel: 0300 126 3000
This Privacy notice relates to client records relating to claims for housing benefit.
2 Information that we hold
2.1 North Northamptonshire Council collects and holds personal information about you, and those in your household to assess your eligibility for housing benefit. This information will include your name, address, contact details and other required information.
3 How the information is obtained
3.1 Most of the personal information we process is provided to us directly by you.
3.2 We sometimes needs information about people other than the person who has applied for a benefit or service to work out what that person is entitled to. For example, where a person makes a claim for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, we need information about other people who live in the same household to work out how much the person will be paid.
3.2 What allows us to process your data?
We process your personal information in line with our legal obligations under the following legislation:
- Local Government Finance Act 1992 and 2012
- Welfare Reform Act 2012
- Localism Act 2011
- Social Security Contribution & Benefits Act 1992
- Housing Benefit Regulations 2006
- Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) Regulations 2006
- The prevention / detection of crime, including false representation in accordance with the Fraud Act.
Where we process special categories data (formerly referred to as sensitive personal data) the council relies upon GDPR (Article 9(2)(b)) for the purposes of social security and social protection law.
4 What we do with the information
4.1 We use this information to:
- assess your entitlement to benefits, discounts and exemptions;
- comply with legal obligations, for example the prevention or detection of fraud/crime; and
- the protection of public funds.
We may also use your information within the Council to:
- keep the electoral register up to date;
- license private rented properties;
- collect debts owed to the Council; and
- for other council services where the law allows or requires it, or to improve the service you receive.
4.2 Who do we 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. This could include the need to disclose sensitive or confidential information such as medical details to other organisations.
We may share your information with other organisations to prevent and detect crime/fraud including:
- Department for Works and Pensions
- HM Revenues and Customs
- National Audit Office
- Cabinet Office
- the Police
- Registered Social Landlords
- West Northamptonshire Council
- other local authorities
- debt management organisations or enforcement agents engaged by us and the courts in relation to outstanding money owed.
We work with the Cabinet Office to carry 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.
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.
5 How long we keep your information for and how we securely dispose of it after use
5.1 We keep your personal information for all aspects of processing in line with the council’s retention schedules.
5.2 We will securely dispose of your information in line with retention periods.
We will only keep your information for the minimum period necessary. All information will be held securely and will be securely destroyed when it is no longer required.
6 How we store your information
6.1 Your information is securely stored on the council’s systems.
7 Your data protection rights
7.2 Please be aware that your rights may differ depending on the lawful basis for processing your personal data.
8 Who to contact
8.1 If you would like further information about how we use your personal information, or you wish to exercise one of your data rights or you wish to complain about the use of your personal information please contact the Data Protection Officer.
8.2 If you are still dissatisfied once you have contacted the Data Protection Officer, you have the right to complain to the ICO.
The ICO’s address:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Helpline number: 0303 123 1113
9 Changes to this privacy notice
9.1 Privacy notices are live documents, which will be updated or revised in line with legislation.
Last updated 11 January 2023