Housing Benefit

The proper handling of personal information by Carmarthenshire County Council is very important to the delivery of our services and maintaining public confidence.

Personal data is any information that relates to a person who can be directly or indirectly identified from the information. The terms ‘information’ and ‘personal data’ are used throughout this privacy notice and have the same meaning.

To ensure that the Council treats personal information correctly, we seek to adhere in full to the requirements of Data Protection legislation.

This privacy notice has therefore been produced to explain as clearly as possible what we do with your personal data.

1. The purpose for which we use your personal data

The information we collect about you will be used for the following purposes:

  • Calculate the amount of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction you may be entitled to
  • Deal with applications and payments of Discretionary Housing Payment
  • Fraud investigation
  • Recovering overpayments
  • Providing Welfare Support

To assist you with you paying for your housing needs.

The legal basis for the processing is to comply with our legal obligations under the following:

  • The Housing Benefit Regulations 2006
  • The Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) Regulations 2006
  • The Council Tax Reduction Schemes and Prescribed Requirements (Wales) Regulations 2013
  • The Council Tax Reduction Schemes and Prescribed Requirements (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2017
  • The Social Security Amendment (Discretionary Housing Payments) Regulations 2001

We collect and use information about health because it is necessary for the purpose of exercising functions under the legislation referred to above. We process information about criminal convictions for reasons of substantial public interest, also on the basis of this legislation.

If you do not give us the information we need when we ask for it, we may be unable to calculate how much benefit you are entitled to and make payments to help pay for your housing.

We sometimes need information about people other than the person who has applied for Housing Benefit. For example, where a person makes a claim for Housing Benefit, we need information about other people who live in the same household to work out how much benefit the person claiming will be entitled to.

2. What type of information do we use?

We collect the following types of personal data about you to deliver this service, depending on your circumstances:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Unique reference number
  • National Insurance Number
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Bank/payment details
  • Your family composition
  • Your social circumstances
  • Your financial circumstances
  • Employment and education details
  • Your housing needs
  • Images/photographs
  • Vehicle registration number
  • Information about your health
  • Your nationality

3. Do we use information received from other sources?

To provide this service, we collect information directly from you but also receive information from the following sources:

  • Department for Work & Pensions
  • HM Revenues & Customs
  • Landlords
  • Employers
  • The Council’s Housing Services
  • The Council’s Council Tax section
  • Adult Social Care and Children’s Services
  • Prison Service
  • Enforcement Agents

The following types of personal data may be obtained, depending on your circumstances:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Copies of identity documents
  • Criminal convictions and offences, where relevant
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Unique reference number
  • National Insurance Number
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Bank/payment details
  • Your family composition
  • Your social circumstances
  • Your financial circumstances
  • Employment and education details
  • Your housing needs
  • Images/photographs
  • Information about your health
  • Your nationality

4. Transferring your information abroad

We use Microsoft Office 365 to process our electronic documents under the terms of a strict agreement, which safeguards your information. This personal data is hosted on servers outside the UK, but only in EU countries which are subject to the General Data Protection Regulation.

We don’t transfer any other information about you outside of the UK.

5. Who has access to your information?

We share your personal data only when there is a need for us to do so.  When we share information, we provide the minimum necessary in each case to the following recipients:

  • Department for Work & Pensions
  • National Fraud Initiative
  • HM Revenue & Customs
  • Our software supplier
  • Wales Audit Office
  • Employers
  • High Court Enforcement Agency in relation to debt recovery
  • We use a company to assist with data analysis
  • Your landlord

We take part in a data sharing project commissioned by the Welsh Government and share your information with the company carrying out this work (Policy in Practice).

We may also share your information with the following Council services, depending on your circumstances:

  • Housing Services
  • Council Tax
  • Customer Services
  • Fairer Charging
  • Fraud investigation
  • Electoral Registration
  • Home Improvements
  • School Administration
  • Free School Meals
  • Internal Audit
  • National Non Domestic (Business) Rates

There are other specific situations where we may be required to disclose information about you, such as:

  • Where the Council is required to provide the information by law
  • Where disclosing the information is required to prevent or detect a crime
  • Where disclosure is in the vital interests of the person concerned

6. How long we will keep your information

We will keep your information for as long as you are eligible for Housing Benefit payments and for 7 years from the end of the year your eligibility ceases. This is in accordance with the Council’s Retention Guidelines.

7. Your Data Protection rights

You have the right to:

  • Obtain access to the personal data that Carmarthenshire Council is processing about you
  • Have any inaccurate or incomplete information rectified (corrected)
  • Withdraw your consent to processing, where this is the only basis for the processing
  • Make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the independent body in the UK which protects information rights

In some circumstances, you may have the right to:

  • Object to the processing of your personal information
  • The erasure of your personal data
  • Restrict the processing of your personal information
  • Data portability

8. Contact details

For more information regarding this privacy notice and your rights, please contact:

Data Protection Officer
Carmarthenshire County Council
County Hall
Carmarthen
SA31 1JP

Email: dataprotection@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

Contact details for the Information Commissioner’s Office along with further guidance on Data Protection legislation can be found on the ICO website.

Council & Democracy