Benefit - Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support and Discretionary Housing Payments - privacy notice

Personal information being processed and what for

We hold the following information in order to process and determine your entitlement to Housing Benefit (HB), Council Tax Support (CTS) and Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) applications and Free School Meal take up. This is a legal requirement.

For those in your household:

  • Full name and title
  • Date of birth
  • Previous, current or future address
  • National Insurance Number
  • Income and Capital amounts and sources, including bank details for payments of benefit
  • Employment details
  • Child Care Provider details
  • Landlord/Letting Agent details
  • Where applicable / provided health, disability information
  • Information provided in support of the claim for example proof of identity and residency details
  • Contact details you have provided including telephone numbers, Email addresses used for contact about your claim to ask for more information, update you on progress and for sending the decision to you or to give you access to view your online account when registered.

Why we are allowed to use your information

This information is required for making decisions on HB , CTS  and DHP claims.

Relevant legislation

  • Housing Benefit Regulations 2006
  • Housing Benefit (State Pension Credit) Regulations 2006
  • Cheshire East Council’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme S13A and Schedule 1a Local Government Finance Act 1992
  • Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements) (England)
  • Social Security Administration Act
  • Local Government Finance Act
  • Supported with other statutory instruments
  • Welfare Reform Act 2012 sections 130 to 133
  • Social Security (Information-sharing in relation to Welfare Services etc.) Regulations 2012, Regulations; 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10

Under GDPR

Article 6 (1)(e) processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller;

Article 9 (2)(b) processing is necessary for the purposes of carrying out the obligations and exercising specific rights of the controller or of the data subject in the field of employment and social security and social protection law in so far as it is authorised by domestic law or a collective agreement pursuant to domestic law providing for appropriate safeguards for the fundamental rights and the interests of the data subject;

Who we will share your information with

We will share information with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) who are responsible for the scheme

We will also share information with other relevant Council Departments:

  • Council Tax to verify your liability for Council Tax and to update your account with any Council Tax
  • Housing where you have requested assistance with accommodation
  • Audit for assurance purposes
  • Customer Services to assist with enquiries
  • Other Local Authorities to verify entitlement if you have moved and for the recovery of overpayments
  • Valuation Office agency to determine eligible rent
  • Appointed External Auditors for assurance
  • HM Courts and Tribunal Service
  • Registered Housing Providers and Landlords where payments are sent to them
  • Registered Housing Providers in connection with the Benefits Cap and under-occupancy
  • HM Revenues and Customs
  • Members of Parliament
  • Police

Where we get your information from

  • You or someone acting on your behalf or a member of your household
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • HM Revenues and Customs
  • Other Local Authorities
  • Landlords
  • Employers

How long we will keep your personal information

6 Years plus current year.

See the Council’s Information Asset Register on the web site for more information.

How your information is stored

We store your information on the following systems:

  • NEC Software Solutions – details of all claims processed, whether successful or unsuccessful
  • Cheshire East online account – online portal for details on entitlement and payments, decision notices and schedules
  • Information@ work (document management system) – copies of all correspondence, claims and evidence in connection with claims
  • Unit4 for payment purposes
  • Secure email using Egress Switch (secure encryption)

All of these systems have security controls with Individual logins, password protected (with minimum security levels) with the data held on secure servers. All users complete annual access forms, restricted access by user, permission levels, access revoked / suspended when users leave / long term sick

If you don't provide us with your information

We would be unable to process your application or will make a determination on your claim which will mean you do not qualify.

Information used to make automated decisions

Yes, information about changes in your benefits and state pensions is received via secure electronic files from the DWP and processed automatically by the Benefits System (NEC Software Solutions) updating income details. A letter will be sent to you where your entitlement is then changed.

Details of new rent levels are received from registered Housing Providers and are updated automatically into the Benefits System (NEC Software Solutions).

The automation is used to ensure consistency and the efficient processing of claims and to ensure your current details are used to ensure you receive the correct amount of benefit/support.

There is no profiling.

Information transferred abroad

Housing Benefit Payments may be made to a Landlord who is living abroad, via BACs.

Your rights

You have a number of rights regarding your personal data, including withdrawing your consent where we have asked for it. You can also ask for a copy of the information we hold about you and ask us to correct anything that is wrong.

For detailed information about your rights please see our privacy notice.

Page last reviewed: 11 May 2023