Benefits privacy notice

This privacy notice informs you about how we process your personal information and what your rights are.

Information held about you

As part of the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction, Free School Meals, Discretionary Payments application process, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council will collect personal data about you and your family.

This information collation will include:

  • Details about you, such as your address, telephone number, email address, National Insurance number, date of birth, household composition and income & capital details
  • Other relevant information needed to process your claim such as your landlord details

We will use this data to process your claim and may check some of the information with other sources to ensure this data is accurate.

Who is processing my data?

All personal data held, is processed in accordance with data protection requirements. The Data Controller & Data Processor for the information outlined in this privacy notice is London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council (LBBD).

How will we use the Information we hold about you?

We will collect information about you (where applicable) to:

  • Process your claim for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction
  • Consider and process any Discretionary Payment Applications
  • To allow the council to communicate and provide services appropriate to your needs, for example Free School Meal applications, available applicable utility discounts and providing Local Welfare Assistance.
  • Where the processing is necessary to comply with legal obligations, for example the prevention and/or detection of crime including fraud
  • Protect public funds
  • Combine information held about you with data held on other council service systems to create a ‘single view’ of you or your family on to one system.  Using our resident’s information in this way is important to us because it enables us to:
    • Provide staff with information about what benefits an individual is claiming and what they may be entitled to, to enable targeted income maximisation activity.
    • Compare debts levels of residents to allow greater prioritisation, debt management and to support residents in paying priority bills and learning general household income management skills.
    • Support more residents before they reach crisis point and to self-manage their financial affairs.
    • Identify households that are becoming more vulnerable so we can offer support at an earlier stage to help them.  This is known as predictive analytics.  More information about the use of data in predictive analytics can be found here General privacy notice | LBBD

What is the lawful basis for us to process your data?

The Council has to have a lawful reason to process your information.  As such the Council will process your personal information under the following lawful basis: 

Article 6, 1(e) Public Task  

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 6, 1 Legal Obligation

Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject.

Article 9, 2 (g) Special Categories

Processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest

The legislation that requires local authorities to collect this information from its residents is as follows:

Who do we share your personal information with?

To process your claim(s) we share information under our legal obligations and with partner organisations, including:

  • Government departments in connection to a welfare benefit claim
  • Internal Council Departments of the purposes of validating any applications or support you may make or have made for other Council services such as Housing Applications, School Placements, Homeless Applications, Homes & Money Hubb, Job Brokers & Right to Buy Applications. Please note that this list is not exhaustive.
  • The Department for Work and Pensions
  • Utility providers under the Local Welfare Provisions, Welfare Reform Act 2012 to allow relevant and applicable discounts to be afforded.
  • On occasions, your information may be accessed by contracted IT support organisations in the delivery of IT support for both the IT infrastructure and associated systems, for the processes detailed in this privacy notice. Access by IT support will only be for such reasons as fixing any technical issues with software, and any viewing of data will be incidental to this

Your information may also be shared for the prevention of fraud and criminal activity with agencies such as:

  • The police
  • Immigration Service, Absconder Services and/or UK Border Agency
  • Health and social care organisations
  • Other Local Authorities

 If we concerned about your safety, or that of a 3rd Party, we have a duty to contact the appropriate agencies as necessary. Any information shared will be on a need to know basis, with the minimum information necessary being shared.

How long do we keep your records

We will only keep your information for the minimum period necessary. The information outlined in this privacy notice will be kept after all action on your claim has finished and the period required by the council for legal and audit purposes has passed. All information will be held securely and destroyed under confidential conditions.

If you have a live claim we keep your information for the life of your claim plus a six year retention period after your claim ends. This period is required by the council for legal and audit purposes and maybe extended for the purposes of prevention & detection of Fraud.  Information identified for destruction will be securely destroyed, in line with data protection legislation. 

Your rights

The General Data Protection provides you with certain rights in relation to your personal information, such as accessing the information we hold about you.  To learn more about your rights, please go to:  https://www.lbbd.gov.uk/general-privacy-notice

You also have a right to make a complaint about our handling of your personal data to the Information Commissioner's Office.

Providing accurate information

It is important that we hold accurate and up to date information about you in order to assess your needs and deliver the appropriate services. If any of your details have changed, or change in the future, please ensure that you tell us as soon as possible so that we can update your records.

Further information

If you have any questions or concerns about how your information is used, please contact the Benefits team, benefits@lbbd.gov.uk in the first instance. You can also contact the Data Protection Officer, Client Unit, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, 1 Town Hall, First Floor, Barking IG11 7LU email: dpo@lbbd.gov.uk

More information about data protection and how it applies to you can be found on the Information Commissioner's Office website.