Privacy notice - Welfare benefits
Wiltshire Council has a duty to protect personal information and will process personal data in accordance with the current Data Protection legislation.
This page gives you information about the data we hold about you, how it is used, your rights in relation to this and the safeguards that are in place to protect it.
Data Subjects' Information and Privacy Notice
Wiltshire Council is the data controller for the personal information you provide in order to establish entitlement to Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction or other locally administered welfare benefits, including Free School Meals.
For the purposes of administering and maintaining claims for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction or other locally administered welfare benefit, including free school meals, by Wiltshire Council, the data controller is Wiltshire Council. Initial contact can be made by phone on 0300 456 0110, in person or in writing at County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our DPO may be contacted as above or via e-mail at InformationGovernance@wiltshire.gov.uk.
The Revenues and Welfare Benefits Service is responsible for processing your claims for welfare benefits. You have to provide some personal information for your claim to be assessed. Sometimes, we will need information about people other than the person who has applied for the benefit to work out what that person is entitled to. For example, where a person makes a claim for Housing Benefit, we need information about other people in the same household to work out how much the person will be paid.
We will use this personal data to establish entitlement to the welfare benefits we administer. We may check information that you have provided or that has been provided about you and your household against relevant information including public databases that we may already hold to make sure it is accurate. We will use this data to contact you, we will maintain claims through the review of the data we hold. We will use it for statistical modelling and to demonstrate that your claim has been accurately assessed. In summary the council will process your personal information for the following purposes:
- Creating and maintaining our own accounts and records
- administering the assessment and collection of taxes and other revenue including benefits, discounts, exemptions and grants
- the provision of social services
- data matching under local and national fraud initiatives
- promoting the services we provide
- carrying out surveys.
The legal basis for our use of your personal data is:
To ensure compliance with a legal obligation to which the council is subject, in the case of housing benefit, this includes the processing of any information in accordance with the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 and the statutory instruments arising from that Act.
Where necessary and lawful, or when required by legal obligation, we may share information within the council, specifically to prevent and detect fraud to protect public funds, but we will not share your data with any other third party unless we are required or permitted to do so by law.
We may share your information with:
- debt collection and tracing agencies
- local and central government, including the Department for Education and Department for Health and Social Care (in relation to Test and Trace Support Payments)
- educators and examining bodies
- ombudsman and regulatory authorities
- courts and tribunals
- police forces
- housing associations and landlords
- customs and excise
- legal representatives, defence solicitors
- law enforcement and prosecuting authorities
- service providers
- survey and research organisations
Wiltshire Council will process your personal data for the above purposes for no longer than necessary. Retention periods have been determined for different categories of information. The information processed for the above purposes will be kept for six years from the date of the last recording about you.
Your rights are set out in the current Data Protection legislation and include:
- The right to access your personal information, to request rectification or erasure of certain personal information and to object to processing in certain circumstances.
- The right to withdraw any consent you may have given to process your personal information.
- The right to complain to the Information Commissioner if you feel we are processing your personal information unlawfully.
- The right to restrict processing activity in certain circumstances.
- The right to object to certain types of processing activity
For further information about how Wiltshire Council uses your personal data, including your rights as a data subject, please see our privacy notice section on our website.
The information you are giving us is not a statutory or contractual requirement; or a requirement necessary to enter into a contract. You are however obliged to provide this information to ensure the accuracy of any entitlement to local welfare benefits the council may administer. Failure to provide us with information may for example result in the cessation or withdrawal of any welfare benefit.
Wiltshire Council does not use automated decision making in respect to your personal information. We will provide you with an explanation of the decision-making criteria and significance or likely consequences of such data processing.