Privacy notice for housing benefit and council tax support

What do we use the information for?

We use personal information to administer housing benefit and council tax support on behalf of central government. Housing benefit and council tax support are both means-tested benefits, therefore we are required to collect personal and financial information on you and your household to verify and determine eligibility. We use personal information:

  • To verify you and your partner’s identity and National Insurance number under Section 19 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992
  • to verify evidence regarding income and capital to calculate your entitlement to housing benefit/council tax support and free school meals
  • to collect any overpaid housing benefit
  • to consider any reconsiderations and appeals where you do not agree with your award of housing benefit/council tax support
  • to assist you with benefit and debt advice. 

What information do we hold and use?

We collect and process the following information:

  • You and your partner’s personal details, which include full name, date of birth, National Insurance numbers
  • Your current, previous and future addresses
  • The date you wish to claim from and if you wish to claim housing benefit and/or council tax support
  • Any contact/appointee details – name and contact address
  • All household members full name, date of birth and National Insurance numbers
  • Details of all income you and your household receive, this could be information you have provided or information we have collected directly from the Department for Work and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs which includes all state benefits and employment information
  • Details of all bank accounts you hold 
  • Details of any second properties and rent received from the properties if applicable
  • Details of any expenses, such as child care costs, payments to private pensions
  • Evidence of the rent you are charged regarding private or social tenancies
  • Details of the bank account that housing benefit is to be paid to
  • Information relating to rent arrears from your landlord, such as rent statements
  • Documents relating to your right to reside if your nationality is not British national
  • Name, address and bank details for private landlords/3rd party payee’s where payment of housing benefit is made to them
  • Notification of Debt Relief Orders (DRO), Bankrupcy  and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA)
  • Details of your council tax liability.


On what grounds do we use the information?

The primary legislation covering housing benefit is contained in the:

  • Social Security Administration Act 1992 (consolidating act) as amended
  • Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (consolidating act) as amended.

The provisions governing housing benefit are contained in regulations made by the secretary of state for social security and laid before Parliament. The regulations covering housing benefit are the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006.

Section 13A of the Local Government Act 1992 applies to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (Prescribed Requirements) Regulations 2012.

Processing or personal information is carried out in accordance with 1a, 1c and 1e of Article 6 of the EU GDPR. 

How do we collect this information?

Informataion is collected from the individual or from a third party as listed below:

  • Paper claim forms
  • Online claim forms
  • Claim forms completed in assistance from a member of staff within East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Evidence and data obtain by way of a visiting officer
  • By post/email/website
  • Reporting changes online
  • Direct from the Department for Work and Pensions and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
  • Over the telephone through our contact centre staff
  • Through the national Tell Us Once Scheme
  • From an employer
  • Registered social landlords via post of email or our landlord portal
  • Through an internal department. 


Who do we share your information with?

We never make your personal details available to companies outside East Riding of Yorkshire Council for marketing purposes, although our representatives may hold your data so that your details and/or order can be processed and/or account maintained.

Information held by the benefits service is used by other departments of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council to enable them to undertake their statutory duties where the law allows it. We will not disclose with anyone else without appropriate permission, unless we have a legal reason to do so. For example disclosure may be necessary to prevent or detect crime.

We will obtain other information about you from third parties and give information to them to: 

  • make sure the information is accurate 
  • prevent, detect and prosecute fraud 
  • protect public funds 
  • recover debts owed to the council 
  • match the information you provide with other information we hold about you whether provided to us by you, or anyone else. We may also obtain other information about you from third parties and give information to them to: 
  • make sure the information is accurate 
  • prevent, detect and prosecute fraud 
  • protect public funds.

These third parties include:

  • Government departments for verification of benefits, detection and prevention of fraud and request to attach overpaid housing benefit to welfare benefits, to submit appeals against housing benefit/council tax support
  • HMRC to obtain employment details
  • other local authorities to share relevant information for administering housing benefit, for fraud and verification  
  • private-sector organisations such as banks and organisations that may lend you money 
  • your landlord to determine direct payment of housing benefit following an arrears or vulnerability request
  • Xantura, who risk assess benefit claims on our behalf 
  • Any organisation who the council contracts with to administer public funds 
  • Schools to determine eligibility for free school meals
  • External stakeholders such as Citizens Advice Bureau where a referral is to be made on your behalf and consent has been received

We share information with:

  • Our Housing Department

  • Private Sector Housing

  • Planning Department

  • Customer Service Centre Network and

  • our council tax section

  • Our Business Intelligence team

We share information with these departments  to prevent fraud and maximise income for the Council and also to ensure we are billing the correct liable parties. We share information with our business intelligence team to help with strategic decision making for the Council. We also share information with the Deaprtment for Works and Pensions with regard to requests for attachments of benefits and with employers for requests for attachments to earnings.

How long do we store it and is it secure?

The council has retention schedules in place to ensure that information is only held for as long as it is needed. For information on how long your information will be held visit the retention explained page. 

For information on how long your information will be held please visit the general privacy information page.

What rights do you have?

The rights that you have depend upon the grounds upon which we collected your information. All rights that you could have are outlined on the data protection page.

In most cases, people who have been involved with  the assessment of care charges will have the following rights:

  • The right to access – You are entitled to see the information we hold about you and can request a copy by emailing data.protection@eastriding.gov.uk.
  • The right to rectification – If you believe any information we hold about you to be incorrect, please email benefit.assessments@eastriding.gov.uk and we will amend the information accordingly.
  • The right to object – If you wish to object about the way we use your personal information in your assessment for contributions for services provided by Adult and Childrens Services, please email benefit.assessments@eastriding.gov.uk and we will consider your objection.

Where can I find out more?

If you want to know more about how the council uses information, your rights or have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, we request that you raise your concern with us in the first instance.

Contact details are available on the general privacy information page. 

Alternatively, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.

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