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Housing benefit and local council tax support privacy notice

Who we are and what we do

Benefit Team, Gateshead Council, Civic Centre, Regent Street, Gateshead, NE8 1HH
Email: benefitenquiries@gateshead.gov.uk
Telephone: 0191 433 4646

Why we need your information

The information we collect from you and the information provided to us by the Department for Work and Pensions is required to calculate your Housing Benefit and or Local Council Tax Support claim.

In order to calculate Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support we collect information about, you, your partner, your children and other adults that live in your household.

This information includes; name, address, date of birth, National Insurance Number, email address, telephone number, earned income and employment details, benefits and allowances, bank accounts, savings, investments, property ownership, rent paid, landlord details, immigration details and any other information required to calculate your Housing Benefit and or Local Council Tax Support.

Depending on the data you have provided our computer systems may automatically re-calculate your benefit entitlement. For example, if you or someone in your household has a significant birthday.

How information about you will be used

We use the information you provide to administer Housing Benefit under the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006, the Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) Regulations 2006 and associated Regulations and to administer our Local Council Tax Support Scheme under S13A and Schedule 1a of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and associated Regulations and based on our Local Council Tax Support scheme for the relevant year. 

  • We will also use the information to make you liable (if appropriate) for Council Tax at your address.
  • We will use your information to help collect Council Tax.
  • We will use the information held to assist in the recovery of Housing Benefit Overpayments.

 

We have a duty to protect public funds we administer and may use information held about you for all lawful purposes, including and not limited to the prevention and detection of fraud, disclosure of information to the police, matching council tax support data with electoral registration records and protecting public funds in investigating misuse of public money.
The information we hold, including details of any state benefits you may get, will be shared to help with an application for one of the following council services:

  • Local welfare assistance
  • A discretionary housing payment
  • Free school meals
  • Home to school transport on the basis of means or distance
  • Residential care
  • Domiciliary care - such as day care, home helps and meals
  • Social services

 

Additionally, the information held by the council as part of your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support application can be shared with and used by other council services to:

  • help decide whether you qualify for help and how much, if anything, you should pay
  • help identify and support people who are at risk of becoming homeless
  • help identify families who may benefit from the Families Gateshead service
  • help people living in a Council or Housing Association property and who will be affected by the Benefit Cap and/or Under Occupation in the Social sector
  • to identify other support and help that may be available
  • perform any of the Council's statutory functions

 

Who your information may be shared with - internally and externally

By law we must give out some information if we are asked, this includes (but is not limited to) the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or HM Revenue & Customs.

We participate in National Fraud Initiative (NFI) data matching exercises and Housing Benefit Matching Services for the prevention and detection of fraud. Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support information may be provided to the Cabinet Office and the DWP and will be used for cross-system and cross-authority comparison, for the prevention and detection of fraud.

We will also use the information for the purpose of performing any of our statutory functions. We will make any disclosures required by law and may also share this information with other bodies responsible for detecting/preventing fraud or auditing/ administering public funds. We may share the details with other organisations that handle public funds, assist in the processing of other benefits and in the recovery of outstanding amounts of housing benefit which has been overpaid.

We do not contact your landlord about your claim, but if you get Housing Benefit paid direct to a landlord, we will give your landlord details regarding your payment dates and amounts. We may also have to contact your landlord for information about the property.

If you have agreed that we can share information with your landlord, this means that we can tell them about the progress of your claim.

If you previously didn't agree to us sharing information about the progress of your claim with your landlord, but you change your mind after you have sent us your claim sheet, please tell us in writing that you now agree to share that information.

We can share information collected as part of your Housing Benefit or Local Council Tax Support applications with other departments in the Council and other Local Authorities, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Valuation Office Agency, Her Majesties Courts and Tribunals Service and, in some circumstances, your landlord. The information on your Housing Benefit or Local Council Tax Support applications may also allow us or other internal or external organisations mentioned, to identify other support and help that may be available.

If you are a private tenant, we usually have to give the Valuation Office Agency Rent Service details about your home and rent.

How long we keep your information

We are legally required to hold some types of information to comply with statutory requirements. We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as it is necessary for the relevant activity or service that we provide you, or as required by law.

Marketing and E-Newsletters

Please see the relevant section of the Corporate privacy notice.

Business Intelligence, Profiling and Automated-Decision making

Please see the relevant section of the Corporate privacy notice.

Protecting your information

Please see the relevant section of the Corporate privacy notice.

How you can access, update, or correct your information

The Data Protection law gives you the right to apply for a copy of information about yourself. This is called a 'Subject Access Request'.

The accuracy of your information is important to us to be able to provide relevant services more quickly. In the meantime, if you change your address or email address, or if any of your circumstances change or any of the other information we hold is inaccurate or out of date, please:

  • Email us at: benefitenquiries@gateshead.gov.uk
  • Or telephone us on: 0191 433 4646
  • Our postal address is: Gateshead Council, Benefits Section, Corporate Resources, Gateshead Civic Centre, Regent Street, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE8 1HH

 

Your information choice and rights

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.

Information Commissioner's Office

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.

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