Coventry City Council complies with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK GDPR and is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a Data Controller.

This Privacy Notice explains how personal information is going to be used, what for, who it will be shared with and why.

Why we collect and use Personal Data about you

We collect and hold personal information relating to Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support, Free School Meals, Discretionary Grants and Test and Trace Support Payments.

We use this information to:

  • Find out who should get benefits from the Council 
  • Find out who should get Discretionary Housing Payments and Local Welfare Provision. 
  • Find out eligibility to a Test and Trace Support payment
  • Make payments of the benefits 
  • Identify any additional help you can get
  • Help us test our systems and train our staff 
  • Help us develop and improve our services
  • Send reports to Government departments
  • Detect and prevent crime
  • Get back any money that has been overpaid to you
  • Make sure public money is correctly used 
  • Sending out correspondence
  • Posting out submissions with case law and collecting evidence for submissions  i.e medical/police reports for example 

We process personal data because it is necessary to comply with our legal obligations

  • Housing Benefit Regulations 2006
  • Council Tax Reduction Scheme Regulations 2013
  • Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations 2001
  • Free School Lunches and Milk, and School and Early Years Finance Regulations 2018
  • The Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations 2001

What information do we collect about you?

  • Name
  • Contact Details
  • Date of Birth
  • National Insurance Number
  • Income
  • Details of members in the Household: name, date of birth, education and income details (if applicable)
  • Rent Payable
  • Bank details, if payments are to be made directly to you.
  • Expenditure – if a Discretionary Grant (Discretionary Housing Payment / Community Support Grant) is applied for.
  • Information regarding equality: age and ethnicity (for statistical and reporting purposes)
  • Your Covid-19 vaccination status if you are applying for a Test and Trace support payment
  • Authority to act

Who we share your Personal Data with

We will share data with:

  • The Department for Work and Pensions - for the detection and prevention of crime, and for the recovery of Housing Benefit overpayments 
  • Other Council departments - in order to provide and include services and protect public funds 
  • Your landlord - If we make housing benefit payments directly to your landlord, we will only share information about payment of benefits.  
  • Registered Social Landlords - we may inform your Registered Social Landlord if you are affected by the Benefit Cap or Under Occupying your home. 
  • Your child's school - If you have been awarded a free school meal to ensure they get it 
  • The Cabinet Office (who are a government department) - for the purposes of a data matching exercise called the National Fraud Initiative. The purpose of the exercise is to detect fraud and error. The Council is legally required to participate in this exercise. More information on the National Fraud Initiative.
  • Your employer - to get back any money that has been overpaid to you 
  • The Ministry of Housing Communities and local Government - to send reports  
  • Capita - who provide our online benefit claim form 
  • Xantura - who decide what evidence is needed for your new benefit claim 
  • The Tribunal Service - after an appeal against a Housing Benefit decision 
  • The Valuation Service - after an appeal against a Council tax Support decision 
  • Enforcement Agencies - to get back money that has been overpaid to you 
  • Contractors who provide agency staff - To assess Benefit applications 
  • Suppliers – in respect of local welfare provision applications
  • Elected Members - To resolve queries when acting on your behalf 
  • TransUnion - for Test and Trace Support Payments. In order to validate your bank account details and ensure your payment is paid to the correct bank account, and to help prevent fraudulent use of the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. This is not a credit check and won't impact your credit rating. For more information on how TransUnion may use your data, please visit https://www.transunion.co.uk/legal/privacy-centre.

How long will we keep your information?

We will only keep your information for as long as we need to so we can give you the service you need, unless we must keep it for legal reasons.

Your rights

You have the right to:

  1. Ask to see the personal information we hold about you
  2. Ask us to change information we hold about you if it is wrong
  3. Ask us to delete the information we hold about you
  4. Ask us to limit the way we use your personal Information
  5. Ask for human intervention regarding decisions made about you by a computer
  6. Data portability (have your data transferred to another Authority)
  7. Complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office

To exercise any of these rights please contact the Benefits Service and/or email benefits@coventry.gov.uk marking the email as data request.

Complaints

You have the right to submit a complaint if you are unhappy with the way your request is handled or disagree with a decision made by the council regarding your data. In these circumstances you can contact the Data Protection Team (DPO) and request a review of the decision. Dpoteam@coventry.gov.uk

If you are not satisfied with any outcome from the DPO you may wish to apply to the Information Commissioner's Office at:

The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House,
Water Lane,
Wilmslow,
Cheshire,
SK9 5AF.

Date of last review: March 2021