Benefits privacy notice
This Privacy Notice explains how Coventry City Council's Benefits Service will use your personal information and who it will be shared.
Why we collect information about you. We do this because the following laws say we have to:
- Housing Benefit Regulations
- Council Tax Reduction Scheme Regulations
- Free school lunches and milk, and School and Early Years Finance Regulations
How we use your information
We collect personal information relating to benefit applications for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support and free school meals.
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.
- 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
Who we share your information with
We will share your information 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 can be found here
- Your employer - to get back any money that has been overpaid to you
- The Ministry of Housing Communities and local Government - to send reports
- Team Netsol - 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
- Elected Members - To resolve queries when acting on your behalf
How long will we keep your information?
We will only keep your information for as long as we need to so that we can give you the service you need, unless we have to keep it for legal reasons.
You have the right to:
- Ask for a copy of the information we hold about you
- Ask us to change information we hold about you if it is wrong
- Restrict processing of information we hold about you
- Question the decision made about you by the use of a computer
- Complain to the Information Commissioner's Office
To exercise any of these rights please contact the Benefits Service and/or email firstname.lastname@example.org marking the email as data request.
You have the right to complain if you are unhappy with the way your request is handled or disagree with a decision made by the Council about your data. If you want to make a complaint you can contact the Data Protection Team (DPO) and request a review of the decision.
If you are still not satisfied you can contact the Information Commissioners Office at:
The Information Commissioners Office
Date of last review: May 2018