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Administration of Benefits and Hardship Payments

South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council ("The Councils") take your privacy seriously.

We will use your information in order to administer the payment of benefits and hardship payments. This notice sets out what we will do with your personal information and who we may share it with in respect of the above.


What information about you do we collect?

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Email
  • Date of birth
  • Family information
  • National Insurance Number
  • Passport information

We also collect the following special category data:

  • Data concerning health

How do we collect information about you?

Relevant personal data will be collected:

We receive information directly, or indirectly, from the following sources:

  • Directly from you as the data subject
  • Landlord or property agent
  • Welfare advice agency
  • Another service within the Council
  • Other Government agencies such as the Department for Works and Pensions and HMRC
  • Employers

How will your personal data be used?

Your personal data will be used to administer the following:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Reduction
  • Discretionary Housing Payment
  • Exceptional Hardship Fund
  • Recovering Housing Benefit overpayments
  • Other hardship payments

We may also use your contact details and case history to communicate with you when we are consulting on, or implementing, changes to the council tax reduction working-age scheme in accordance with our obligations under the Local Government Finance Act 2012.


The Legal basis for processing your data

Your personal data is processed under the following legal bases:

Article 6 1(c)

Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject.

Article 6 1(e)

Processing is necessary for the performance of  task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.

The public tasks we carry out, and the legal obligations we are subject to, are found in the:

  • Social Security Administration Act 1992,
  • Housing Benefit General Regulations 2006 (as amended),
  • Housing Benefit (persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) Regulations 2006 (as amended),
  • Welfare Reform Act 2012, The Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations 2001,
  • SHDC/WDBC Council Tax Reduction Scheme Policy,
  • The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements) Regulations 2013 (as amended)
  • SHDC/WDBC Council Tax Discretionary Discount Policy.

Your special category data is processed under the following legal bases:

Article 9 2(g)

Processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest, on the basis of Union or Member State law which shall be proportionate to the aim pursued, respect the essence of the right to data protection and provide for suitable and specific measures to safeguard the fundamental rights and the interests of the data subject.

Article 9(2)(b) 

To comply with employment, social security, and social protection law in relation to the processing of Health data in accordance with our legal obligations under the following legislation:

  • Social Security Administration Act 1992
  • Social Security Act 1998
  • Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000
  • Education Act 2002
  • Local Government Finance Act 1992
  • Social Security Fraud Act 2001
  • Welfare Reform Act 2012

Who will your personal data be shared with?

Information held by the councils may be shared with the following organisations:

  • Revenues and Benefits Service for the purpose of assessing and administering your application, recovering any Housing Benefit overpayments
  • Support services (such as the Legal and Finance Teams and third party payment handler) where necessary to carry out the purpose.
  • Internal service areas including Housing, Electoral Services, Environmental Health, Planning Enforcement, Building Control, Parking Services for the purpose of carrying out our regulatory functions and legal obligations including those under the Town and Country Planning Act, Building Act / Building Regulations, Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 and the Environmental Protection Act and for the purpose of identifying and preventing fraud
  • Externally, we may share information about you with other billing authorities for the purpose of recovering debt; and your name, household composition, payment and account information with the Child Support Agency, DWP, NFI, credit reference companies; HM Courts and Tribunal Services and HMRC for the purposes of assessing liability and for fraud identification and prevention.
  • Your claim information is processed by external printers acting on the council's behalf and is scanned by our IT company.
  • With your consent, we may also share financial information with Homemaker for the purpose of preventing homelessness and your contact information with local Foodbanks. We may also discuss your application with your Landlord where authorised, by you, to do so.
  • Information about debts owed by you to the council may be provided to the insolvency service in response to requests received under The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020

We share the information in order to provide the services outlined above as part of the scheme:

Your personal data will be stored securely and will not be accessible to anyone else, including other services within the Council, unless detailed above.


Transferring of data outside the EU

Your data will not be transferred outside the EU. It will be securely stored electronically within the UK only, unless it was necessary for safeguarding or for the prevention and detection of crime.


Length of time we keep your information

We will retain personal data for six years from when the record is no longer required for the administration of benefits and hardship payments and will delete or destroy it at the end of that period.


Individual rights

You have a number of rights under the General Data Protection Regulations. These can be found on the ICO website

If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please email data.protection@swdevon.gov.uk.


The Data Controller for your information

The Data Controllers for this information are:
South Hams District Council
Follaton House
Plymouth Road
Totnes
TQ9 5NE
West Devon Borough Council
Kilworthy Park
Drake Road
Tavistock
PL19 0BZ
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
The Home Office

Data Protection Officer

The Councils have a duty to appoint a Data Protection Officer. The Council's Data Protection Officer is Drew Powell,

South Hams District Council/West Devon Borough Council,
Follaton House,
Plymouth Road,
Totnes,
Devon
TQ9 5NE

If you have any queries about our privacy notices or would like to exercise your data rights or make a complaint, please contact the Data Protection Officer by

Data Protection Officer
South Hams District Council/West Devon Borough Council,
Follaton House,
Plymouth Road,
Totnes,
Devon
TQ9 5NE

If you are not happy with how we have handled your complaint, you have the right to contact the Information Commissioner's Office. You can raise your concerns about how we have processed your information or how we have responded to your request to exercise any of your rights in relation to your information:

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

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