Spelthorne Borough Council is a data controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulations.

Who we are and what we do

Spelthorne Borough Council
Housing Benefits and Council Tax Support Department
Knowle Green
Staines Upon Thames
TW18 1XB

Email: benefits@spelthorne.gov.uk
Phone: 01784 446374

Information held about you

As part of the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support application process, Spelthorne Borough Council will collect personal data about you and your family.

We will use this data to process your claim and may check some of the information with other sources to ensure this data is accurate.

This information will include:

  • details about you such as your name, address, telephone number, email address, National Insurance number, date of birth
  • details about your household composition, income, allowances, savings and investments, including those of a partner, or any dependents
  • any relevant information needed to process your claim eg landlord details

Why we are collecting your data

Spelthorne Borough Council are the data controllers and collect your personal data in order to work out your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support claim. We will only collect the personal data from you that we need in order to provide this service to you.

We may also receive information from other sources like the Department for Work and Pensions and HMRC which is used in the calculation of your Housing Benefit and or Council Tax Support claim.

We may 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 lawful purposes, including and not limited to the prevention and detection of fraud.

The information that you provide will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulations.

What is the legal basis for us to process your data?

We do this as a legal obligation in line with the Local Government Finance Act 1992, Housing Benefit Regulations 2006, under S13A and Schedule 1a of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and associated Regulations. Also the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Default Scheme) (England) Regulations 2012. We will not be able to process your claim without the personal data you provide us with. If at any time you request to have your data withdrawn, we will no longer be able to process your claim.

Who will your information be shared with?

By law we must give out information if we are asked by central government - for example by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or HM Revenue and Customs.

We are required by law to participate in data matching exercises. Housing benefit and council tax support information may be provided to the Cabinet Office for NFI purposes and will be used for cross-system and cross-authority comparison for the prevention and detection of fraud.

We do not expressly contact your landlord about your claim, but if your Housing Benefit is paid directly to a landlord or you have given permission to contact your landlord then we just give those details about payment dates and amounts to your landlord.

If you have agreed above that we can give information about the progress of your claim to your landlord, we can tell them where your claim is up to if they ask.

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 form, 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 Council Tax Support applications with other departments in the Council; other Local Authorities; the Department for Work and Pensions and, in some circumstances, your landlord and other organisations.

Your information may also be shared for the prevention of fraud and criminal activity with (list not exhaustive) the Police or Health and social care organisations.

We will not normally share your information with organisations other than our partner organisations without your consent. However, there may be certain circumstances where we would share without consent, such as where we are required to do so by law, to safeguard public safety, and in risk of harm or emergency situations. Any information which is shared will only be shared on a need to know basis, with appropriate individuals. Only the minimum information for this purpose will be shared.

All information is held securely. We will not disclose your personal information to third parties for marketing purposes and we will not use your personal data in a way that may cause you unwarranted detriment.

Providing accurate information

It is important that we hold accurate and up to date information about you in order to assess your needs and deliver appropriate services. If any of your details have changed, or change in the future, please ensure that you tell us as soon as possible so that we can update your records.

Your rights

You have a number of rights under data protection law, including the right to request your information and to request that the information be amended or erased under certain circumstances.

You are entitled to request a copy of any information about you that we hold. Any such requests must be made in writing. This is called a 'Subject Access Request'.

If the information we hold about you is inaccurate you have a right to have this corrected and you have the right to request completion of any incomplete data.

You have the right to request that we stop, or restrict the processing of your personal data, in certain circumstances. Where possible we will seek to comply with your request, but we may be required to hold or process information to comply with a legal requirement.

You also have a right to make a complaint about our handling of your personal data to the Information Commissioner's Office.

Further information

If you have any questions or concerns about how your information is used, please contact the Housing Benefits team in the first instance at benefits@spelthorne.gov.uk

You can also contact the Data Protection Officer by emailing data.protection@spelthorne.gov.uk

More information about data protection and how it applies to you can be found on the Information Commissioner's Office website.