Privacy notice housing benefit and Council Tax Reduction

Our housing benefit and Council Tax Reduction privacy notice explains how we use your personal information and tells you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you.

Information we collect

Some information is essential – we can’t consider your application without it. Other information is optional. However, if you choose not to tell us something we may not make the right decision. This means we may not be able to give you the help you need.

When you apply we’ll ask you for the following essential information:

  • personal details including your current and any past names, nationality, date of birth, gender and national insurance number
  • address information including the date you moved in, legal interest in your home, landlord’s or letting agent’s details including details of your tenancy (if you rent)
  • financial information including your income, benefits received, expenditure, details of any debts, bank and building society details, account balances, savings, any money from inheritance or properties and any business/businesses you own

Other information that is not essential but optional includes:

  • employment details including employer’s name, contract information, hours of work, pay and deductions
  • physical or mental health information including your doctor or hospital consultant’s details
  • preferred contact details, which could be a phone number and/or email address

We sometimes need information about people other than the person who has applied for housing benefit to work out what the claimant is entitled to. For example, other household members’ state benefits and earnings.

Why we collect this information

We collect your information for the following purposes:

  • personal details are used to identify you
  • address history is used to investigate your situation
  • financial information is used to work out your benefit entitlement and your bank details are used so we can pay any housing benefit direct to you
  • employment details are used to work out your benefit entitlement
  • health information is used, if you ask us to pay your benefit direct to your landlord for example if you have health problems or find it hard to manage your money
  • contact details are used to contact you if we have any questions

Who we might share your information with

We might share your information with the following organisations:

  • our Council Tax and debt recovery teams
  • the Department for Work and Pensions. They may use your personal information for statistical monitoring purposes
  • the police for the prevention and detection of crime under:
    • The Crime and Disorder Act (1998)
    • The Police and Criminal Evidence Act (1984)
    • The Prevention of Terrorism Act (1989)
  • NHS Counter Fraud Authority for the prevention and detection of crime under the Crime and Disorder Act 1992
  • National Crime Agency for the prevention and detection of crime under the Crime and Disorder Act 1992
  • our environmental health team, as they may request your personal details if there is a problem with your home under the Housing Act 2004
  • our electoral services team as it is a duty to maintain a register of electors under the Representation of the People (2001 Regulations)
  • our parks and cemeteries team, as they may request details to fulfil their obligations under The Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984

With your consent we may also share your details with:

  • your landlord or letting agent
  • support agencies
  • relevant charities

What we do with your information

The information you provide is used for us to execute our public duty under:

  • The Social Security Administrations Act 1992
  • The Housing Benefit Regulations 2006
  • The Local Government Finance Act 2012

How long we keep your information

We will keep your information for 3 years (plus the current year) from the date your benefit claim becomes dormant. By dormant we mean:

  • no benefit payments are outstanding
  • no benefit payments are due
  • there are no outstanding queries or disputes

Your rights

You do have some legal rights in respect of the personal information we collect from you. Please see our Privacy policy page for further details.

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, you should raise your concern with us in the first instance or directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office at:

You can also contact our Data Protection Officer by email at