Privacy notices

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Privacy Notice

The proper handling of personal information is very important to the delivery of our services.

To make sure that we treat personal information correctly, we aim to meet in full the requirements of data protection law.

This privacy notice has therefore been produced to explain as clearly as possible how we process your personal data.

Why we collect your personal information

Southwark Council Benefit service collects personal data for the purpose of processing applications for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction. 

We are required to collect this information under this legislation:

  • Social Security Administration Act 1992
  • Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992
  • Housing Benefit Regulations 2006
  • Local Government Finance Act 1992
  • Local Government Finance Act 2012
  • The Fraud Act 2006

How we use your information

Information held by Southwark Benefits service is used in the assessment of claims for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction.

To improve the service we deliver we may also use your information to communicate with you and provide services appropriate to your needs. This could include help with applications for these services:

  • a blue badge
  • a disabled facilities grant
  • a discretionary housing payment
  • help with supporting people services
  • residential care
  • domiciliary care - such as day care, home helps and meals
  • free school meals

We may also use information to identify and support people who are at risk of becoming homeless or help families who may benefit from the Troubled Families programme.

Information provided to the Benefits service may also be used to assess liability for Council Tax or to assist in recovery of unpaid Council Tax or Housing Benefit Overpayments.

Who has access to your data?

To process claims and fulfill our duties as a benefit provider we may need to share information with other organisations we work with or those who provide services on our behalf. These include:

  • The Department for Work and Pensions
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • other councils
  • processing partners.
  • auditors
  • IT and software providers

Occasionally, your information may be accessed by contracted IT providers. Access by IT providers will only be for reasons of technical support, and any viewing of data will be incidental to this.

There are other specific situations where we may be required to disclose information about you, such as:

  • where we are required to provide the information by law
  • where disclosing the information is required to prevent or detect a crime, including fraud
  • where disclosure is in the vital interests of the person concerned

Your data protection rights

You have these rights in relation to your personal data:

  • the right to be informed about the collection and use of your data
  • the right to obtain access to your data
  • the right to have any inaccurate or incomplete data rectified
  • the right to have personal data erased in specific circumstances
  • the right to restrict processing of data in specific circumstances
  • the right to object to processing of your data in certain circumstances

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

More information

If you’d like to know more about the information we hold, or the way we use it, please email the data protection officer at Southwark Council at  dpo@southwark.gov.uk  or write to

 Data Protection Officer PO Box 68763, London, SE1P 4DJ.

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

Page last updated: 11 June 2018