We keep the Benefits Privacy Notice under review. It was last reviewed and updated in May 2018.
The Benefits Privacy Notice covers the following Benefits services:
If you have any questions about this Privacy Notice contact the council’s Data Protection Officer.
View the privacy information for all of the City of York Council (CYC).
Collecting personal data
We may monitor and record electronic communications (website, email and phone conversations) for a number of reasons such as:
- staff training
- records of conversations
- the detection, investigation and prevention of crime
We will inform you if your call is being recorded or monitored.
Emails that we send to you or you send to us, may be retained as a record of contact and your email address stored for future use in accordance with our retention periods. If we need to email sensitive or confidential information to you, we may perform checks to verify the correct email address and may take additional security measures.
The amount and type of personal data we collect for the purposes of administering our services are dependent on the service you are accessing or the actions we are carrying out, such as:
- Housing Benefits
- Council Tax Support
- The York Financial Assistance Scheme (YFAS)
- Discretionary Housing Payments
- the recovering of overpayments
Details of required personal data are shown on the appropriate application forms:
- Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support New Claim form
- Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support Change of Circumstances
- Discretionary Housing Payments
- York Financial Assistance Scheme
In some circumstances, we will need more details and sometimes sensitive personal data for example if you are applying for assistance through the YFAS scheme, for a Discretionary Housing Payment or for extra help with your Council Tax.
Using personal data
We'll only use your personal data in accordance with data protection legislation, and for the purposes stated in this privacy notice.
- only ask for what is necessary for the purposes of administration of the mentioned schemes
- protect it and make sure nobody has access to it who shouldn’t
- ensure you know if you have a choice about giving us data
- only share your personal data with other City Of York Council departments or with external partners, agencies and contractors involved in delivering services on our behalf
- make sure we don’t keep it for longer than is necessary
- delete or destroy it securely when we no longer have a need to keep it
We ask that you:
- give us accurate information
- tell us as soon as possible of any changes
- tell us as soon as possible if you notice mistakes in the data we hold about you
From time to time, we may conduct or ask you to take part in a survey to get your feedback, comments and opinions to help us improve our services. We will only do this where we have your explicit consent to contact you for this purpose.
Sharing personal data
Any information we use in presentations or reports will be anonymised and will not identify any individuals. For example a report on the spending of the Discretionary Housing Payment fund will not feature any of your personal data.
Sharing data under Data Protection legislation
We do not disclose or share sensitive or confidential information without your explicit consent except where disclosure is required by law, or where we have good reason to believe that failing to do so, would put you or someone else at risk.
We may be required or permitted, under data protection legislation, to disclose your personal data without your explicit consent, for example if we have a legal obligation to do so, such as for:
- law enforcement
- fraud investigations
- regulation and licensing
- criminal prosecutions
- court proceedings
We must protect public funds and may use personal data and data-matching techniques to detect and prevent fraud, collect taxes and ensure public money is targeted and spent in the most appropriate and cost-effective way. To do this, your personal data may be shared with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, including the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, the Police and other local authorities.
Our legal basis for collecting and sharing personal data
When we use your personal data, we are relying on the below legal reasons:
- your consent, which you can withdraw at any time by notifying us. Please be advised that where consent is withdrawn your application for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction will no longer be able to be processed
- a law that says we must or can use your personal data and we can do so without your consent or permission
- Social Security Administration Act 1992
- Housing Benefit Regulations 2006
- Local Government Finance Act 2012
- The prevention/detection of crime, including false representation in accordance with the Fraud Act 2006
Retaining personal data
We will keep your personal data for 7 years after your last contact with us. This means if there is no activity on your account, we will delete or destroy your personal data securely.
At the end of the retention period, we may pass any relevant information to the City Archives where it is required or appropriate to do so.
Further processing of personal data
If we wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Privacy Notice, then we'll provide you with a new notice.
The new notice will:
- explain this new use before we start the processing
- set out the relevant purposes and processing conditions
Where and whenever necessary, we'll seek your consent to the new processing, if we start to use your personal data for a purpose not mentioned in this Privacy Notice.
Personal data in online Payments
The personal data you give to us when using our online payment system will only be used for the recording of your payment. We'll ensure that it is used for no other purpose and is not disclosed to a third party such as other companies or individuals, unless required to do so by law for the prevention of crime and the detection of fraud.
We'll hold it securely and only for as long as is needed. It will then be deleted in line with our Retention and Disposal Policy and Procedures.
Your rights relating to personal data
When we collect your personal data we'll tell you how we are going to use it. Where we process your personal data, you have a number of rights under data protection law.