Housing benefit and council tax reduction privacy notice

Find out about housing benefit and council tax reduction privacy notice here.

Who will own my data once I submit it?

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
However, for data supplied as part of an application for support with fuel costs only and:

Where a fuel voucher is issued through the Fuel Bank Foundation, Knowsley Council and the Fuel Bank Foundation will jointly own the data.

Why do you need my information?

We need your information to:

  • Check if you are eligible for the following support and to work out how much you may receive:
    • Housing Benefit and/or Discretionary Housing Payments
    • Free school meals
    • Council tax reduction
    • Local Welfare Assistance (Knowsley’s Emergency Support Scheme and fuel vouchers issued through the Fuel Bank Foundation)
  • Assist in the recovery of Housing Benefit overpayments
  • Calculate how much you need to pay towards the cost of social care services (residential and non-residential) being provided to you by the council
  • Provide advice on benefit entitlement and/or maximisation

We will produce statistics from user data that will help us review and improve our services in the future. These statistics are anonymised, and no individuals can be identified from the reports.

What allows you to use my information?

  • Local Government Finance Act 1992
  • Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992
  • Social Security Administration Act 1992
  • Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000
  • The Housing Benefit Regulations 2006
  • Welfare Reform Act 2012
  • Social Security (Information sharing in relation to Welfare Assistance, etc) Regulations 2012
  • Care Act 2014

Who will my information be shared with?

Your information may be shared with:

  • Public agencies, government departments and other organisations, in relation to a welfare benefit claim.  This may include:-
    • The Department for Work and Pensions
    • Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs
    • The Appeals Service
    • The Valuation Tribunal
    • Ombudsman and regulatory authorities
    • Law enforcement and prosecuting authorities
  • Other council services to check or prove your entitlement to other benefits, grants or services that you may be entitled to receive, to ensure our records are accurate and up-to-date, to improve the standard of the services we deliver, and to perform any of our statutory duties, including enforcement duties and any other duties related to Public Health.
  • Debt collection and tracing agents working on the council’s behalf – to assist in the recovery of housing benefit overpayments
  • Other bodies, where the law allows this, for the purposes of preventing or detecting fraud.  The Council participates in fraud initiatives, including the National Fraud Initiative, and may verify the data we hold with other organisations, including other local authorities and credit reference agencies
  • Where eligible, personal details will be shared with the Fuel Bank Foundation to enable them to issue a voucher for fuel to you.  Data will only be shared where an award cannot be made through Knowsley’s Emergency Support Scheme.
  • Limited information may be shared with your landlord where your housing benefit is being paid direct to them – we will only tell your landlord how much housing benefit you are receiving and when this will be paid to them
  • Limited information may be shared with your child’s school – we will only tell the school if your child is eligible to receive Free School Meals
  • Other people, or organisations/agencies, you have given us consent to share information with. This may include appointees, Members of Parliament and local Councillors.
  • We may use your data for other purposes if it is lawful to do so.

Do I have to provide this information and what will happen if I don't?

If you do not provide the information requested, we will not be able to provide support to you.
If you are receiving Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction, you must tell us of any changes that may affect your eligibility and/or the amount you are receiving within one month.

If you do not tell us about changes, you may be subject to further proceedings, including prosecution and you will have to pay back any amounts that have been overpaid.

How long will you keep this data and why?

We retain your information for seven years after the last payment on the claim. If a claim has an outstanding overpayment, we will retain your information for seven years after full repayment of the overpayment.

If the claim has an active fraud investigation, we will retain all information until seven years after the end of the fraud investigation and conclusion of court action.

For data shared with the Fuel Bank Foundation as part of an application for a fuel voucher, data will be held by the Fuel Bank Foundation for 2 years.

We only hold information as long as it is needed or required by law and then dispose of it securely.

How will my information be stored?

Your information will be stored in secure systems and in line with our information security guidelines.

The data shared with the Fuel Bank Foundation is stored in a password protected file for 2 years. 

Will this information be used to take automated decisions about me?


Will my data be transferred abroad?


What rights do I have when it comes to my data?

Under the General Data Protection Regulation, you have the following rights with regard to your personal data: -

  • The right to subject access – you have the right to see a copy of the personal data that the Council holds about you and find out what it is used for.
  • The right to rectification – you have the right to ask the Council to correct or remove any inaccurate data that we hold about you.
  • The right to erasure (right to be forgotten) you have the right to ask the Council to remove data that we hold about you.
  • The right to restriction – you have the right to ask for your information to be restricted (locked down) on Council system
  • The right to data portability – you have the right to ask for your data to be transferred back to you or to a new provider at your request.
  • The right to object – you have the right to ask the Council to stop using your personal data or to stop sending you marketing information, or complain about how your data is used.
  • The right to prevent automated decision making – you have the right to ask the Council to stop using your data to make automated decisions about you or to stop profiling your behaviour. (where applicable).

To find out more about your rights under the GDPR, please visit the Information Commissioner’s website.

To request a copy of your data or ask questions about how it is used, please visit our data protection section or contact:

Data Protection Officer

Knowsley Council

Westmorland Road


L36 9GL

Or email: Inforights@knowsley.gov.uk

Who can I complain to if I am unhappy about how my data is used?

You can complain directly to the Council’s Data Protection Team by writing to: - 

Data Protection Officer

Knowsley Council

Westmorland Road


L36 9GL

Or via the Have Your Say form.

You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office using the following details: -

The Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane




Telephone: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45

Website: www.ico.org.uk

Chat with us