Benefits privacy notice

This privacy notice is designed to help you understand how and why North Yorkshire Council processes your personal data. This notice should be read in conjunction with our corporate privacy notice.

Who are we?

North Yorkshire Council is a ‘data controller’ as defined by Article 4(7) of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR).

North Yorkshire Council are responsible for the administration of statutory and discretionary benefits.

The council has appointed Veritau to be its data protection officer. Their contact details are:

Information Governance Office
West Offices
Station Rise
North Yorkshire


Tel: 01904 552848

What personal information do we collect?

To carry out these purposes we process the following categories of personal data, depending on the benefit(s) claimed:

  • name, address and contact details, including previous addresses
  • date of birth and gender
  • nationality and ethnicity, including date of entry to UK
  • relationship status and household composition and circumstances 
  • employment/employer details
  • income and expenditure details
  • bank details and balances
  • details of properties owned and/or landlord and rent details
  • unique Identifiers, such as National Insurance number, Student ID
  • Social Care Status
  • student status and educational setting

We may also need to process the following of special categories of personal data , if this will have an effect on your benefit entitlements

  • details regarding your health, including disability 
  • sexual orientation 
  • race or ethnic origin 

Why do we collect your personal information?

We will process the personal data outlined above, for the administration of the following  statutory and discretionary benefits:

  • Housing Benefit 
  • council tax reduction
  • discretionary housing payments
  • discretionary council tax support
  • local welfare provision
  • North Yorkshire Local Assistance Fund 
  • housing benefit overpayments
  • To check your eligibility 
  • To assess the quality of our service via call recording and monitoring 
  • prevention and detection of fraud 
  • To facilitate the calculation and payment of benefit entitlements

Who do we obtain your information from?

While providing this service, we may receive information from the following external agencies: 

  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)  
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • other local authorities

Who do we share this information with?

Internally within the council, we may share information with the following service areas:

  • Counter Fraud Team – to prevent and detect fraud and help protect public monies
  • Electoral Services - to support the administration of the electoral register   
  • Debt Recovery Team – for the recovery of overpayments 
  • Environment Health Department – to fulfil the council’s duties under the Housing Act 1985 and the Housing Act 2004
  • Adult Social Care - to assist in the determination of financial assessments for care support.

Externally to the council, we may share information with the following organisations

  • HMRC
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • other local authorities  
  • His Majesties Courts and Tribunal Services.
  • Cabinet Office- we participate in the Cabinet Offices National Fraud Initiative, a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular data sets to the Minister for the Cabinet Office. This data may be passed to other public bodies to investigate any matches. 
  • credit reference agencies to verify your circumstances for entitlement to benefits and/or ascertain your ability to pay back overpayments.
  • external auditors: to ensure correct administration of Housing Benefit legislation.
  • letting agents and landlords.
  • local government and Social Care Ombudsman: We may share information when requested as part of any ongoing complaint investigation.
  • Your nominated representatives.
  • software providers, that may host or process your data on behalf of the council such as NEC 
  • Your employer, if it is necessary for the recovery of benefit overpayments.

We may be asked to provide personal information by relevant authorities with regulatory powers such as the police, government departments and other local authorities for the purposes of the prevention or detection of crime and/or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders without the permission of the data subject. 

The Council will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis.

Automated Decisions

Some online benefit applications may involve an automated decision. 

We may increase, decrease or suspend a benefit award automatically, based upon a change in circumstances reported to us by the DWP ATLAS system such as your ongoing entitlement to Tax Credits. 

How long do we keep your information for?

Data held Retention period
Housing Benefit data 6 years
Council tax support data 6 years
Scanned ID documents 6 years

What is our lawful basis for processing your information?

North Yorkshire Council relies on the following lawful basis to process your personal data:

UK GDPR Article 6 (1) (c) – processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject

UK GDPR Article 6 (1) (e) – processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest

When processing special category information, the Council will rely on the following lawful basis:

UK GDPR Article 9 (2) - processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest with processing meeting Schedule 1, Part 2 of the Data Protection Act (2018) as below:

  • (6) Statutory and Government purposes
  • (16) Support for individuals with a disability or medical condition
Service area Legislation
Housing Benefit
  • Housing Benefit (state pension credit) Regulations 2006,
  • Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit (Decision and Appeals) Regulations 2001
  • Social Security Contributions and Benefit Act 1992
  • Social Security Administration Act 1992
Council tax reduction
  • Local Government Finance Act 1992
  • Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations 2001 as amended by the Council Tax Benefit Abolition (Consequential Provisions)
  • Regulations 2013 and the Universal Credit (Consequential, Supplementary, Incidental and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2013
Discretionary Housing
  • Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations 2001
  • The Welfare Reform Act 2012
  • Theft Act (2006).
Local Welfare Provision
  • The Welfare Reform Act 2012
Housing Benefit
  • The Housing Benefit Regulations 2006, regulations 99 – 107
  • Housing Benefit (state pension credit) Regulations 2006 regulations 80-88

Data Transfers beyond European Economic Area

We do not transfer any of your personal information outside the European Economic Area

For more information about how the council uses your data, including your privacy rights and the complaints process, please see our Corporate Privacy Notice.