Benefits Service - How we use your personal information

At Stafford Borough Council we take your privacy seriously and will only keep and use your personal information for reasons that the law requires or allows.

The Council is a data controller for the personal information we hold about you in relation to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reductions.

The Benefits Service is provided to us by Cannock Chase District Council, under the terms of a Service Level Agreement and so data will be processed by them on our behalf.

In order to comply with data protection legislation we want to be sure you understand how we use this information.

The purposes for which your data will be used are:-

  1. Ensuring that you receive the correct amount of Housing Benefit.
  2. Ensuring that you receive the correct amount of Local Council Tax Reduction.
  3. Recovering any overpaid Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction.
  4. Assessing any Discretionary Housing Payments or Council Tax Reductions that we may be able to pay to you.
  5. Preventing and detecting fraud and error within the benefit system.
  6. Preventing and detecting fraud in other areas.

We are able to do this because legislation says we must do it and the processing is necessary for compliance with legal obligations.

There are very many different regulations covering the administration of Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Reductions. 

The main rules are contained in:

  • Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992
  • Social Security Administration Act 1992
  • Social Security Act 1998
  • The Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 (as amended)
  • Local Government Finance Act 1992
  • Local Government Finance Act 2012
  • The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Default Scheme) (England) Regulations 2012

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

We are required by law to hold and use some of your information for:

  • Administering the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction schemes.
  • Preventing and detecting fraud and error within those schemes or other areas.

We may share your information with;

  • Other agencies involved in the processing of benefits (this would typically be the Department for Works and Pensions, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs or the Valuation Office Agency).
  • Other councils or organisations as part of the national fraud initiative.
  • Your landlord, in limited circumstances only.

Otherwise, we will only share your data if you ask us to, or if it is in the public interest to do so and the law requires or allows us to.

We sometimes collect information about people other than the person who has applied for a benefit or service. This is to enable us to work out what the applicant is entitled to. For example, where a person makes a claim for Housing Benefit and/or Local Council Tax Support, we need information about other people who live in the same household to work out how much the applicant will be paid.

We only keep this data for the time specified in our retention schedule or as required by law. 

Your personal data is processed (including storage) within the European Economic Area only.

Data protection law provides you with certain rights. Not all of these rights will be available to you in all situations, particularly where we process your information as part of one of our statutory duties.

Where we are under a legal duty to use data for a particular purpose you will not have the right to prevent it being used in that way.

A full list of the rights you may have, under data protection law, is given in the 'Your Rights' section on Data Protection - Privacy Notices.

For specific enquiries regarding personal data which we process you can contact the Data Protection Officer on email: or at Civic Centre, Riverside, Stafford ST16 3AQ.

If you wish to complain about how your personal information has been handled by Stafford Borough Council then please contact the Data Protection Officer in the first instance using the details above. If you are not satisfied you can submit a formal complaint to the Council.

Finally you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, Tel: 0303 123 1113 or you can visit their website at

Details of how we handle your personal information.


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