This notice provides details of what information we collect from you, what we do with it, and who it might be shared with.
We will keep your information safe and secure. We will have systems, processes and training designed to achieve this.
Identity and contact details of the controller and the data protection officer
Falkirk Council is the data controller. You can contact the data protection officer at:
Frequently asked questions
Why do we collect this information?
The information is being collected for the following purpose:
- To administer the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)scheme, and determine whether or not you need further financial assistance with your housing costs
The legal basis for each purpose is set out below:
|Performance of a contract
|Task carried out in the public interest
Local authorities make payments of DHP in accordance with the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000, and the Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations 2001. We must also have regards to relevant good practice guidance set out by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Scottish Government.
What information do we collect about you?
We need to gather your personal data to allow us to determine whether or not you need further financial assistance with your housing costs.
The information we gather depends on what type of support you need.
Scottish Government are committed to using DHP to mitigate the impact of the Size Criteria – Under Occupancy Restriction in Housing Benefit and Universal Credit. Where someone applies for this support, they are given it without any financial assessment (ie they do not need to demonstrate a need for the support). To administer this support we need:
- Your name
- Your date of birth
- Your National Insurance Number
- Your partners name
- Their date of birth
- Their National Insurance Number
- Details of other people in the household (i.e. children or other adults who live with you)
- Your address
- Contact details
- Bank details
Where you are applying for other support, in order to demonstrate to us that you need further financial assistance with your rent, you need to provide enough information to enable us to undertake a financial assessment. We therefore ask for information about:
- Your income
- Your expenditure
- Why your current property is suited to you – this may include information about medical or health conditions
- If you are expecting a child
- Your rent, and any rent arrears you have
- Steps you are taking to improve your situation
- Other additional information which you feel is relevant to your application
The extent of the information you provide is determined by you. However, the legislation allows us to ask for other supporting information we consider reasonably necessary to reach a decision on your application.
In addition to your application, we also keep electronic copies of supporting evidence provided by you or about you by third parties, communications we have with you, details of our assessment and decision, and decision notices we issue.
Where do we collect information from?
We collect the information we need to assess your entitlement directly from you when you complete your application form. Where necessary, we request follow up information from you directly.
To verify the information you give us, we also check other information held by Falkirk Council about you - If you receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction, we will use the information from that claim.
We also have access to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Customer Information System, which we can use to verify details of your income. DWP also share information to allow us to assess Council Tax Reduction and DHP if you claim Universal Credit.
Who might we share your information with?
As well as assessing and awarding DHP, we also use the information you provide to ensure that your Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction entitlement is correct.
We have a duty to protect public funds. We may check your information within the Council for verification purposes and/or for the prevention of fraud. We may also share your information with other organisations where we are required to do so for the purposes of the prevention or detection of crime.
Will we send your information outwith the UK?
We do not transfer your information outwith the UK. If we were to make such transfers, it would only be with appropriate safeguards.
How long do we keep hold of your information?
We keep your information as long as required by law or by our business requirements. We have a Business Classification Scheme in place which sets out the types of records we hold, and how long we hold them - you can access the relevant part of the scheme below.
What are my rights in relation to the information held about me?
You have the following rights:
- To see any information held about you by making a subject access request.
- To withdraw consent at any time, where the legal basis for processing is consent.
- To data portability, where the legal basis for processing is (i) consent or (ii) performance of a contract.
- To request rectification or erasure of your information, where data protection legislation allows this.
Do I have a right to complain about the way information has been used?
If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, please let us know and we will try to resolve this. If you are still concerned, you can contact the Information Commissioner:
or if you prefer to use a national rate number:
Do I have to provide my personal data to you?
You do not have to provide us with your personal data. However, if you do not we will be unable to assess or pay you DHP.
Do you use any automated processes to make decisions about me?
We do not use profiling or automated decision-making processes. Some processes are semi-automated (such as anti-fraud data matching) but a human decision maker will always be involved before any decision is reached in relation to you.
This notice was last updated in November 2019.