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Privacy notice - Welfare Rights

Who are we and what do we do?


Middlesbrough Council provides a welfare rights service. We provide information and advice for people with welfare benefit needs to help them maximise their benefit income, apply for benefits they may be eligible for and provide representation for people at appeal tribunals.

What type of personal data do we collect and how do we collect it?


We collect personal data such as name, DOB, address, contact details, gender, next of kin, National Insurance Number, and Financial Information. We collect ‘special category’ data including ethnicity and health information.  Further to the personal and special category information, some of the information collected will include criminal convictions and offences. We often obtain this from yourself, other council departments and third parties such as other local authorities, GP surgeries and hospitals, charities, Citizens Advice Bureau and the Police.

How the Law allows us to use your personal data


We use personal data where we have a ‘legal obligation’ or and to carry out ‘public tasks’ based in law. We use special category data where it is necessary for the purposes of social security and social protection or where there is ‘substantial public interest’ on the basis of law. The law that requires or permits us to use this data includes Care Act 2014, Welfare Reform Act 2012, Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations 2001, Housing Act 1996, Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, Housing Benefit Regulations 2006, Council Tax Reduction Scheme Regulations 2013, Social Security Contributions and Benefit Act 1992, Local Government Finance Act 2012, and Local Government Act 2000.

What is your personal data used for?


We use your personal data to provide you with advice, guidance and support tailored to meet your identified needs including benefit advice, dealing with any problems or complaints that arise in relation to the services you receive and to help investigate any worries or complaints you have about these services.

Will your personal data be shared?


We share your personal information where we have a business need or the law requires us to do so with other Council departments and third parties such as Department for Working Pensions, HM Courts and Tribunal Services, appointees, and health professionals. Personal information may also be shared with grant providers to secure funds to support your identified needs.

How do we keep your personal data secure?


We use the following measures to ensure that your personal data is secure: data protection and security policies, information security incident reporting, data and device encryption, system and data access controls, user accounts and passwords, physical and environmental security, staff vetting practices, staff training and awareness, data back-ups, ICT network penetration testing, and business continuity and disaster recovery plans.

How long will we keep your personal data?


We only keep your data for as long as the Law requires it and this is set out in our ‘records management retention schedules’

Is your personal data processed overseas?


No, your personal data is processed and stored only in the UK.



We will not use this personal data for any direct marketing purposes.

What are your information rights?


Your Information Rights are set out in law and, subject to some exceptions, you have the:

  • Right to rectification - to ask for information to be corrected
  • Right to erasure - to have your personal data deleted
  • Right to object - to how your data is used
  • Right to restriction - to request limits on how your data is used
  • Right to portability - to request that we move your data to another organisation
  • Right of subject access - to request a copy of data the Council holds about you

Making a complaint


If you have a concerns about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, you should raise your concern with us in the first instance or directly to the Information Commissioner's Office. Visit the website of the Information Commissioner's Office.



If you would like to discuss anything in this privacy notice or your information rights, please contact:

The Data Protection Officer
Middlesbrough Council
PO Box 500, Middlesbrough, TS1 9FT
Phone: 01642 245432
Email: dataprotection@middlesbrough.gov.uk