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Welfare Rights Service Privacy Notice

Dudley Borough Council collects, holds and uses a full range of information, including personal information about residents, people it provides services to, and other people such as carers. We do this so we can better understand what you need and how we can effectively meet these needs. The Council is accountable to its communities and has a duty to the people who we hold information about. We follow strict and distinct rules and have controls in place on how your personal information is used. We must treat your information responsibly, keep it safe and secure, and use it correctly and proportionately. This does include sharing the data you have provided when we are required to do this. This document is a privacy notice. It explains and is organised around the following aspects: how and why we use any information we collect about you; how we may share your information; how long we keep your information; and your rights.

Information we collect

When you contact Dudley Welfare Rights Service (WRS), we will collect and use your personal data. We may also collect some special category information. A further explanation of this can be found in the Council’s main Privacy Notice 

Information stored may include:

  • personal details
  • family, lifestyle and social circumstances
  • financial details
  • employment and education details
  • services provided
  • education and training details
  • visual images

WRS also processes sensitive information that may include:

  • physical or mental health details
  • racial or ethnic origin
  • political, religious or other beliefs of a similar nature
  • trade union membership
  • sexual life
  • genetic data
  • biometric data
  • offences, including alleged offences
  • criminal proceedings, outcomes and sentences

We may hold information about:

  • members of the public
  • customers
  • people who live in the customer’s household
  • suppliers and services providers
  • advisers, consultants and other professional experts - complainants and enquirers
  • relatives, guardians and friends
  • offenders and suspected offenders
  • employees

Why we need this information

WRS holds basic information (such as your name, address, date of birth) about everyone who has assistance with a benefit query. We may share this information with DWP, HMRC and other departments of Dudley MBC. We will hold more detailed information as required for your specific benefit query.

WRS sometimes needs information about people other than the person who has made an enquiry, in order to give accurate advice, and to work out entitlement to benefits. For example, where a person makes a claim for certain benefits, we need information about other people who live in the same household to work out how much the person will be paid. If we ask you for personal information, you need to give us accurate information

How WRS shares information about you

WRS may share information with and also receive information from other organisations such as:

  • government departments
  • departments of the Council
  • employers and potential employers
  • landlords
  • charitable and welfare

Why we may share information

We do this for a number of reasons, including to:

  • check the accuracy of information
  • help resolve queries, and act as intermediary with other relevant organisations
  • protect public funds
  • use for research or statistical purposes

We will only ever give information about you to someone outside WRS if the law allows us to.

Data protection principles 

We will always comply with data protection law. This says that the personal information we hold about you must be:

  • used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way
  • collected only for valid purposes that we have clearly explained to you and not used in any way that is incompatible with those purposes
  • relevant to the purposes we have told you about and limited only to those purposes
    accurate and kept up to date
  • kept only as long as necessary for the purposes we have told you about
    kept securely

How long WRS keeps your data

The information provided will be kept in accordance with the Council’s retention policy. Details of this are available by contacting information.governance@dudley.gov.uk

Read more about the legal basis for the Council’s processing on this page – Adult Social Care Privacy Statement 

We will use this personal and special category data to comply with our legal obligations and duties, and where it is necessary to protect individuals from harm or injury.
The legal basis under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Article 6 (1) are:
“(c) processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject; and (e) processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller. Additionally in some cases (a) the data subject has given consent to the processing and(d) processing is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject or of another natural person.”
The legal basis under GDPR Article 9 (2) for special category data are:
“(c) processing is necessary to protect the vital interests of the data subject or of another natural person where the data subject is physically or legally incapable of giving consent; (g) processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest, on the basis of Union or Member State law which shall be proportionate to the aim pursued, respect the essence of the right to data protection and provide for suitable and specific measures to safeguard the fundamental rights and the interests of the data subject; and in some cases (a) the data subject has given explicit consent to the processing of those personal data for one or more specified purposes.”

Your Information Rights

The name and contact details of the Data Protection Officer

We have a Data Protection Officer who is a council staff member whose job it is to make sure we respect your rights and follow the law. Please contact , Lewis Bourne, Data Protection Officer, at information.governance@dudley.gov.uk

or by calling:

0300 555 2345 and asking to speak to the Data Protection Officer.

or by post:
Dudley Borough Council, The Council House, Priory Road, Dudley , DY1 1HF.

Website: www.dudley.gov.uk

Your right to make a complaint

It would be helpful if you contacted us first at Complaints.SocialCare@dudley.gov.uk to see if we can resolve the problem.

You can also make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office if you are unhappy with how the council has handled your personal data. You can contact the ICO at: casework@ico.org.uk telephone 0303 123 1113, or post to Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.