Discussing your claim

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When you make a Housing and Council Tax Reduction claim, we sometimes need to discuss your claim with other people. Your claim includes many personal details and it is important for you to know that we treat any information you give us as confidential. We will not normally discuss it with anyone except you, unless you give us your permission. By following the Data Protection Act 1998 we aim to ensure that we protect your privacy.

Sharing information with your landlord

Sometimes sharing information with your landlord helps us to deal with your claim quickly, so there is less risk of you falling behind with your rent. We will only share information with your landlord if we have your written permission.

If you give us permission, we will be able to tell your landlord:

  • whether or not you have claimed Housing Benefit
  • whether we have made a decision on your claim or not
  • if we need more information to help us decide on your claim
    (and what information that is)
We may need to check other information with your landlord, such as the date your tenancy started, before we can make a decision on your claim. If so, we have to ask your landlord even if you have not given permission to discuss your claim with them.

Unless you have given us permission by signing a statement that we may do so, we will not discuss anything else with your landlord.

We will not give your landlord any information about:

  • your personal or household circumstances
  • your financial circumstances
If you do not give us permission to discuss your claim with your landlord, it will not affect your claim. If you give us permission and change your mind, we will follow your wishes.

Appointees:

If you are unable to deal with your claim yourself, your claim can be made by an 'appointee'. This is someone who represents you when you cannot represent yourself, for example because of serious illness. The appointee takes over all of your rights and responsibilities in relation to the Housing and Council Tax Redution claim on your behalf.

Generally we will accept an appointee if they are:

  • a Receiver appointed by the Court of Protection
  • an Attorney
  • a person appointed by the Department of Work and Pensions to deal with other benefits on your behalf
In some cases we may accept a written request from anyone aged over 18 to be an appointee, for example:
  • a friend
  • a relative
  • a social worker
  • a Solicitor
In these cases, we must first consider whether there is a conflict of interests. You should contact us for advice if you wish to choose one of the above as your appointee.

Discussing your claim with your family or representatives

We can also give information to someone who is acting on your behalf, including family members. However, we need to be sure they are doing so with your knowledge and consent, so we would always ask for your written permission in these circumstances.

Unless you have an appointee, you should always sign any claim forms yourself even if it has been completed by someone else on your behalf. You must also check that the details they have put on the form are correct. 


 

Date of last review: 12 December 2016