Who we are and what we do

The Benefits department is part of the Revenues and Benefits Service. They are responsible for processing and paying Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support,  Discretionary Housing Payment and Free School Meals. They also deal with recovering overpayments of Housing Benefit


Revenues and Benefits Service
London Borough of Waltham Forest
PO Box 856
E17 9PN

This privacy notice only relates to Housing Benefit (HB), Council Tax Support (CTS) Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) and Free School Meals (FSM).

Information we hold about you

In order to calculate HB, CTS, DHP and FSM we collect information about you, your partner, your children and other adults that live in your household.

This information includes the following:

  • name
  • address
  • date of birth
  • national insurance number
  • earned income benefits and allowances
  • bank accounts
  • savings
  • investments
  • property ownership
  • rent paid
  • tenancy agreements
  • landlord details
  • immigration details
  • school/s attended by children
  • phone numbers
  • email addresses and
  • any other information deemed necessary such as a statement of accounts for self-employed people.

Purpose of processing personal data and how we use it

We are required by legislation to process benefits for those who are entitled. The information we collect, and the information provided to us by the Department for Work and Pensions are required for the calculation of your entitlement.

The following legislation is applicable:

  • Housing Benefit - under Section 131 (1) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 and associated Regulations.
  • Council Tax Benefit - under Section 139 (1) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 and associated Regulations.
  • Council Tax Support scheme - under S13A and Schedule 1a of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and associated Regulations.
  • Education Act 1996 and associated Regulations

We will use the information for the following reasons:

  • to find out if you are liable, if appropriate, for Council Tax at your address.
  • we may use your information to help collect debts like Council Tax.
  • we may use the information held to assist in the recovery of Housing Benefit overpayments.

The information held by the council as part of your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support application can be shared with and used by other council services to:

  • tell you about help and assistance which may be available from other parts of the Council
  • help decide whether you qualify for help and how much, if anything, you should pay
  • help identify and support people who are at risk of becoming homeless
  • help identify families who may benefit from the Troubled Families Programme
  • help people living in a council or Housing Association property. Notifying who will be affected by the Benefit Cap and/or Under Occupation in the Social sector. By telling another part of the Council or your landlord, they will be able to advise you on what you should do next and provide you with any assistance they can.

The lawful basis for the processing

In accordance with the data protection act 2018 we need a "lawful basis" for collecting and using information about you. There are a variety of different lawful bases for processing personal data which are set out in the data protection act.

The lawful basis on which we rely in order to use the information which we collect about you for the purposes set out in this notice will be:

  • Legal Obligation
  • Public Task

For more details on the Lawful Basis see the ICO guidance

Who your information may be shared with (internally and externally)

We will use your information for the purpose of performing any of its statutory enforcement duties. We will make any disclosures required by law. We may also share this information with other bodies responsible for detecting/preventing fraud or auditing/ administering public funds. We may share the details with other organisations that handle public funds and assist in the processing of other benefits.

We will share information with a third party where you have given us written permission to do so.

If housing benefit is paid directly to your landlord, we will share limited information with the landlord about payment dates and the amounts of payment. We will share information with Elected Members of the London Borough of Waltham Forest, where they are pursuing their legitimate functions, and with Members of Parliament for the same reason.

How long we keep your information

We will not keep your information longer than is necessary. We will retain your information for six years after the last payment on the claim. If a claim has an outstanding overpayment, we will retain your information for six years after full repayment of the overpayment.