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Housing benefit suspended for random data matching

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Hi,

 

 

I am wondering if anyone knows anything about housing benefit and data matching?,my claim has been suspended since the 24th nov 16,for data matching purposes,they didn't inform me of this and I only know because I rang them when they didn't pay the hb,they could only tell me that it was suspended for random data matching and wouldn't be much longer.

It has been almost 6 weeks,I sent a message to my rent income officer to let her know but she didn't get back to me and now today she has sent a text saying we owe £738 and she is coming next week to serve a possession notice.I rang her straight back but she had left for the day!.

I rang hb again and they said there was nothing they could do and sometimes it can take 2 months and they cant override it or do anything else useful!.

Does anyone know if we can make a complaint about this?,I am going to go cap in hand to my Dad and ask him to lend me the money for the rent until its sorted and backdated,but there are many people who will have no way of covering their rent if this happens to them!.

Hb said they don't inform you that your claim has been suspended and will only tell you if they need any details from you which I find disgraceful to be honest,people could lose their homes over things like this.It makes you desperately worried and we have no control over it.

Any advice would be much appreciated,thankyou.

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Data matching involves collecting and comparing records held by different government and local authority departments to see whether or not they match with a view to stamp out error and corruption in the benefits system.

The Cabinet Office is the part of government with responsibility for rooting out such errors and corruption in the benefits system. Day to day operations and investigations to this end are farmed out to private credit reference companies or agencies who operate on a payment by results arrangement. Councils and local authorities are required by law to protect public funds so they are obliged to participate in any inter-departmental operation or investigation undertaken by such agencies.

The work programme also operates on a payment by results arrangement and we all know that providers and agencies in that programme will stoop to any depth to chase payment.

Your local authority obviously participates in the Cabinet Office's National Fraud Initiative. As such it is required to provide particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise. Details of how this works can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-fraud-initiative

The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a Code of Practice. A copy of the Code may be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/code-of-data-matching-practice-for-national-fraud-initiative

For further information on the Cabinet Office's legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information please visit:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fair-processing-national-fraud-initiative/fair-processing-level-3-full-text

I hope this throws some light on what is happening to you and inform you as to ways to seek redress if you are being wrongly or unfairly treated.

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