The Appeals Service Northern Ireland Privacy Notice

Version 3 – 22 November 2018

Data Controller Name:  The Appeals Service Northern Ireland
Address: PO Box 2202, Belfast, BT1 9YJ
Telephone: 028 90544000
Email: Appeals.Service.Belfast@communities-ni.gov.uk

Data Protection Officer: Karen McMullan
Telephone: (028) 9082 9200
Email: DPO@communities-ni.gov.uk

Why are you processing my personal information?

Information is retained and processed by the Appeals Service to enable the determination of appeals against decisions made by the Department for Communities (Work & Inclusion Group & Child Maintenance Service); HMRC; Northern Ireland Housing Executive; and Land and Property Services.

The Appeals Service provides administrative support to independent tribunals to hear, case manage and determine these appeals.

The legislation governing appeals is:

  • The Social Security (Recover of Benefits) ( Northern Ireland ) Order 1997;
  • The Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998;
  • Social Security and Child Support (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999;
  • The Child Support Order (Northern Ireland) 1991;
  • Social Security Commissioners (Procedure) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001;
  • Housing Benefit (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001;
  • The Child Benefit and Guardians Allowance (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations 2003;
  • Tax Credits (Appeals) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002;
  • Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015;
  • Case Law from The Social Security and Child Support Commissioners In Northern Ireland and Great Britain;
  • Employment and Support Allowance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016; and
  • The Universal Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016.
  • Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998; and
  • General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) with effect from 25 May 2018.

If you want to look up the law on social security, further information is available from the Northern Ireland Digest of Case Law at the website:

www.communities-ni.gov.uk/topics/dsd-law-and-legislation/social-security-legislation

The independent tribunals make their decisions on the basis of all information available to it.

What categories of personal data are you processing?

Categories of information processed include appellant(s)/partner(s) full name, children names, address, email address, National Insurance Number, Date of Birth, medical history/records, bank details, work history and  telephone number(s); Agents/Appointee (name, address and contact number); Representative’s name and correspondence address.

Do you share my personal data with anyone else?

The Appeals Service will retain all information provided by you on the appeal application form; any additional information or evidence that you believe will assist your appeal; information provided by the department against whose decision you are appealing including any claim forms, assessment reports provided by an independent heath professional; any copies of correspondence provided; and all decisions made by the Appeal Tribunal.

You may also be asked by the Appeal Tribunal to provide additional evidence in support of your appeal, or to provide consent for the release of your medical notes and records. Information contained within your medical records may support your appeal or they may contain information that does not support your appeal, this is something you will need to consider prior to giving your consent.

Your consent for the release of medical records may be withdrawn at any time in writing to the Appeals Service at the above address. However this consent in no way undermines your statutory rights to obtain your own records under the Access to Health Records (NI) Order 1993, or any other statutory provision.

The information detailed above, and any additional evidence you provide including medical records will automatically be shared with the Appeal Tribunal members selected to hear your appeal or selected to deal with any applications to the tribunal you or the other party may make; it will also be shared with the other parties in the appeal. All parties to the appeal include:

  • Your and/or your appointee;
  • An officer of the department against whom you have your appeal;
  • In Child Maintenance appeals, the other parent
  • In Universal Credit appeals, your joint claim partner
  • In Compensation Recovery and Health Service Charges appeals, the insurance company or private individual making the appeal
  • Your representative may also see this information but only with your specific consent; this is a matter for you to decide.

We may also share this information with the President of the Appeals Tribunal in discharging his functions in accordance with his judicial decision making capacity, which includes having access to all appeal records, so that he can carry out his judicial functions in accordance with The Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998, and the Social Security and Child Support (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999.  Your information may be shared with him, if selected as a monitoring case, to enable him to provide the Department with a report on the standards achieved by the Department in making benefit decisions, in accordance with paragraph 10, Schedule 1 of The Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998.   

We may also share information with the tribunal to enable legally qualified members to consider an application, and with the Office of the Social Security Commissioners and Child Support Commissioners if an appeal is lodged with the Commissioners against the decision of the Appeals Tribunal.

We may also share this information with enforcement agencies for the prevention or detection of crime/fraud in accordance with the appropriate legal authority to do so.

We may also share this information with translation service providers where the information is required by to be translated into a different language or format to enable it to be considered by the tribunal or a party to the case, in accordance with our obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the European Convention Human Rights (ECHR).

Confidentiality of information in Child Support or Child Maintenance cases

If, you have asked the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Division to keep your location confidential, then your address, or information which could reasonably be expected to lead to your location, will be withheld from the appeal papers being issued to the other party.

Do you transfer my personal data to other countries?

Sometimes it may be necessary to transfer personal information to another United Kingdom government department in the determination of your appeal. This will be in accordance with The Social Security (Great Britain Reciprocal Arrangements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1976. This may include circumstances where you have moved from one part of the United Kingdom to another and wish to appeal a decision from that other part. No personal information is transferred outside the EEA.

Any transfers of information made will be in full compliance with the applicable legislation and all aspects of the GDPR.

How long do you keep my personal data?

We will only retain your data for as long as necessary to process your appeal and in line with the Departmental Retention and Disposal Schedule:

https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/publications/dfc-disposal-records-schedule

Any Information or data passed to The President of The Appeals Tribunal may be retained by him until such times that he completes his functions in accordance with his judicial decision making capacity and he completes his report on the standards achieved by the Department in making benefit decisions.  This will be detailed in his specific Retention and Disposal Schedule in line with the Departments Retention and Disposal Schedule.

 What rights do I have?

How do I complain if I am not happy?

If you are unhappy with how any aspect of this privacy notice, or how your personal information is being processed, please contact the Data Protection Officer at the above address.

If you are still not happy, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO):

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113

Email: casework@ico.org.uk

https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

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