Skip to main content

Social Security Benefits: Personal Records

Volume 493: debated on Friday 12 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for how long her Department retains records of claimants who have ceased claiming each benefit; and on how many occasions a local authority has requested information on a benefit claimant for which his Department no longer holds records since 1997. (275110)

The Department has a comprehensive document and data retention policy that is detailed in the Benefits Document and Data Retention Guide (Benefits DDRG). A copy of the Benefits DDRG has been placed in the Library.

In general, documents are retained for 14 months from the date a claim ceases. There are exceptions to this across all benefits, details of which can be found in the DDRG. One specific exception is where there is a housing benefit or council tax benefit interest, in which case records will be kept for six years.

Information on how many occasions a local authority has requested information on a benefit claimant for which the Department no longer holds records since 1997 is not available.