HC Deb 08 June 1982 vol 25 c60W
Mr. Dubs

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in what circumstances local Department of Health and Social Security offices may pass on information about individual claimants to other bodies such as electricity boards.

Mr. Newton

Personal information held in departmental records is regarded as confidential and is not normally disclosed to a third party without the consent of the person concerned. In general, therefore, information is not supplied to bodies such as electricity boards unless the person involved has consented or has requested that payments be sent direct to those bodies.

Where, however, the independent adjudicating authorities decide that it would be in a claimant's interest to pay supplementary benefit direct to an electricity board, for example to prevent a disconnection, it may be necessary to convey some information without the claimant's consent.