How do I find out what information about me was used in a decision?
The easiest way to find out what they know about you is by sending a ‘subject access request’ through Rightly. A subject access request allows you to see any personal information an organisation has stored about you.
- see what information they have stored about you
- understand why certain decisions were made about you
- make sure that your data is being handled properly
When you know what companies have recorded about you and what they’re using, you can take action, like telling them to delete it if you want them to.
Why should I gather evidence to appeal my PIP decision?
You should gather evidence to make your appeal as strong as possible. It could change the amount of PIP (Personal Independence Payment) that you get.
- didn’t get a PIP
- got a lower rate than you expected
- think your award isn’t long enough
You should appeal.
In order to gather evidence, you need to send the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) a subject access request, to look at all of the information that they used to make their decision about you.
What personal data does the DWP hold about me?
The information the DWP has depends on the type of benefits you claim, but can include the following:
- family, lifestyle and social circumstances
- financial details
- employment and education details
- goods or services provided
- education and training details
- visual images
- physical or mental health details
- racial or ethnic origin
- political, religious or other beliefs of a similar nature
- trade union membership
- sexual life
- genetic data
- biometric data
- offences including alleged offences
- criminal proceedings, outcomes and sentences
If you discover that any of the information the DWP is working with is wrong, you can use it as evidence to support your appeal.
Some common questions
How do I send a subject access request (SAR)?
The easiest way to find out where your information is by sending a request through Rightly:
- Search for any company
- Enter your basic details so that they can confirm your identity
- Check your email and send your request
What can you expect after you send your request?
They should confirm what personal information of yours they have within 30 days.
So I don't need a subject access request template?
No - they tend to be of varying quality and take a lot of effort. That's why we made Rightly, so that things can be as safe and time-effective as possible for you to have more control over your data.
How long until they respond to my request?
After the DWP has received your request, they have to reply in full within 30 days, or give a valid reason for asking for an extension. If you have any questions, or have any difficulty at all with how companies respond, our friendly support team is here to help!
What if they don't reply?
They have to reply by law. You can ask any organisation if they have your personal data, even if you don't know for sure whether or not they have it. They have to tell you what they have, as well as how and why they are using it. This is thanks to your ‘right of access’ under GDPR law.
How long can a company store my data for?
There is no specific time limit on how long an organisation can hold your personal data. Under GDPR, your information should simply not be kept for any longer than necessary.
While a company should be able to justify the length of time that your data is stored, whether or not this is acceptable depends on what the data was collected for in the first place.
For instance, a company can keep hold of employment contract data for a total of 6 years since this is the window of time in which a contract breach claim could be made.
However, when it comes to job applicant CVs for example, these can only be stored for a maximum of 6 months, based on this being the length of time in which a candidate could file a discrimination claim.