Authority to Discuss (ATD)

Authority to Discuss (ATD) is where you can give a third party permission to discuss your claim with us. A third party could be: a family member, a support or social worker, an organisation you are in contact with, a healthcare professional, your landlord or a friend. You can grant ATD to more than one person or organisation.

If your landlord is paid directly but does not have ATD we can only discuss payments with them e.g. the amounts to be paid, the payment frequency and the payment method. If your landlord does not receive payment directly and does not have ATD we will not disclose any information to them.

To give ATD, you will need to provide: Signed permission from you that includes, the name and address of the person or organisation we can discuss your claim with and their relationship to you.


Appointees

If you are unable to manage your affairs, Benefit Services can appoint someone to act for you. A prospective appointee must be aged at least 18 and can be an individual or an organisation, e.g. a local authority or a firm of solicitors. A person who has been appointed by the Department for Work and Pensions will usually be accepted as an appointee by Benefit Services without needing to apply separately.

An appointee has the same rights and responsibilities as a the person claiming, and in effect acts as though they are that person in relation to their Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction claim. Duties include:

  • Completing application forms 
  • Receiving or collecting payments 
  • Dealing with any correspondence 
  • Reporting any changes in the applicant's circumstances 
  • Repaying any overpayment of Housing Benefit

A request for an appointee can be made using the appointee form, available from Benefit Services.

An appointee or the person they act for can ask for the appointment to be terminated at any time. Also, Benefit Services can terminate an appointment at any time without giving reasons. In either case, four weeks notice must be given.

Email: Benefit.services@southampton.gov.uk