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Social Services Sent My File To Another Person – Can I Claim?

If social services sent your file to another person, and this has caused you to experience harm, then you may be wondering if you can claim compensation.

Social services is an umbrella term for various social health and wellbeing agencies, such as child protective services and care for vulnerable people.

Social services sent my file to the wrong person

Social services sent my file to the wrong person

Because of this, agencies that work under this umbrella have access to both personal data and special category data. In this guide, we will explain what personal and special category data are, as well as what a personal data breach is.

Contact our advisors for free legal advice or for a free evaluation of your claim. If they find your case to be valid, they may connect you with one of our expert solicitors. To get in touch:

Select A Section

  1. What Are Social Services Data Breaches?
  2. How Often Do Personal Data Breaches Happen?
  3. What Personal Information Could The File Contain?
  4. Can I Get Compensation From Social Services If They Sent My File To Another Person?
  5. What Can I Claim If Social Services Sent My File To Another Person?
  6. Speak To Us About No Win No Fee Claims

What Are Social Services Data Breaches?

A social services data breach occurs as a security incident that goes on to affect your personal data and its confidentiality, availability, or integrity. We will explain what constitutes as personal data later on in this article.

According to the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), there are rules and regulations that data controllers and processors must follow. Data controllers decide how and why they need and use your personal data. Data processors process your personal data by acting on these instructions.

In order to form the basis of a valid claim, your case must meet certain specifications as set out by the UK GDPR. These include:

  • A breach must occur due to the failings of the data controller or processor
  • Your personal data must be a part of this breach
  • The breach leads to you experiencing harm

If social services have sent your file to another person, you may be eligible to claim data breach compensation. Please get in touch with us to see if you can claim.

How Often Do Personal Data Breaches Happen?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for upholding data protection legislation in the UK. They are an independent watchdog who have the power to investigate personal data breaches and fine the organisations responsible. The ICO also publish quarterly data security incident trends.

According to these statistics, across Q1 and Q2 of 2022, there were 4,209 reported data security incidents. Of this number, 80 incidents were reported in the social care sector.

To learn more about making a personal data breach claim if social services have sent your file to the wrong person, contact our advisors.

What Personal Information Could The File Contain?

Personal data is information which identifies you as an individual. Common examples of personal data include the following:

Social services agencies may also have access to special category data. This is a kind of personal data that is sensitive in nature and, as such, needs additional protection. Some examples of special category data that social services may have access to can include:

  • Your race or ethnicity
  • Religious or philosophical views
  • Political views
  • Your sexual orientation

All of these examples could potentially be found in a file held by social services. If social services then sent this file to another person, this could cause significant harm and distress. Read on to learn more about the impacts of a personal data breach, or contact our team to start your claim.

Can I Get Compensation From Social Services If They Sent My File To Another Person?

You may be wondering if you can claim against social services for a personal data breach. If a social services employee sends your file to another person, this could cause significant damage.

If a social services agency experiences a breach that could affect your freedoms or rights, then they have 72 hours to report this to the ICO. You also must be made aware of the breach without undue delay.

Following a breach of your personal data, you could contact social services yourself and make a complaint. They might then be able to provide more information. For example, they may explain why or how the breach occurred or what information was involved.

However, if they do not respond, or if their reply is not satisfactory, then you can make a complaint to the ICO. While the ICO can’t provide compensation, they do have the power to investigate personal data breaches and can impose fines on controllers or processors found to be in breach of data protection law.

To learn more about making a personal data breach claim because social services sent your file to another person, contact our advisors.

Time Limit For Making A Data Breach Claim

In order to make a claim for a social services data breach, you’ll need to take action within the limitation period. Usually, you have six years from the date that the social services breached your personal data and caused you financial harm or mental health injuries. However, the time limit shortens to just one year if the breach affects your human rights or involves a public body, like the local council.

If you fail to begin your claim within the time limit, you risk your data breach compensation claim being statute-barred. Therefore, you should act quickly. However, don’t worry if you haven’t taken action within the limitation period as exceptions may be granted by the court under specified circumstances, such as if the person whose data has been breached is a child under the age of 18.

Get in touch if you would like our advisors to clarify if you are within the time limit to claim for a social services data breach. They can also connect you with one of our expert data breach solicitors if you would like legal assistance.

What Can I Claim If Social Services Sent My File To Another Person?

If your social services data breach claim succeeds, you may receive two heads of claim. Material damage is the head of compensation that covers the financial impacts of a personal data breach. For example, a breach of your bank details could allow criminals to damage your credit score or accrue debt in your name.

Non-material damage is the head of compensation that covers the mental health injuries caused by the breach. For example, suffering a personal data breach can lead to anxiety, depression, and stress.

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Mental Injury Notes On The Injury Bracket For Compensation
Severe Psychiatric Harm There will be a severe reduction in the ability to cope with all aspects of daily life. £54,830 to £115,730
Moderately Severe Psychiatric Harm Symptoms may be similar to the above, however, the prognosis is much better, £19,070 to £54,830
Moderate Psychiatric Harm Symptoms will show a significant improvement, leading to a good prognosis. £5,860 to £19,070
Less Severe Psychiatric Harm The impact on sleep and other daily activities are taken into consideration. £1,540 to £5,860
Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms are severe and permanent, leading to the claimant being unable to function or work at the same level as they would have before. £59,860 to £100,670
Moderately Severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder The prognosis is more optimistic here as there is some chance of recovery through professional treatment. £23,150 to £59,860
Moderate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder A large recovery can take place in this bracket, with any ongoing symptoms being non-disabling. £8,180 to £23,150
Less Serious – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder A mostly complete improvement has taken place, with only minor symptoms continuing over 1-2 years. £3,950 to £8,180

The table above uses figures from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). When solicitors value compensation claims, they often use the JCG to help them. The JCG provides a list of guideline compensation amounts alongside various injuries.

Please note that the table above contains guideline amounts only, and these amounts cover non-material damage awards. For a free valuation of your claim, contact our team of advisors today.

Speak To Us About No Win No Fee Claims

If social services have sent your file to another person, exposing your personal data and causing you harm, you may be eligible to claim. Our No Win No Fee solicitors can represent you under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). A CFA means that generally, you won’t pay any fees to your solicitor throughout your claim or at the start. In the case of a successful claim, you will pay your solicitor a success fee. However, should your claim be unsuccessful, this fee is not paid.

To learn about how one of our solicitors could help you, get in touch with our team of expert advisors today:

Related Data Breach Claims

For more helpful guides on personal data breach claims:

Or, for further resources:

For further questions related to claiming compensation because social services sent your file to another person, get in touch with our team today.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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