A Guide To Claiming Compensation If Social Services Sent Personal Details To An Ex-Partner

In this guide, we will discuss what you could do if social services sent your personal details to an ex-partner.

The personal data of UK residents is protected under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). We’ll discuss the functions of these legislations and when you could potentially make a personal data breach claim.

We’ll also discuss how a data breach like this could occur and what evidence you could use to support your claim. Then, our guide will explore compensation in personal data breach claims. We’ll discuss what your potential payout could be made up of, and how heads of claim are calculated.

Contact Our Team

Our team of advisors are here to help. We hope our guide will answer any questions you may have about data breach compensation, but for further queries, you can contact our team. They can evaluate your claim for free and may be able to pass your data breach claim on to a solicitor from our panel. To get started:

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Jump To A Section

  1. Can I Claim If Social Services Sent Personal Details To An Ex-Partner?
  2. When Would I Be Able To Claim If Social Services Sent Personal Details To An Ex-Partner?
  3. What Do I Do If My Data Has Been Breached By Social Services?
  4. Compensation If Social Services Sent Personal Details To An Ex-Partner
  5. Claim Using No Win No Fee Data Breach Solicitors
  6. Read More About Making A Social Services Data Breach Claim

Can I Claim If Social Services Sent Personal Details To An Ex-Partner

You might be wondering if you can claim compensation if social services sent your personal details to an ex-partner. In order to form a valid claim, you need to be able to prove that:

  • Social services did not adhere to data protection laws and,
  • This led to a data breach that involved your personal data, and,
  • You suffered financial or emotional harm as a result

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), is the independent public body set up to protect a data subject’s rights and freedoms. Data subjects are those that have personal data processed about them: for example if an organisation such as social services has processed data about you then you are a data subject. According to the ICO, a personal data breach is a security incident that affects the confidentiality, availability, or integrity of your personal data.

As we’ve already mentioned, the personal data of UK residents is protected by the UK GDPR and the DPA. Personal data refers to any information that could be used to identify you. For example, this could include your telephone number, email address, or postal address.

What Is Special Category Data?

Special category data is personal data that requires extra protection due to its sensitive nature. For example, special category data is personal data relating to your health, ethnicity or religious background. Due to the nature of their services, a social worker or a social agency will process this data and must ensure that they adhere to data protection laws.

Social services may also have access to criminal offence data, which is afforded extra protections under the Data Protection Act and the UK GDPR.

What Is A Data Controller Or Processor?

A data controller decides why they need your personal data and how they want to use it. Then, a data processor follows the controller’s instructions to process the data. Social services can act as both a data controller and a data processor.

Social services and social workers are expected to comply with data protection legislation. If they fail to do so, and this leads to a data breach that causes you financial or mental harm, you may be able to make a personal data breach claim for compensation.

Contact our team today to find out if you could claim under data protection legislation, or read on to learn more about what to do if social services sent your personal data to an ex-partner.

A data breach solicitor works on a claim after social services sent personal details to an ex partner in front of a bright blue data breach logo

When Would I Be Able To Claim If Social Services Sent Personal Details To An Ex-Partner?

There are a number of ways that a social services data breach could occur. However, as we’ve already mentioned, not all breaches will form the basis of a valid personal data breach claim. Some examples of breaches that could potentially lead to a claim include:

  • If a social worker was carrying a hard copy of your information on a home visit to your ex-partner and accidentally left the file there, allowing them access to your personal data
  • If a letter intended for you was sent by the local authority or a social worker to your ex-partner’s address by mistake.
  • If a social worker emailed your ex-partner and failed to redact all your personal data first, this would be seen as a data breach.

All of these scenarios can result in significant and negative impacts on your mental well-being, especially for vulnerable adults or victims of domestic abuse. If you have suffered harm after social services sent personal details to your ex-partner in a data breach, contact our team today.

What Do I Do If My Data Has Been Breached By Social Services?

If you intend to make a claim and have grounds to do so, one of the most important steps you can take following a data breach is to collect evidence. When you make a claim, it’s your responsibility to prove that the other party engaged in wrongful conduct and that this resulted in a breach that caused you harm.

Some examples of evidence to collect include:

  • Medical records that demonstrate the mental suffering caused by the breach
  • Letters or emails from the agency or local authority, confirming the breach
  • Letters or emails from the ICO responding to any complaints you might have made, or the results of an investigation
  • Bank statements, wage slips, or other financial information that illustrates the damage the data breach did to your financial well-being

Contact our team today to find out if a solicitor from our panel could help you, or read on to learn about compensation for data breaches and what you could be owed.

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Compensation If Social Services Sent Personal Details To An Ex-Partner

You might be wondering how much compensation you could receive for a successful claim. In terms of data breach compensation, there are two heads you could pursue. The first is non-material damage compensation.

Non-material damage compensation caters to the psychological injuries caused by the breach. For example, if you suffered from anxiety due to the breach, this is an example of non-material damage. Likewise, if a data breach made an existing mental health problem worse, then you could potentially claim for it under this heading.

Those who value data breach claims might use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) for help, as this document provides guideline compensation amounts for different kinds of psychological injuries.

Below, you can find some examples of these amounts. Please note that these are guidelines and not guaranteed and that the first entry in this table has not been taken from the JCG.

Guideline Compensation Brackets

InjuryCompensationNotes
Severe Psychological Harm And Financial LossesUp to £250,000+Severe psychological harm paired with substantial financial losses, including lost earnings.
Severe Psychological Damage£54,830 to £115,730A very poor prognosis combined with extreme issues coping with all aspects of daily life.
Moderately Severe Psychological Damage£19,070 to £54,830The prognosis here is more optimistic than the bracket above, though symptoms are similar.
Moderate Psychological Damage£5,860 to £19,070There will be a noticeable improvement in symptoms by the time of trial.
Less Severe Psychological Damage£1,540 to £5,860The amount of time symptoms are present are considered in this bracket.
Severe PTSD£59,860 to £100,670Permanent, severe effects prevent the claimant from living at the pre-trauma level.
Moderately Severe PTSD£23,150 to £59,860With professional help, there is some chance of recovery, leading to a better prognosis.
Moderate PTSD£8,180 to £23,150No grossly disabling symptoms remain following a large recovery.
Less Severe PTSD£3,950 to £8,180A virtually full recovery occurs within two years.

Material Losses – What Could I Claim For?

The second head of personal data breach compensation you could claim is for material damage. Material damage compensation covers the financial losses you experienced as a result of the breach.

For example, if your personal data is sent to the wrong person, this could cause significant psychological harm. If you need to take time off work to recover from this harm, you could lose out on earnings. You could potentially claim compensation for this loss under this heading.

Also if your contact information is sent to your ex-partner by mistake this may mean you need to relocate i.e. change address, chidlren’s schools, identity, and so on and so forth which might cost you significantly. If your personal data breach claim is successful, you could be reimbursed for all of this under material damage.

Contact our team of advisors today to find out if you can claim compensation for a personal data breach.

Claim Using No Win No Fee Data Breach Solicitors

A solicitor from our panel could help you claim for a data breach on a No Win No Fee basis. Our panel works on the terms of a Conditional Fee Agreement, which is a type of Win No Fee contract that allows you to access legal advice and services without paying an upfront fee. Likewise, if your No Win No Fee claim fails, you don’t pay a fee to your solicitor for their work on the case.

If your No Win No Fee claim succeeds, you will pay a success fee to your solicitor, which is a small percentage of your compensation. This percentage is legally capped, which helps to make sure that you receive the larger share.

Working with a solicitor can come with many benefits. A legal professional can help you support your personal data breach claim by gathering evidence, helping you negotiate a settlement, and explaining any areas of the process that you may not understand.

Contact Our Team

Our team of advisors are here to help. We hope our guide has answered any questions you may have about data breach compensation, but for further queries, you can contact our team. They can evaluate your claim for free, and may be able to pass your data breach claim on to a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel who could provide you with free legal advice. To get started:

Read More About Making A Social Services Data Breach Claim

To learn more about data breach compensation claims:

For helpful external resources:

Thank you for reading our guide on making a claim if social services sent personal details to an ex-partner in a data breach.