A NEW scheme has been introduced in Northumberland aiming to transform the way people deal with public services on the birth or death of a loved one.
The ‘Tell Us Once’ service will let people inform the government of births or deaths just once and this information will be passed to other government agencies on their behalf.
Usually each relevant agency has to be informed separately, prompting dozens of phone calls at a time of grief or turmoil, as well as posting certificates and visiting organisations.
The government initiative that involves the Department of Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, local authorities, the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency and the Identity and Passport Service can be accessed by making an appointment on 0845 600 6400 or by calling the same number once a death has been registered, between 8am and 7pm, Monday to Friday.
To register someone’s death the service needs their National Insurance number, date of birth, details of any benefits or services they were receiving, passport and driving licence numbers and their blue badge if they had one.
Coun Neil Bradbury, pictured, executive member for customer relations and culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “If someone reports a death to the registration service, they will be asked if they would like the authority to contact all other services their relative may have been in contact with.
“The system also covers the occasion of a baby’s birth.
“Changes in circumstances triggered by a birth or bereavement can also mean people are left in financial distress and then have to speak to local authorities to make sure they are getting the right entitlements to housing benefit or tax credits.
“The Tell Us Once scheme is a great initiative to help avoid this and support people through a difficult time.”