The Tell Us Once service is a convenient offering from the UK government designed to simplify the process of notifying various government departments and local councils when someone passes away. This guide provides an overview of the service and how to utilise it effectively.
Alternatively, you can read the Tell Us Once Guide from GOV.UK
Tell Us Once is a free service provided by the UK government. Its primary purpose is to help individuals inform most government departments and local councils about the death of a person. By using this service, you can ensure that various organisations, from the HMRC to the local council, are informed about the death, reducing the administrative burden during a challenging time.
Residents of England, Scotland, and Wales can fully utilise the Tell Us Once service. When a death is registered in these regions, the registrar will provide the necessary details and a unique reference number to access the service.
You must do this within 5 days in England and Wales, or 8 days in Scotland.
The Tell Us Once service is not available in Northern Ireland. Residents of Northern Ireland will need to inform each government department separately.
When you use the Tell Us Once service, the following organisations will be informed:
|Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)||This will deal with personal tax and will cancel benefits such as Child Benefit, Tax Credits, or Tax-Free Care. If the deceased was self-employed or owned a business, business taxes like VAT would need to be addressed separately.|
|Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)||Any DWP benefits the deceased was receiving will be canceled, such as Universal Credit or State Pensions.|
|Passport Office||Any British passports held by the deceased will be canceled.|
|Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)||Driving licenses will be canceled, and the deceased will be removed from their records if they were the keeper of a vehicle. The vehicle's tax will also be canceled.|
|Local Councils||They will cancel Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Blue Badges and other local services. The deceased will also be removed from the electoral register.|
|Veterans UK||This is to cancel or update Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments.|
|Social Security Scotland||This will cancel benefits and other entitlements from the Scottish Government, including Scottish Child Payment|
|Public Sector Pension Schemes||The service will contact the following public sector pension schemes to cancel future pension payments:
A registrar will explain the service when they register the death. They can help complete the service with you, or provide a unique reference number so you can complete the process yourself, either online or via the phone.
Before you use the Tell Us Once service, it's essential to gather all the necessary information about the deceased. Here's a checklist to help you prepare:
Having all this information at hand will ensure a smooth and efficient process when using the Tell Us Once service.
While the Tell Us Once service is comprehensive and contacts a wide range of government departments and services, there are certain areas and organisations it doesn't cover. Here are some things to keep in mind:
|Private Sector Services||The service primarily contacts public sector organisations. It won't notify banks, building societies, insurance companies, or other private sector services about the death.|
|Utility Providers||Gas, electricity, water, and telecom providers won't be informed by the service. You'll need to contact them directly.|
|Non-Governmental Organisations||Charities, clubs, and other membership organisations aren't covered by Tell Us Once.|
|Subscription Services||Magazine subscriptions, online streaming services, and other similar services won't be notified.|
|Medical Services||While the NHS pension scheme is notified, individual medical practitioners, such as the deceased's GP, dentist, or optician, won't be informed.|
|Private Pensions||Any pensions with private companies or organisations outside of the public sector won't be contacted.|
|Property and Housing||Mortgage providers, landlords, or housing associations aren't covered by the service.|
|Non-UK Organisations||If the deceased had dealings or entitlements with organisations or government departments outside the UK, these won't be contacted.|
It's essential to create a comprehensive list of all organisations, both governmental and private, that need to be informed of the death. While Tell Us Once covers a significant portion, there will always be other entities that require direct notification.
The Tell Us Once service is a valuable tool designed to ease the administrative burden during a challenging period. By understanding how it works and what's required, you can ensure that all necessary organisations are informed promptly and accurately.