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New government scheme means once is enough

Tell Us Once, an award-winning cross-government scheme, is already running in 42 local authorities across England, Scotland and Wales and, to date, 87% of councils are signed up to offer the service by the end of the year.

The idea is that people can let all relevant government departments and local authority services know about a death with just one report.

At the moment, they may need to repeat and verify the same information to numerous central government departments and agencies, as well as parts of local authorities. In fact, recent research shows that in some cases 44 different contacts had to be informed.

The bereavement can also directly impact on the amount and type of benefit people receive, such as housing benefit or a state pension, and the one-call-for-all approach can update this automatically.

“Bereavement is a very difficult time for people and all of us on the Tell Us Once programme are committed to making it easier to deal with government when reporting a death,” said Jonathan Stampton, senior communications manager for the programme. “The bonus is that the service also saves money for taxpayers.”

Bereaved people can use a face-to face Tell Us Once service in the local authority or use a central telephone service. By the end of the year people will be able to access it online.

To check whether Tell Us Once is live in your area go to the Directgov website, or for further information, please e-mail

Concerned about posthumous identity theft? You'll find some helpful advice here

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