It’s now easier to register

A NEW service has been introduced in Northumberland to make it easier to report births and deaths.

The Tell Us Once scheme enables relatives to inform the Government of births and deaths just once and the information can be passed on to the other relevant agencies.

Previously, people had to inform each agency separately, which could take dozens of phone calls and involve visiting offices or posting certificates.

County council Executive Member for Customer Relations Neil Bradbury 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 happy, but busy, 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.”

The initiative 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.

People can book an appointment in person to use the service, or they can do it by telephone after a death has been registered.

They will need to provide the person’s National Insurance number, date of birth, details of benefits they were receiving, passport and driving licence numbers and their blue badge if applicable.

Lines are open from 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday, on 0845 600 6400.