Thurrock Council has signed up to the national “Tell Us Once” Birth and Bereavement Service.
As part of its aim to provide high-quality and accessible services that meet individual needs, the council is launching the initiative on 12 October.
Tell Us Once is an innovative, award-winning cross-government service for when customers need to report a change of circumstance to the council or government.
The service enables customers to report a death or birth just once and, with the customer’s consent, the information is shared with a number of central and local government organisations so the customer does not have to contact each of them individually.
The service has been designed around customers, and pilots of the service have shown it makes it easier, quicker and cheaper for both the customer and government to register a change of circumstance.
The service will be offered when a resident calls to make an appointment to register a birth or a death.
If the birth or death took place in Thurrock, then a Tell Us Once appointment will be offered. At the appointment, the birth or death will be registered as usual, and the Registrar will ask some additional questions, for example about services the deceased was receiving, in order for notifications to be received (via a secure IT system) by these services.
Council services that will be able to receive death notifications are: Adult Services, Children’s Services; Blue Badge; Electoral Services; Library Services; Council Housing; Housing Benefit; Council Tax Benefit; Council Tax; Sundry Debtors.
Council services that will be able to receive birth notifications are: Local authority for Housing Benefit; Council Tax Benefit; Library Services; Family Information Service.
Government departments that can also receive notifications of deaths include:
Identity and Passport Service, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
For births, taking up the Tell Us Once service enables new parents to submit their Child Benefit claim without the need to send off a copy of the birth certificate, and other benefit claims can be fast-tracked.
Many births and deaths of Thurrock residents take place elsewhere in Essex (in particular Basildon and Southend). These areas will also be offering the Tell Us Once service – Southend from 4 October, and Essex (including Basildon) from 16 November.