Taking care of the paperwork

There are various organisations and government departments that you will need to inform when your child dies so that they can update their records.

To help with this overwhelming task you can speak to your local registrar about the Tell Us Once service. This will give you the opportunity to report your child's death to several places in one go and stop the benefits your child was receiving.

A number of government departments and agencies will be informed on your behalf for example: the Passport service, the DVLA, and most offices that were paying benefits to your child. Check with the person you speak to about which departments will be notified.

The service is available in most areas of England, Scotland and Wales via the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or online by visiting gov.uk. You can choose to do it online, face-to-face or by phone. In Northern Ireland you can contact the Bereavement Service on: 0800 085 2463.

If this service isn't available where you live, you will need to contact the agencies and departments individually.

Bereavement Service

In England, Wales and Scotland, you can also use the Department of Work and Pensions' (DWP) Bereavement Service to tell the DWP that your child has died. This is done over the phone, and covers any DWP benefits your child was getting (though not any benefits they received through HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or their local authority). They will also check whether your child's partner or next of kin is entitled to bereavement benefits, and can take claims for bereavement benefits or a Social Fund funeral payment.

You can contact the Bereavement Service on: 0345 606 0265 or textphone: 0845 606 0285. A Welsh language service is available on: 0345 606 0275 or textphone: 0345 606 0295.

You don't have to use the Bereavement Service if you have already used Tell Us Once, but it can be helpful if you need to make a claim for bereavement benefits.

Dealing with tax and benefits

If your child was receiving state benefits you will need to tell the DWP (or Social Security in Northern Ireland) what's happened. You'll also need to return any order books or cheques to the relevant office, local Jobcentre Plus or Jobs and Benefits Office (Northern Ireland).

Returning other documents

If your child had a driving licence, passport or any National Insurance paperwork, these will have to be returned. Someone also needs to tell any clubs or organisations where your child was a member, and cancel any season tickets, library cards, and so on.

You may also need to arrange for the post office to redirect any post or stop junk mail being sent to the home of your child. To do this you will need to register details of the death with the Bereavement Register. You can also get in touch with the Mailing Preference Service (MPS), Telephone Preference Service (TPS), Baby Mailing Preference Service (Baby MPS) or the Deceased Preference Service.

Reviewed: December 2015
Next planned review: December 2016

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