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Department of Health and Social Security


Department of Health and Social Security

Department of Health and Social Security
Department overview
Formed 1968
Preceding agencies
Dissolved 1988
Superseding agency
Jurisdiction United Kingdom
Headquarters London

The Department of Health and Social Security (commonly known as the DHSS) was a ministry of the British government in existence for twenty years from 1968 until 1988, and was headed by the Secretary of State for Social Services.


  • History 1
  • Impact 2
  • Trivia 3
  • References 4


Until 1968 the social security responsibilities had been split between the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance, and the health responsibilities by the Ministry of Health.

In 1988 the department was split again into a separate Department of Health and the Department of Social Security.

In 2001 the Department for Work and Pensions was formed from the Department of Social Security, absorbing the employment functions which had previously been the responsibility of the Department for Education and Employment since the dissolution of the Department of Employment in 1995.


Even two and a half decades after its abolition, the initials 'DHSS' continued to be used by the general public to describe the Department for Work and Pensions or some of the benefits it provides (such as Income Support).


UB40 (a reggae group from Birmingham, whose first album was released in 1980[1]) was named after the form issued by the DHSS to those claiming unemployment benefit, the full name of which was Unemployment Benefit form 40.[2]


  1. ^ "Biography". UB40 official website. United Kingdom: Box UK. Retrieved 2009-06-02. UB40's first album was released in September 1980. 
  2. ^ "Ub40 Biography". Retrieved 2009-06-02. The name "UB40" was selected in reference to a paper form issued by the UK government's Department of Health and Social Security at the time of the band's formation for claiming unemployment benefit. The designation UB40 stood for Unemployment Benefit, Form 40. 

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