Free School Meals
Qualification for the benefits-related free school meals (including vouchers when they are issued) is based on the parent(s) being in receipt of any of the following:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income of £16,190 or less
- Working Tax Credit 'run-on' - the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.
- Universal Credit (provided their annual net earned income does not exceed £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of the most recent monthly assessment periods).
Change in circumstances
We are aware that some families’ circumstances have changes in recent weeks and you may now be eligible for the benefit-related free school meals.
If you are now in receipt of the benefits listed above please either:
- Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, with your full name, date of birth, national insurance number for both parents and the names of your child/ren. We will check your eligibility and add your children on to the voucher scheme if you are eligible.
- Use the Free School Meals Eligibility Checker via the link below:
How to claim free school meals
The child’s parent (or guardian) must make a claim either by:
- completing a paper copy of the claim form available from schools or by telephoning the benefits service on 020 7364 5000
- making a claim for housing and/or council tax benefit (which also counts as a claim for free school meals – you do not need to complete a separate form in this case)
Information and evidence required
- the child’s name, date of birth and school
- evidence of the parent’s (or guardian’s) income (unless this has been provided already)
Children of Parents in Receipt of Universal Credit
Prior to 1 April 2018 children of parents in receipt of Universal Credit were entitled to free school meals. However, the Government has now limited eligibility for UC recipients by introducing a net annual earnings cap of £7,400, (£616.66 per month).
Children who were getting Free School Meals on 31 March 2018, (including those children whose entitlement was based on the national universal FSM provisions) will continue to be entitled until UC is fully rolled out nationally regardless of any changes to the parents income.