Free School Meals Eligibility
Your child may be eligible for free school meals if you are in receipt of any of the following benefits:
income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
income-related Employment and Support Allowance
support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
Child Tax Credit (provided you are not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
In addition, the following pupils will be protected against losing their free school meals as follows:
From 1 April 2018, all existing free school meals claimants will continue to receive free school meals whilst Universal Credit is rolled out. This will apply even if their earnings rise above the new threshold during that time.
In addition, any child gaining eligibility for free school meals after 1 April 2018 will be protected against losing free school meals during the Universal Credit rollout period.
Protection applies to the child getting free school meals - not the family. If a sibling is not entitled to free school meals based on the eligibility criteria, protection does not apply (this is also the case where a child moves to live with another parent or family member)
Once Universal Credit is fully rolled out, any existing claimants that no longer meet the eligibility criteria at that point (because they are earning above the threshold or are no longer a recipient of Universal Credit) will continue to receive free school meals until the end of their current phase of education (i.e . primary or secondary).
The Universal Credit rollout is currently expected to complete in March 2023
Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.
If your child is eligible for free school meals, they will remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2023.
For a quick and easy way to check if you are eligible please click on the link below:
Free School Meals Eligibility Checker