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Free school meals

School children of parents or carers who receive support payments may be eligible for free school meals.

Children can get free school meals, if their parents or guardians get:

  • Universal Credit - your net earned income must be less than £7,400.
  • Income Support.
  • Job Seeker's Allowance (income based).
  • Employment and Support Allowance.
  • Child Tax Credit. (With an annual income of less than £16,190. As assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.)
  • Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit.
  • Support payments under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
  • Working Tax Credit Run-on (paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit).

Note: You can get free school meals at 16-18 years old, if:

  • You are still at school;
  • and you get Income Support or income based Jobseeker's Allowance yourself.

If you get Working Tax Credit, your child(ren) are not entitled to free school meals.

You must tell us if you have any changes that affect the above income. It can also affect your entitlement to free school meals.

How to apply for free school meals

We will send you a letter telling you the start and end date of your free school meal entitlement. We will let the school(s) know at the same time.

If you are claiming Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction you can claim free school meals on the same form.

To make a claim online, please complete the free school meals application form:

Free School Meals Application

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