From 1 April 2018, the government introduced a Universal Credit earning threshold of £7,400 per year for free school meal eligibility.
This means that some families who are eligible now would not be if they apply after 1 April. Also, children eligible for free school meals by 1 April will continue to receive them until at least 2022, without the need for further eligibility checks while Universal Credit is rolled out across the country.
If you receive Universal Credit and are not already claiming free school meals for your children, or you have not applied as your child is currently in Key Stage 1 (universal free school meals), make sure you don't miss out!
Free school meals and clothing vouchers are available for your child(ren) if you receive one of the following qualifying benefits:
Income Support (IS)
Income Based Jobseekers Allowance (IBJSA)
An income related Employment and Support Allowance
Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
Child Tax Credit, provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) that as of April 2012 does not exceed £16,190. Note: From 1st May 2009 where you are entitled to Working Tax Credit during the four week period immediately after your employment ceases, or after you start to work less than 16 hours per week, your children are entitled to Free School Meals, this may be extended
The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
If you receive working tax credits you may not be eligible for free school meals or clothing grants.
Children who receive Income Support or Income Based Jobseekers Allowance in their own right are also entitled to receive free school meals.
Free schools meals are available to statutory school aged children attending full time education (full days only 9am to 3pm), excluding private nurseries and further education colleges.