Free school meals

Children can get free school meals, if their parents or guardians get one of the following:

  • 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, and have 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 affecting the above income, as it can affect your entitlement to free school meals.

How to apply for free school meals

  • If you are claiming Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction you can claim free school meals on the same form;
  • Phone Revenues and Benefits Service: 01422 288003;
  • Complete and return the PDFFree School Meals Application [PDF 234KB] form.

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.


See also