Entitlement to Free School Meals are processed as part of Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support claims by the Benefits Service. Free School Meals are a statutory benefit. Applying for a free school meal could raise up to an extra £1320 per annum for six years for your child’s school (funded by central government). This can help to fund valuable teaching and learning support for your school (and is still paid to the school even if your entitlement ceases).
The Government does not allow Coventry City Council to recognise any other benefit other than those mentioned below. If you are not sure, please contact Coventry City Council.
Free school meals are available to children of families who are in receipt of:
- Income Support
- Jobseekers Allowance (income based)
- Employment and Support Allowance (income based)
- Guarantee Credit (the Guarantee element of State Pension Credit)
- Universal Credit (UC)
- Until 1 April 2018, all UC claims were eligible for free school meals, however,
- From 1 April 2018, UC claims will only be eligible for free school meals if the total net earned income is under £7,400 per year OR if the child was eligible for a free school meal on 01/04/18
- Where the child was eligible for a free school meal on 01 April 2018, they will remain entitled to a free school meal regardless of any change in parental income until they finish the phase of education they are in (primary or secondary) as at 31 March 2022
- Any child who becomes eligible for a free school meal between 01 April 2018 and 31 March 2022 will remain entitled to a free school meal regardless of any change in parental income until they finish the phase of education they are in (primary or secondary) as at 31 March 2022
- Support under part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have a total annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190
Parents receiving Working Tax Credit for four weeks after their employment finishes are entitled to free school meals during that period. This also applies to parents who start working less than 16 hours per week (please seek advice about this from the Benefits Agency)
Children who receive Income Support or Income Based Job Seekers Allowance in their own right are also entitled to receive Free School Meals.
In cases where children receive education who have not attained compulsory school age, there will be a conditional requirement that they receive education both before and after the lunch period, before being eligible to receive Free School Meals.