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Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following benefits. This also applies if you are newly in receipt of benefits due to a change of circumstances:
- Income Support
- 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’re 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)
Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.
Your child may also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:
- younger than the compulsory age for starting school
- in full-time education
If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2022.
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the government has temporarily extended the free school meal eligibility to include some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF).
Families can apply if they are from these groups:
- Children of Zambrano carers
- Children of families with no recourse to public funds with a right to remain in the UK on grounds of private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
- Children of families receiving support under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 who are also subject to a no recourse to public funds restriction.
Applicants from the groups above can be earning up to a maximum household income of £7,400 a year after tax.
In addition, the government is extending this offer to children of failed asylum seekers who are being supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Applicants from this group are not subject to a maximum household earnings threshold.
This extension to the government's free school meals scheme is temporarily in place to support families facing difficulties due to the current unique circumstances.
It covers both children who are attending school and children who are at home.
For more information, read the government guidance on providing free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak (link is external).
The application form can be downloaded from the right hand side of this page. Please email the completed application form with any necessary documents to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have trouble using or understanding the application form or if you have any questions, please get in touch wit the Family Information Service for advice and guidance.
Email email@example.com or call 020 8825 5588 (Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm).
In addition to the vouchers to support families through the school holidays, Ealing Council is topping up the Local Welfare Assistance fund with an additional £130,000 to help anyone facing financial hardship as a result of Coronavirus.
Anyone struggling to meet food costs, cover their rent or purchase essential items can apply for financial assistance.To find more information or to make an application go to, https://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/201264/help_for_residents/2687/help_with_your_money/2
You can also visit our Food Banks page for details of food banks operating during this time.