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Registering for Free School Meals

Registering for free school meals doesn't mean your child will have to eat the school lunch. There are other benefits.

In England, children are eligible to receive free school meals if their parents/carers are in receipt of any of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under the Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Work Tax Credit and have an annual income of £16,190 or less
  • Working Tax Credit ‘run on’ – the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit. (If you claim Working Tax Credit, then your child does not qualify for free school meals.)

You will need to provide documentation to prove that you are receiving one of these benefits – your local Job Centre Plus, the Benefits Office or Customs and Excise office should be able to help with this.