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Free School Meals
Parents claiming some benefits can claim free school meals for any of their children who are registered at a Staffordshire school and who would normally be at school at lunch time. School meals are a good way to ensure that your child eats well at lunchtime, and you can save yourself time and money.
Even if you don't want your children to have the meals, claiming them helps their school. The more eligible parents who claim meals, the more funding the school receives.
Free school meals can be claimed for children if their Parent/Carer receive any of the following:
- Income Support
- Income based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income Related Only Employment and Support Allowance
- Child Tax Credit with an annual income of less than £16,190. Anyone, receiving Working Tax Credit regardless of income will NOT qualify
- The ’Guarantee’ element of State pension Credit
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
To be able to process the application Staffordshire County Council will need to see proof of which benefit is being claimed. A recent letter from the Benefits Agency, a full copy of the TC602 form received for child tax credit or the Parent / Carer’s Pension Credit M1000 Award Notice are all acceptable.
Any queries regarding this should be made to the school or Free School Meals, Central Welfare Services/Education Offices, Tipping Street, Stafford, ST16 2DH.
The other option is the new On line self-checking of free school meal entitlement.
The Local Authority is has now introduced an online self-checking service. This means that parents/carers (or whoever they agree to do this on their behalf) apply by inputting all of the same details as previously completed on the paper forms.
The system will then automatically check with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to see if they are entitled. They will then be given an instant decision and any successful application forwarded to the Free School Meals Entitlement Team to set up on the system and advise the relevant school(s). You will also have the opportunity to print a copy of the page confirming your entitlement and so could send this to school in order to start the meals on the same day.
Parents/Carers need to ensure that they read all the declaration statements on the application regarding use of data etc.