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.
Who can get free school meals?
You can claim free school meals for your children if you are in receipt of any of these:
Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
Child Tax Credit but not Working Tax Credit and the household income is not more that £16,190. Please note: anyone receiving Working Tax Credit, or if you have a partner and they receive it, regardless of Income, you will not qualify
the Guarantee element of State Pension Credit (from 30th April 2005)
Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
So as not to delay your claim, please don't apply before either:
your working tax credit has ended but you are still receiving child tax credit and have a household income of less than £16,190, or receive one of the qualifying benefits listed above or;
your claim for a qualifying benefit has been accepted and the start date for the benefit has passed or;
you have received your benefit or tax award notice showing that you meet the eligibility criteria
This is the quickest and easiest way to apply...
Apply by post
You should complete the form, filling in the names of all the children you want to claim for. You only need to fill in one form even if your children go to different schools.
Print off one of the forms below, ask your school to give you a form to fill in, or contact us to send you one in the post.
Free school meals application form Word version (508kb)
Free school meals application form PDF version (272 kb)
If applying by post, the completed form should be sent to:
Free School Meals
Staffordshire County Council
Proof of benefit
We don't always need to see proof of which benefit you are on in order to process your application. We can now check to see if you are entitled by using the National Free School Meals Eligibility Checking Service.
For us to use this service and to process your claim quickly, you must make sure that you include your National Insurance number and your own date of birth on the form. Note: by applying you are agreeing to allow us to check this service.
If our check shows that you are not entitled we will ask for recent, written proof of benefit. Suitable written proof includes an Income Support book or a recent letter from the Benefits Agency giving details of the claim, your Pension Credit M1000 Award Notice or, in the case of Child Tax Credit, a form from the Inland Revenue detailing your entitlement.
If you are receiving support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, please contact us, and we will give you more details of how to claim free meals for your children.
If you would like to apply for free school meals please contact us at the address above or telephone 01785 854990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Income Assessed Transport
If your child is of secondary school age, and you are claiming free school meals or are in receipt of the maximum level of Working Tax Credit you may be able to get help with the cost of school transport. More information and guidance on how to apply can be found in the County Council's School Transport Policy.