Free school meals (FSM)
Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following benefits:
- 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
During the rollout of Universal Credit if your child becomes entitled to means tested free school meals, they’ll remain entitled until they finish their current phase of schooling (primary or secondary). This is regardless of if your circumstances change, so it makes sense to apply, as it will help your household budget and gives your child’s school extra funding to spend on your child’s education.
If you think your child might be eligible, or have any questions please contact your child's school. They can provide you with further details and an application form.