Are you eligible to claim free school meals for your child in Leeds?

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If you're the parent or carer of a school-aged child and are on a low income, you can claim free lunches for them.

Here are the criteria for eligibility and how to claim according to Leeds City Council's guidance.

Pupils in Key Stage One receive free meals regardless of their parents' earnings.

You can claim free school meals if you receive any of these benefits

- Income Support

- Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance

- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

- The guaranteed element of Pension 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)

- Support under part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

- Child Tax Credit, if you have an annual taxable income (as assessed by H M Revenue and Customs) which does not exceed £16,190

If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll continue to receive them until they move to a new stage of school, such as from primary to secondary, when they will need to be re-registered.

If you’re on any of the above benefits, it’s still important to register for a free school meal to ensure your child’s school doesn’t miss out on funding call pupil premium.

Pre-school children who attend a nursery attached to a state primary school are also eligible if they attend for full days.

You can't claim if...

- You receive Working Tax Credit and your child is in Key Stage Two or above

- The exception is if you receive Working Tax Credit Run-on. This is paid for four weeks after your employment ends or your hours reduce to under 16 hours per week.

To claim free school meals

- Anyone receiving housing benefits or council tax support should contact the council, who will notify the school.

- If you are eligible under other benefits criteria, you will need to complete a claim form, which can be downloaded from the Leeds City Council website.

- There is a separate form for foster parents and carers

Where do I send my form?

You can hand your signed and completed form in at any One Stop Centre or local housing office, or post it to:

Welfare and Benefits
P.O. BOX 60
2 Great George Street
Leeds, LS2 8JR

You can also contact Leeds Welfare and Benefits Service on 0113 222 4404.

Asylum seekers

If you are currently receiving NASS Support, you do not need to fill in a form. Just take a Home Office letter that confirms your name, date of birth and 9 Digit NASS Reference Number into school and they will contact Welfare & Benefits on your behalf to check the details. The school will be notified of your entitlement.

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