In order for a child to be eligible to receive free school meals, they must be in full-time education and a parent/carer must be claiming one 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
• Guarantee 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
Councillor Peter Rees Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture, said:
“We want to help as many families as we can during this difficult period. This is why we are urging parents and guardians whose circumstances may have recently changed, to check if they are eligible for free school meals”
Following the closure of all schools due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Council had to react quickly to ensure alternative arrangements were put in place for those who receive free school meals. Having re-assessed the current need, it was decided to replace the ‘grab and go’ bag system with bank transfer payments. Eligible parents will now receive a cash payment of £19.50 per week by bank transfer. Parents who haven’t already registered can apply here – www.npt.gov.uk/fsmpayments
For parents who are eligible and have registered their details by Wednesday 8th April, payments will be made after Tuesday 14th April and back dated to Monday 6th April.
Councillor Rees, added:
“While operating the ‘grab and go’ bag system, only around 1000 families were choosing to access the service.
“Since moving to bank transfer payments, we have already registered applications for more than 4000 eligible children, allowing us to support considerably more parents to provide meals for their children. Specific arrangements have also been made for families who are particularly vulnerable and for those who do not have a bank account.”
“We are committed to ensuring that no child who would usually receive a free school meal should go without this while their school is closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.”
For more information on free school meals eligibility and how to apply, visit: www.npt.gov.uk/1317 . Parents are being asked to email any enquiries they may have to email@example.com in the first instance due to the high number of calls being managed. If you are unable to register online, please call 01639 686868.
(This news is kindly copied from the NPTCC website on 7/4/2020)