Check with your local council to see if your child qualifies for free school meals and find out how to apply.

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What you need to know

  • Available in England and Wales only
  • Includes offline steps

Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of State 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

Children who get any of the above benefits in their own right (ie they get benefits payments directly, instead of through a parent or guardian) can also get free school meals.

Children under the compulsory school age who are in full time education may also be able to get free school meals.