Free School Meals

Parents claiming some benefits can claim free school meals for any of their children who are registered at the school and who would normally be at school at lunch time.

Who can get free school meals?

You can claim free school meals for your children if you are eligible for or in receipt of any of the following:

  • 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,instead of through a parent or guardian, can get free school meals.

How to apply

You should complete this 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.  Apply online for free school meals

After completing the application form you can print a copy of the confirmation page to give to us for meals to start immediately. If you are unable to print you can still make your application online, but will need to wait for the school to be informed by the LA before you can start to receive the free school meals.

Apply by post

Please ask us or the LA for the form and then send the completed form to:

Free School Meals
Staffordshire County Council,
Tipping Street,
ST16 2DH,

Proof of benefit

Staffordshire County Council doesn’t always need to see proof of which benefit you are on to process your application. They can check to see if you are entitled by using the National Free School Meals Eligibility Checking Service. For this to be used and to process your claim quickly, you must ensure you include your National Insurance number and own date of birth on the form. Note: by signing the form you are agreeing for Staffordshire County Council to check this service. If the check shows that you are not entitled you will be asked 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.

Further Information

If you would like any further information please contact Staffordshire County Council:


Telephone: 0300 111 8007