Free School Meals are only available to children whose parents/guardian receives one of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based)
- Support under part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit, but DO NOT receive Working Tax Credit, and their annual income(as assessed by the Inland Revenue) does not exceed £16,190 (from 6th April 2013) unless Working Tax Credit is part of a four week run on.
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
Please note: Children in receipt of one of the benefits themselves are also entitled to Free School Meals.
How do I apply for Free School Meals?
The quickest and easiest way is to apply on line.
Alternatively you can:
- Apply by post by completing a Free School Meal application form which is available to download in the box on the right.
- Telephone 01267 246521/246525 and a form will be sent to you
- E-mail FreeSchoolMeals@Carmarthenshire.gov.uk with your name and address and a form will be sent to you
Completed forms together with the relevant proof should be sent to:-
Free School Meals Section
Department for Education & Children
Building 2, St David’s Park
Job's Well Road
You can also return your completed form to any of our Customer Service Centres listed on the application form.
What proof will I need?
The type of proof that we need is listed below(if applying by post):
- A photocopy of the decision letter from the benefits office showing your entitlement to Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance – Income Based, OR
- A photocopy of your Inland Revenue Tax Credit Award / Pension Credit, OR
- Your application form stamped and dated by the benefits office indicating which benefit you are entitled to, OR
- Children of Asylum Seekers are entitled to receive free school meals for their children is their Immigration and Nationality Directorate National Asylum Support Service (N.A.S.S.).
What happens next?
Once we receive your completed application form together with proof of eligibility, we will envisage to process your application within 10 working days. You will be notified of the award by letter.
Once we receive your on-line application, we will envisage to process your application within 5 working days. You will be notified of the award by e-mail / by letter.
Free School Meals cannot be granted to any child until we have received a correctly completed form together with the correct proof of benefit.
If you are already claiming free school meals for your child, there is no need to re-apply for each new school year this entitlement will automatically follow your child to the next stage of their education (e.g. in September). If this involves moving to new school (e.g. moving from primary to secondary school) the new school will be advised of your entitlement without the need to re-apply).
If your child transfers to another school within Carmarthenshire at any other time or for any other reason, again entitlement will automatically follow your child. Please notify us of a change in school.
What happens if my circumstances change?
You should notify the Free School Meal Office if:
- You start work
- Your benefit changes
- You change address
- You have another child starting school for the first time
- The child no longer lives with you
*Failure to notify us in any changes to your benefit/income may mean you have to pay for any meals taken whilst you were not eligible.