Income related free school meals

If you live in Liverpool and receive any of the following benefits you can claim free school meals for your child.  This is also applicable to nursery children if they attend before and after lunch sessions at a local authority nursery school or nursery class.  

If the child is over 18 and still attends school, you can claim if you receive any of the first three allowances listed below.

  • Income Support.
  • Income based Jobseeker's Allowance.
  • Income related Employment Support Allowance.
  • Support under Part Vl of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit.
  • Child Tax Credit - as long as you have a yearly household income of less than £16,190 (as assessed by HM Revenues and Customs) and do not get Working Tax Credit.
  • Working Tax Credit run-on, paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1st April 2018 your net income must be less than £7,400 a year after tax and not including any benefits you get.

How long will my child's eligibility last?

  • If your child was eligible for free school meals before Sunday, 1st April 2018, they'll stay eligible until March 2022, regardless of any change in your circumstances whilst Universal Credit is rolled out nationally.
  • If your child gains eligibility for free school meals after 1st April 2018 they'll stay eligible until March 2022, regardless of any change in your circumstances.
  • After March 2022, your child will stay eligible until the end of their current phase of education. For example, if your child is in year 4 in 2022, they will remain eligible until they finish primary school but will no longer be eligible for free school meals in secondary school if you and your partner's net income is more than £7,400 per year.

The above protections are for an individual child, not the family. Younger children must meet the eligibility criteria at the time you apply for free school meals for them.

Before you submit a claim

  • If you already receive free school meals for a child and just want to register another child, just contact us instead of completing the process again.
  • If you're a foster parent you're not eligible to apply as you already receive funding.
  • If you receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support you don't need to complete the form - just contact us and we'll update your details to include free school meals.

How to claim

Apply online and get an instant answer. The form will check whether your child is eligible.

This claim form is for Liverpool City Council residents. If you live outside Liverpool you must claim via your own local authority, even if your child attends a Liverpool School.

Apply online

If your claim is successful the school will be notified that your child can have free school meals.  Schools will ensure that this information is treated with the strictest confidence and handled sensitively.

Change of school

If your child changes school please contact us. This will help make sure that their entitlement to free school meals continues at their new school.