These include one or more of the following:

  • income support;
  • income-based Jobseekers’ allowance;
  • income-related employment and support allowance;
  • income-based and contributions-based JSA or ESA on an equal basis;
  • child tax credit, provided you are not entitled to working tax credit, and have an annual household income (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs) that does not exceed £16,190;
  • support under part VI of the immigration and asylum act 1999;
  • guarantee element of state pension credit; or
  • universal credit – during the initial roll-out of the benefit.

Where parents are entitled to working tax credit during a four-week “run-on” period immediately after their employment has ceased, or after they have started to work fewer than 16 hours a week, their children are entitled to free school meals.

Children who receive income support or income-based Jobseekers’ allowance in their own right are also entitled to free school meals.

If you meet the above criteria, apply by using the  application form (pdf / 189 KB). Applications are usually processed the same day. If your child is entitled to free school meals you will receive a letter confirming the date when the meals will start. The school will also be notified. You should continue to pay until confirmation comes through. Schools may be able to arrange reimbursement of payment made while your entitlement is being confirmed. If you are not entitled to free school meals, you will be notified in writing.

Free school meals claims cannot be backdated. They are awarded from the date we receive the application, once eligibility is confirmed.

If you have moved to North Yorkshire from another authority area, your entitlement to free school meals does not automatically transfer. You will need to re-apply to us.