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If you're on Universal Credit - apply for free school meals now before it's too late!

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Found 15th MarEdited by:"muzzboy"
If you get any Universal Credit at all, have school age children, but haven't applied for free school meals, best you do so now.

If you apply after the 1st of April, you can only get free schools if you're earnings are less than £7,400. Whereas, if you apply now, even if you're earnings are above £7,400 then you'll continue to receive free school meals until 2022.

You should do this even if your children are currently in reception or year 1/2 and automatically get free schools meals, otherwise when they move into year 3, you will no longer receive free school meals after 1st April if you're on UC and earning over £7,400. Apply by going to your local authority's website.
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But parents currently are on JSA they will not start moving unemployed parents to UC until November and I'm sure that'll be like pulling teeth
So if you only get £7400 a year you have to pay for school meals? !!
themachman1 h, 0 m ago

So if you only get £7400 a year you have to pay for school meals? !!



"if you're earnings are less than £7,400"
although from what I have read about Universal Credit that amounts to the same thing
Edited by: "Wongy110" 15th Mar
Snaching free school meals away is the lowest thing I believe so far. The thing I don't get is reception and year 1s get it no matter how well off the family is. But the working poor year 2 and upwards wont get it. Why didn't Mps vote to give up daily allowance's that would of saved enough to give kids breakfast and dinner.
larrylightweight13 m ago

Snaching free school meals away is the lowest thing I believe so far. The …Snaching free school meals away is the lowest thing I believe so far. The thing I don't get is reception and year 1s get it no matter how well off the family is. But the working poor year 2 and upwards wont get it. Why didn't Mps vote to give up daily allowance's that would of saved enough to give kids breakfast and dinner.


Because they don't care
How does that work then? £7400 max limit before loss

What about issue with self employed, like plumbers, joiners, etc where told you're automatically deemed have to work minimum 35 hours at appropriate NWM for you age which is somewhere around £7.50, that's over £10000 a year. So regardless of how much work you have on, every single self employed worker with kids will now no longer get any free school meals even worse for this on zero hour contracts. Employer states you get zero hours minimum but under new rules government says minimum hours for a single person in a claim is 35 at minimum wage under UC

Or the unlucky sods, they earn say £7500 have 2 kids now have to pay almost £600 a year for sake of £100 over max limit.

Makes no sense.
it's a terrible limit,if you earnings are 7400,you need help, there is not much help for the people who work but don't earn enough and would probably be better back on jsa,
I think that there's a bit of misunderstanding/misinformation in this thread. I believe that the figure of £7,400 relates to earned income. This is income excluding benefits. This means that UC claimants with a household income of £18 to £24k (depending on circumstances) would still qualify for FSM.
The changes are actually predicted to bring 50,000 more children into the FSM scheme.
Edited by: "fivegoldstars" 16th Mar
channel4.com/new…als


People have twisted this to make it look like the government is stealing food from our children’s mouths, but in reality the old system would not have entitled these children to those free lunches.


right now I earn just over 20k and get some tax credits on top of my wages. I am not entitled to free school dinners. However if my area had rolled out universal credit already, then I would be entitled just because they didn’t means test this from the start (which they should have in my opinion).


My tax credits include a childcare element and amount to about 8k a year on top of my wages. Do you still think that it’s disgusting that I won’t get an extra handout that I wasn’t entitled to before? Or do you think I get enough, because I do, I don’t want anything else, in fact I am aiming to hopefully earn more so that I will not have to claim anything at all.


The media twists things to enrage people, but truth is that the benefits system is over generous already and it’s no surprise that we have a lot of people who make a life choice not to work and rely on the system.


the family’s earning 7k a year will most likely be getting 10/15/20k in their pockets from benefits so aren’t struggling by having to live just on their wages
lastjunkie14 m ago

Interesting that they take th government figures at face value, with no …Interesting that they take th government figures at face value, with no scrutiny.where does the 10-20k figure come from?also 50k improvement is also from unchecked/unchallenged modelling.Wouldn't trust the tories for a second.


I’m talking from experience myself with being on benefits either from briefly being out of work or having a low income.
I also have close family/friends in a similar position.

the families earning 7k or less will be in receipt of child benefit, tax credits, housing and council tax support along with free prescriptions, winter heating schemes and possibly caters allowance of income support or disability related benefits if relevant. These will add up into thousands depending on each situation

they are not having to live from their earnings alone.
this is entirely wrong-headed way of looking at things.

You're looking at them as benefits that are being gained at your expense. These are the requirements to make their lives bearable.
we don't talk about tax cuts to private individuals or companies in this way: why do it for the worst off in society?
Everyone in London has their way of life subsidized by the rest of the UK for example; this isn't then used as a stick to beat them with, generally.

you could say the same of kids in school: think of the burden they are on the state; the benefit they receive.
Same for someone with a long term illness: what are the cash benefits received by someone with terminal cancer?

THESE PEOPLE ARE COSTIGN US MONEY /sarcasm

(I also have been on benefits, have family in receipt of various things, etc.)
lastjunkie2 h, 49 m ago

this is entirely wrong-headed way of looking at things.You're looking at …this is entirely wrong-headed way of looking at things.You're looking at them as benefits that are being gained at your expense. These are the requirements to make their lives bearable.we don't talk about tax cuts to private individuals or companies in this way: why do it for the worst off in society?Everyone in London has their way of life subsidized by the rest of the UK for example; this isn't then used as a stick to beat them with, generally.you could say the same of kids in school: think of the burden they are on the state; the benefit they receive.Same for someone with a long term illness: what are the cash benefits received by someone with terminal cancer?THESE PEOPLE ARE COSTIGN US MONEY /sarcasm(I also have been on benefits, have family in receipt of various things, etc.)


Did you read my original post? If they do not means test this then I will be entitled to benefit from the scheme when my area rolls onto universal credit as would many people in my situation. I am saying that people like me that would be entitled to this if they do not means test do not actuallyneed it.

I would qualify under under the current rule as I would get an element of UC but I am far from poverty, my children do not go without. I got a new car on finance last year and had two holidays abroad and one in the uk.

people like me that are going to lose entitlement if they means test this do not need it.
Edited by: "farmlama" 16th Mar
farmlama4 h, 28 m ago

I’m talking from experience myself with being on benefits either from b …I’m talking from experience myself with being on benefits either from briefly being out of work or having a low income.I also have close family/friends in a similar position.the families earning 7k or less will be in receipt of child benefit, tax credits, housing and council tax support along with free prescriptions, winter heating schemes and possibly caters allowance of income support or disability related benefits if relevant. These will add up into thousands depending on each situationthey are not having to live from their earnings alone.


But what you earn is taken off the benefits, and winter heating allowance is a lottery
Segata-Sanshiro48 m ago

But what you earn is taken off the benefits, and winter heating allowance …But what you earn is taken off the benefits, and winter heating allowance is a lottery


I am well aware of how the system works.

The issue I am pointing out is that means testing free school dinners for those who receive universal credit is not going to leave children in poverty as people are making out. And that families are not struggling on £7400 a year as it is topped up by benefits.

The whole thing has been twisted or misunderstood, but it isn’t a huge scandal.

I calculated a while back what my disposable income after childcare, rent, commuting etc is vs what I would get if I didn’t work. I am actually slightly worse off because I work and have those associated costs. Statistically I am one of those poorest families and would be classed as on the bread line, but realistically I have a comfortable life because of the generous benefits system.

dont get me wrong, I would love to have more, but that doesn’t mean I need more or I should be entitled to more at the tax payers expense

i am fully aware that I am extremely privileged and I am grateful for what I have and I know that people in my position do not need any additional handouts.

Anyone struggling needs to look st their budgets and manage their money better, because that’s where their problem will lie.

4 years ago I was out of work for about a year, I still could afford to go on holiday abroad. When I started work after that I was an apprentice do on a stupidly low wage, I still afforded to go on holidays and have other luxuries despite only earning 12k a year and having a childcare bill of 10k.

i have been in the poorest percent and it isn’t how the media would like you to think. Children will only be starving if their parents are negligent and wasting their money
farmlama14 m ago

I am well aware of how the system works. The issue I am pointing out is …I am well aware of how the system works. The issue I am pointing out is that means testing free school dinners for those who receive universal credit is not going to leave children in poverty as people are making out. And that families are not struggling on £7400 a year as it is topped up by benefits. The whole thing has been twisted or misunderstood, but it isn’t a huge scandal. I calculated a while back what my disposable income after childcare, rent, commuting etc is vs what I would get if I didn’t work. I am actually slightly worse off because I work and have those associated costs. Statistically I am one of those poorest families and would be classed as on the bread line, but realistically I have a comfortable life because of the generous benefits system.dont get me wrong, I would love to have more, but that doesn’t mean I need more or I should be entitled to more at the tax payers expensei am fully aware that I am extremely privileged and I am grateful for what I have and I know that people in my position do not need any additional handouts.Anyone struggling needs to look st their budgets and manage their money better, because that’s where their problem will lie.4 years ago I was out of work for about a year, I still could afford to go on holiday abroad. When I started work after that I was an apprentice do on a stupidly low wage, I still afforded to go on holidays and have other luxuries despite only earning 12k a year and having a childcare bill of 10k.i have been in the poorest percent and it isn’t how the media would like you to think. Children will only be starving if their parents are negligent and wasting their money


Thats simply not true, don't judge others until you have walked a mile in their shoes
Segata-Sanshiro5 m ago

Thats simply not true, don't judge others until you have walked a mile in …Thats simply not true, don't judge others until you have walked a mile in their shoes


Actually it is true and if you read my post you will see that I have been unemployed and relied on benefits aswell as a very low earner that relies on top ups (still in that position).

I am speaking fully from being in those shoes and from being in various versions of those shoes.
farmlama2 h, 55 m ago

Actually it is true and if you read my post you will see that I have been …Actually it is true and if you read my post you will see that I have been unemployed and relied on benefits aswell as a very low earner that relies on top ups (still in that position). I am speaking fully from being in those shoes and from being in various versions of those shoes.


So your individual experience represents everyone? i think not.
What kind of property do you live in, how cold is it, what kind of council tax rates, water rates etc are available in your area, whats the public transport like, how many kids do you have compared to someone else, how much child maintenance are you getting off the father if any, how much does your school charge for uniforms and school trips etc.

Claiming you know exactly everyones circumstances because you've been unemployed is no different to claiming you know the circumstances of everyone who works no matter what they do and where in the country they are because you've worked too.

Its not even a set amount, the only benefit that is exactly the same amount for everyone is child benefit.
Segata-Sanshiro1 h, 3 m ago

So your individual experience represents everyone? i think not.What kind …So your individual experience represents everyone? i think not.What kind of property do you live in, how cold is it, what kind of council tax rates, water rates etc are available in your area, whats the public transport like, how many kids do you have compared to someone else, how much child maintenance are you getting off the father if any, how much does your school charge for uniforms and school trips etc.Claiming you know exactly everyones circumstances because you've been unemployed is no different to claiming you know the circumstances of everyone who works no matter what they do and where in the country they are because you've worked too.Its not even a set amount, the only benefit that is exactly the same amount for everyone is child benefit.



Completely agree with you there, you will struggle hard to put same people in same situation and scenarios.

We have huge ups and downs, part and parcel of us both having our own businesses. We have 2 kids 9 years difference between them. At moment neither of us have work on, I had emergency operation January, had to cancel £000s worth of work and just back on my feet now after nearly 2 months. My other half had to cancel loads of work and rearrange schedules to sort kids everyday things as I couldn't drive and he no longer drives.

All we have since start of year is £880 a month, not entitled to anything else not even sickness. We are not on UC but old legacy WTC still, under the new UC based on online calculators we would be royally screwed based on current situation.

Just glad we have no mortgage, no credit only standard typical bills, though our gas/electric is over £2250 a year and council tax is £1700, so Farmlama doubt you would be holidaying twice a year if your own utility bills reflected some other families.

Half the problems in this country are people presuming, which in turn creates negativity because if one person is doing something, its got to be same for everyone else.
Segata-Sanshiro1 h, 28 m ago

Yes theres a lot that makes no sense in this country, a prime example is …Yes theres a lot that makes no sense in this country, a prime example is council tax. My father i have found out pays £175 a month on the £400 a month council house my parents are in.I pay £80 a month on the 1k a month flat I'm in, its half price due to being the only adult here, single occupancy discount rate, theres no other concessions with this council. then I read people online ranting that people on benefits don't pay council tax, its a shame people don't seem to understand what is government decision making and what is left upto local authorities to decide.


Are you saying that your LA don't offer a Council Tax Support scheme? Do you mind sharing which LA you're under? I know that LA's can now set their own 'minimum payments' (effectively setting their own rate of CTS up to 100%), but I've never personally heard of one which has set those minimum payments over 30% (i.e. 70% of the bill paid for those on passported benefits).
Edited by: "fivegoldstars" 17th Mar
Anybody , anybody , who thinks the benefits system is generous is DELUDED. A single person is given 73£ a week to live on , out of which they have to pay a portion of their rent and their council tax. So say that leaves you a massively generous £40-50 to pay electric, gas transport food clothes and all other outgoings.
The benefits that people get when out of work are extremely low and have been getting lower for the last 20 years.
iirc 20ya unemployment was set at about 18% of average wage, today its less than 6% ...
Also you would not be getting £18k a year from the govt .. they would subsidize your rent, and pay for your children, but YOU would only be getting £73 ....
GwanGy1 h, 28 m ago

Anybody , anybody , who thinks the benefits system is generous is DELUDED. …Anybody , anybody , who thinks the benefits system is generous is DELUDED. A single person is given 73£ a week to live on , out of which they have to pay a portion of their rent and their council tax. So say that leaves you a massively generous £40-50 to pay electric, gas transport food clothes and all other outgoings. The benefits that people get when out of work are extremely low and have been getting lower for the last 20 years.iirc 20ya unemployment was set at about 18% of average wage, today its less than 6% ...Also you would not be getting £18k a year from the govt .. they would subsidize your rent, and pay for your children, but YOU would only be getting £73 ....


£73 is the maximum amount you can get on JSA its not what everyone gets, I get £56 JSA for example, and benefits have been frozen for 6 years now, not going up with inflation.
fivegoldstars7 h, 34 m ago

Are you saying that your LA don't offer a Council Tax Support scheme? Do …Are you saying that your LA don't offer a Council Tax Support scheme? Do you mind sharing which LA you're under? I know that LA's can now set their own 'minimum payments' (effectively setting their own rate of CTS up to 100%), but I've never personally heard of one which has set those minimum payments over 30% (i.e. 70% of the bill paid for those on passported benefits).


Yes they do but you do know the council's set there own rules on who they include, I applied for housing benefit and the council tax support scheme at the same time its the same form, I got one but not the other. The amount of savings you can have for some of these benefits is very low and getting lower all the time, I suspect it was to do with savings, but then you need savings when it takes 3 months to get a penny off the housing benefit lot for example.
GwanGy2 h, 53 m ago

Anybody , anybody , who thinks the benefits system is generous is DELUDED. …Anybody , anybody , who thinks the benefits system is generous is DELUDED. A single person is given 73£ a week to live on , out of which they have to pay a portion of their rent and their council tax. So say that leaves you a massively generous £40-50 to pay electric, gas transport food clothes and all other outgoings. The benefits that people get when out of work are extremely low and have been getting lower for the last 20 years.iirc 20ya unemployment was set at about 18% of average wage, today its less than 6% ...Also you would not be getting £18k a year from the govt .. they would subsidize your rent, and pay for your children, but YOU would only be getting £73 ....


I’m talking from a family point of view. This thread is about free school dinners and how people are raging that children are in poverty as parents can’t afford to feed them. I’m saying that as a family that has relied on the system for years, that isn’t the case as there is so much help available in place
Look away mods

oh you already did

what a joke ?
mod
Good afternoon, I've removed a fair few off topic comments in this thread. Please don't get drawn into personal attacks and try to keep it friendly.
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