How to claim free school meals
  • A to Z
  • Newsroom
  • Contact us
  • Accessibility
  • A- A+

How to claim free school meals

If you are the parent, foster parent, network family carer or guardian of children at school and you are on a low income, you could get Free School Meals. Young people who are still at school but receive Income Support in their own right can also receive Free School Meals.

Your children are entitled to Free School Meals if you receive:
  • Income support, or
  • Income-Based Job Seeker's Allowance, or
  • Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, or
  • The Guarantee Element of State Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit), or
  • Support under part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, or
  • Child Tax Credit, if you have an annual taxable income (as assessed by H M Revenue and Customs) which does not exceed £16,190
Pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to Universal Free School Meals, regardless of their parents' income. Free school meals will be provided and there is no need to complete a claim form.

Please note, if you are entitled to Working Tax Credit you do not qualify for Free School Meals unless:
  • your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2, or
  • you are receiving Working Tax Credit Run-on. This is paid for 4 weeks after your employment ends or your hours reduce to under 16 hours per week.
Children attending nurseries attached to a Local Education Authority maintained school can have Free School Meals for any full days they attend. If your child attends an Early Years Centre’s you should contact Children's Services.


To claim Free School Meals


If you live in Leeds and you already receive Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support:
Contact us if you want to claim a free school meal for your child and we will notify your child’s school if you are entitled. Alternatively you could enquire at your child’s school.

If you live in Leeds and you do not already receive Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support:
You will need to complete a Benefits Claim Form which can be found in the Documents section. Please also refer to the information booklet in the Documents section.

If you live with relatives or friends in Leeds and so do not have any direct housing costs:
You will need to complete a Benefits Claim Form which can be found in the Documents section.

If you live outside Leeds (if you pay your council tax to a different local authority other than Leeds City Council, but one or more of your children attend a school in Leeds)
You need to use the Free School Meals Only claim form for Non-Leeds residents. You can find this in the Documents section. When completing the form only list those children who attend schools within Leeds.

If you live in Leeds but your child attends a school outside Leeds
You must apply to the local authority where their school is located.

Foster Parents and Family Network Carers
You will need to complete the claim form in the Documents section on this page.

Where do I send my form?
You should send your signed and completed form to Welfare and Benefits, PO Box 60, 2 Great George Street, Leeds LS2 8JR, or you can hand it in at any One Stop Centre or local housing office. To find your nearest one stop centre enter your postcode in 'Where I Live'.

Asylum seekers
If you are currently receiving NASS Support, you do not need to fill in a form. Just take a Home Office letter that confirms your name, date of birth and 9 Digit NASS Reference Number into school and they will contact Welfare & Benefits on your behalf to check the details. The school will be notified of your entitlement. ​​​​​​​​​​

To view documents in PDF format you will require the free Download Adobe Reader Adobe Acrobat Reader


Did you find the information you were looking for?