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You can apply for free school meals if you receive one of the following:
- Income Support.
- Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based).
- Child Tax Credit, but are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and your annual income (as assessed by the Inland Revenue) does not exceed £16,190.
- Support under part VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999.
- The 'Guaranteed Element' of Pension Credit.
- Income Related Employment And Support Allowance benefit (any element of contribution based paid free school meals are not available)
Please note that if you wish to apply for free school meals for a child attending an academy you may have to apply directly there. Some academies' free school meals are still administered by us though so please check the list found at the eFree School Meals service to determine how to apply.
New free school meals applications and renewals can be done online using our eFree School Meals service. Submitting your application online has numerous benefits over a paper form:
- In most cases our checking system will be able to confirm your free school meals eligibility automatically, eliminating the need for you to send benefits documentation by post.
- You'll receive confirmation when your application has been received by the Free School Meals Team.
- The eFree School Meals service will check for errors in your application and help resolve them.
- Your application will be received immediately and provided there are no issues with your application, the appropriate school(s) could be informed of your eligibility within one hour.
- There's no risk of your application getting lost in the post.
- Log back in at any time to update your information or renew your application, without having to complete a whole form.
If you would prefer to apply by post, download the 'Free School Meals - application form (pdf, 106 KB)(opens new window)', print-out the form and complete all the relevant boxes. If you need help to complete this form, please contact us.
If you have a letter from the Job Centre / Benefits Agency which uses the words 'Income Support' or 'Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based)' or 'Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related only)' which is less than three months old, you may attach it to the form.
If you do not have written proof you can either:
Complete the front of the form and send it to the Benefit Enquiries Team, Ground Floor, Lodge House, 602-634 Fishponds Rd, Bristol BS16 3HZ. They will confirm your eligibility and forward the form to us.
Telephone JobCentrePlus and ask them to send you a letter of entitlement. You should then attach it to the form.
If you receive Child Tax Credit, send us a copy of your form TC602 - Inland Revenue Tax Credit Award Notice with your completed application form.
If you receive support under the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999, send us a letter from the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) or have your form stamped by Refugee Action.
If you receive the 'Guaranteed Element' of Pension Credit, send us a copy of your 'Pension Credit M1000 Award Notice'.
Post the completed form, with any necessary documentation, to:
Free School Meals Team (Create)
Bristol City Council
The Council House
Hand deliver the completed form, with any necessary documentation, to:
Free School Meals Team
Bristol City Council