Reply To: Universal Credit and Free School Meals during wait period


I work at a District Council, so don't deal with this. However, I have received a copy of a national LA engagement event, where the following notes weere made on this:-

29 School Meals and family premium is an issue within UC, as LAs cannot verify that a claimant is awarded UC for 6 weeks and that has an impact on authorising free school meals for children, how can this matter be resolved? Current DfE policy is that claimants must be on UC to get FSMs and that is not the case until the end of the first AP when the calculation is done.

Our understanding is that LAs have discretion to pay FSMs in the period under existing discretionary guidelines, although should further clarification be need that should be sought from DfE as the policy owners in this area.

30 Home to School Transport: means tested eligibility what level of income in UC is the equivalent of level of income in legacy benefits?

Our understanding is that anyone in receipt of FSMs is entitled to this in certain circumstances. On that basis until earnings thresholds are in place for FSMs this is not relevant.

31 Will the ECS for Family School Meals be updated correctly to show eligibility for Family School Meals as this is not correct at the moment?

If this relates to Q1 then it is correct according to the policy. If there are errors beyond that then they should be reported through the existing channels with DfE.


No idea if this helps, or not