Families on Universal Credit can get extra help during the Easter holidays

Parents applying for Universal Credit and other benefits can get extra financial help to feed their children during the Easter holiday.

Families can claim vouchers to spend in supermarkets equivalent to what your child may have received at school. This can be up to £30, depending on where you live in the UK.

Eligibility for free school meals – or their equivalent – ​​varies slightly between local councils. However, children from households with multiple benefits are generally eligible between the ages of 4 and 16.

READ MORE:Universal Credit applicants could get a £500 grant if they have children

These benefits are:

  • Income support
  • Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment and Income Support Benefit
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of the pension credit
  • Child tax credit (provided you are not also eligible for working tax credit and have an annual income not exceeding £16,190)
  • Work in progress tax credit – paid for four weeks after you cease to qualify for the work in progress tax credit
  • Universal Credit – if you applied on or after 1 April 2018 your household income is less than £7,400 a year (after tax and without any benefits you receive)

Separately, all Reception and Years 1 and 2 students, regardless of income, are eligible for free school meals during term time at public schools, reports the mirror. You do not need to apply for these free school meals, however, if you are on an eligible benefit, making a formal application may benefit your child’s school as they may claim additional funding.

School meal vouchers can be spent at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Aldi. It is worth checking the conditions with your local authority, as some may also accept local shops.

Families can apply for help through the child’s school or their local authority. Start by entering your postal code in the Gov.uk website to check your local council’s guidelines.

If you are already applying for housing assistance or housing tax assistance, you can apply for free school meals on the same form.

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