Free school meals and clothing grants
Who can apply for the grants?
We provide children from low income families with free school meals and money to help towards buying school clothes. Young people over the age of 16 staying on at school and living on their own can also apply.
Find out if you qualify to claim free school meals on the Scottish Government website.
|Qualifying criteria||Evidence required?|
|Universal Credit statement, with monthly Take Home Pay up to £660||Yes. Copy of your online journal full statement including your Take Home Pay|
|Child Tax Credit only, with annual income up to £17005||Yes. HMRC Award letter for 2022/23|
|Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, with annual income up to £7920||Yes. HMRC Award letter for 2022/23|
|Income Support||Not if you live in Midlothian and receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction|
|Income Based Job Seekers Allowance||Not if you live in Midlothian and receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction|
|Income Based Employment and Support Allowance||Not if you live in Midlothian and receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction|
|Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999||Yes. 2022/23 TC602 letter|
Each award is valid for one year only. You need to complete an application every year.
An award provides a pupil with one free meal each day they attend school. All children in primary 1 to 5 receive free school meals from August 2022.
You are not automatically entitled to meal payments during holidays, free milk or a clothing grant. You must be eligible based on your income, and apply.
The clothing grants are:
- £120 for primary pupils
- £150 for secondary pupils
Applying for Free School Meals and Clothing Grant
You should get a letter for an automatic award if:
- you got an award for the previous school year
- and you get Midlothian Council Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction
- and you get:
- Income Support
- or income-based Job Seekers Allowance
- or any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance.
If you meet the above criteria you should receive your letter by 16 July 2022.
If you have not received a letter, or if you are a new applicant, please apply:
What happens next?
We aim to process all applications within 28 days, although this may vary in busy periods.
Free school meals are awarded immediately. Clothing grants are normally awarded within 28 days from receipt of application. Regular payments will be made up to 31 March 2023.
Scottish Child Payment
Changes to Scottish Child Payment which take effect on 14 November will mean increased financial support for more families. The Scottish Child Payment is already being paid by Social Security Scotland for eligible children under the age of 6 in Scotland. From 14 November it will be available for eligible children under the age of 16 and will be increased in value to £25 a week for each child.
Who is eligible?
You are eligible if you live in Scotland, you receive a low-income benefit such as Universal Credit, Tax Credits, or Pension Credit; and have responsibility for a child or children under the age of 16.
You will need to take action to apply for the Scottish Child Payment even if you currently receive Bridging Payments. Bridging Payments are coming to an end, with the final payment due in December 2022. No further Bridging Payments will be made once these awards have been made. If you are eligible for a Bridging Payment in December, you will still receive it whether or not you have applied for Scottish Child Payment.
What you need to do
If you are eligible, and have responsibility for one or more children aged 6 to15, you need to take action on 14 November 2022, or a soon as possible after that date, to ensure you receive the support you are entitled to.
Apply for a Good Time to Be 2 place
If you have a two-year-old child, you may be eligible for up to 1140 hours of high quality early learning at a nursery or other setting.