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Total household income under £13 yet no fsm

(14 Posts)
notabee Wed 19-Oct-16 10:51:23

I work 16 hrs per week (unable to work longer due to long term illness) plus I get tax credits / child tax credits making my total household income under £13k.
I'm lucky we have a roof over our heads but with that comes all the usual bills each month.
I'm really struggling financially and someone suggested my teen may get free school meals as my income is under 16k. I phoned them up but we don't qualify as I work.
How can this be? Surely it should be available to all on low incomes??
Any advice appreciated.

YerAWizardHarry Wed 19-Oct-16 10:53:46

You need to be on a 'gateway' benefit such as JSA or Income Support I think. The fact you get WTC makes you inelegible unfortunately

Bumbumtaloo Wed 19-Oct-16 10:56:49

Do you receive working tax credits? I have linked the criteria for FSM below (it's the area I live because I had to put a post code in so the criteria would come up), maybe try and speak to citizens advice to make sure you are getting all benefits you are entitled to.

www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals/oxfordshire

notabee Wed 19-Oct-16 11:00:00

Yes I get working tax credits.
Thanks for replies and the link.
I can't understand why fsm isn't available to all on a low income. It seems wrong somehow.

notabee Wed 19-Oct-16 11:01:40

I'll try citizens advice, I need to do something or we're going to go under at this rate.

Bumbumtaloo Wed 19-Oct-16 11:07:05

I guess there has to be a cut off point and unfortunately receiving WTC is classed within the cut off. If you can't get to CAB maybe try the entitled to website, it would give you a good guide.

Do you get PIP for your long term illness? If not that would be a good starting point for you.

notabee Wed 19-Oct-16 11:19:21

I tried about a year ago and at that point I didn't qualify as much as 'they appreciated I had significant issues' etc.
I can't help thinking there must be something I'm missing.
I've cut down on virtually everything possible and I'm lucky if i go out once a month (and somewhere cheap!) and never buy anything new for myself. I also really feel my teen is missing out. She should be out with friends more than she is, I do let her have them over almost whenever she wants though.
She would like to buy stuff from the school canteen hence I started looking at school meals. She takes a packed lunch as it's so much cheaper but I feel bad she might be missing out.

Bumbumtaloo Wed 19-Oct-16 14:30:32

Has your illness changed at all in the past year? If so you can reapply, get somebody to go through the descriptors with you, I know when I completed my PIP forms I underestimated exactly what I can/can't do. When you speak to CAB they may be able to point you or have someone there who could looks at the forms with you.

Good luck flowers

HandbagFan Wed 19-Oct-16 18:51:10

Have you looked at the website 'entitled to'?

If you plug your details in it should tell you what you can claim.

notabee Wed 19-Oct-16 20:22:06

I've not looked at that site, I'll have a look. Thank you! I've not been great at looking at all the options, as I get incredibly tired reading.
I should reapply. It was really hard applying in the first place and admitting to myself I'm not actually ok and this isn't going to go away. Do you know what I mean?
Thank you for the flowers too!
Here's some back. flowers

Bumbumtaloo Thu 20-Oct-16 16:50:20

Thank you!

Yes, I know exactly what you mean. It took me a very long time to apply for any benefits I didn't want to accept I am as I will be for the rest of my life, I was convinced I would not get anything. When I did it was very bittersweet one part of me was releaved that I was 'believed' but I also hated the fact that by being granted various benefits I had a label for life.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble. I hope you manage to get some help.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 20-Oct-16 16:52:54

Unfortunately there is no point going to cab re school meals. Even if wtc was only 50p a week and school meals worth say £12 a week you can't even refuse wtc.

Bumbumtaloo Thu 20-Oct-16 17:00:24

AndNowItsSeven I suggested CAB not necessarily to speak about FSM but to make sure the OP is getting everything she is intitled to.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 20-Oct-16 17:03:24

The cab are useless the op can apply for HB/council tax support and pip if she hasn't already.
Fight back are a good charity that can help with pip or one related to specific disability.
There is no other help available expect food banks and emergency council financial support.

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