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To be surprised that getting higher rate care componant for PIP doesnt get free school meals

(73 Posts)

Was looking into it ready for when ds1 starts school. Thought it was odd, given that so much of the 'care' part focuses on food prep, that a food benefit that already exists isnt given to disabled parents who are already assessed and acknowledged to struggle when it comes to feeding themselves?

But then again, disabled parents dont exist do they. So i guess i shouldnt be surprised really.

So in that case, aibu to think parents who recieve higher rate care (or ever any rate care!) should be included in the fsm list?

CrohnicallyExhausted Fri 27-Jun-14 13:56:05


However, all infant children (years R-2) in England will be getting FSM in September. Will your DS qualify for this?

Nope, I'm in wales. Apparently theyre still discussing whether they should do it.

cricketpitch Fri 27-Jun-14 13:58:06

Sorry I don't quite understand the question. Do you mean your DS should get FSM as preparing a packed lunch is difficult in your situation or that because you get a care allowance the means test shouldn't apply? Or is it something else?

Well both. Personally, we're not far above the threshold, so raising it would "do", but thats not fair on others in a similar position who have a cost that they couldnt prepare for.

The PIP (or dla) is designed to cover additional personal costs due to disability, and child tc/benefit is to cover additional costs due to having children, there is no allowance for additional childrens costs due to a parent being disabled. Does that make sense?

Mrsjayy Fri 27-Jun-14 14:09:19

Free school meals are for those children on income support I know the names changed disability allowances are slightly higher and if you have care components it is assumed people can pay for care my dds never got free school dinners welldd1 did for a few months while her dad was unemployed and we got is then tax credits, benefits and criteria is a minefield I think part of the criteria is so children get fed cos you know how all of the unemployed starve and neglect theiir kidshmm

Mrsjayy Fri 27-Jun-14 14:11:11

You are right I paid for extra nursery hours a few sessions a week so dds got lunch

cricketpitch Fri 27-Jun-14 14:14:05

Yes, Thanks I see now. so, for the sake of an example to help me understand - a disabled parent's needs mean it costs more for you to live but the costs of caring for a child if you are disabled are also going to be proportionately higher than those of a parent who is not struggling with a disability - and this is not taken into account at all. Have I got this right?

(I am fortunate in not needing DLA and hope that I never do as the whole allocation of it seems like a nightmare). I suppose it is just the tick box system in action.

Sirzy Fri 27-Jun-14 14:14:32

Although I can see where you are coming from there has to be a cut off somewhere and I don't think having everyone on a benefit which isn't income related (and rightly so) entitled to free school meals is necessarily the best use of he available funds.

The cost of feeding your children is there whether the parents are disabled or not so in that sense you are not being disadvantaged.

YourHandInMyHand Fri 27-Jun-14 14:16:15

Children get DLA, adults get PIP. Do you mean that you are in receipt of PIP??

DLA/PIP are not means tested benefits, you could be in receipt of it and on an exceptionally good wage/living on a lottery win/a huge inheritance. Currently free school meals go to families on a low income eg in receipt of income support. In your scenario a person in your situation but also a millionaire would get free school meals for their child?

I hope I'm following this properly. confused

Mrsjayy Fri 27-Jun-14 14:16:20

Yes there has to be a cut off point I agree

SaucyJack Fri 27-Jun-14 14:19:46

The parent could use their PIP to pay for school dinners I suppose.

WooWooOwl Fri 27-Jun-14 14:22:05

YABU. PIP or DLA is non means tested, as it should be. FSM is intended for those on extremely low incomes and PIP or DLA is supposed to pay for the extra costs associated with disability. If as a result of the disability food preparation is a problem, then DLA/PIP is provided to deal with that.

At least that's the idea, I appreciate that it doesn't really cover the real cost of having a disability. But because it isn't means tested you could end up with people who can well afford their children's food getting it for free, and that would be unnecessary. If income is low enough, then that's what child tax credits are for.

I would say that not being able to prepare your child's food as a result of disability is personal, because it's something that parents (and it's a personal choice to be a parent) will always need to do. Or if that's not enough, then you can consider child benefit as being there to help feed a child. Either way, it is being provided.

Anyway, as FSMs are going to be offered to all children in KS1 soon, children in KS2 will be able to help make their own packed lunches with supervision from their parent and it won't be a problem.

I imagine this would be less of a worry when i finally have a PA sorted, then they can do it. Sadly, noone wants to do half hours work three times a day, so i've had the allocation for ages but noone to do it. So at the moment, everything we eat is preprepared.

My point is, its a higher cost as its a choice between paying for school dinners or getting preprepared food. At my worst, i cant butter bread. So its not a cost that any parent has, as they can make things cheaper if they need to cut money back. If that makes sense?

I get £50 a week for the care element, pay £20 a week for a cleaner which could do with being more but is all i can afford, and have two children so in theory thats another £20-25 for two childrens school dinners. Leaving me £5-10 for the rest of additional food costs. Which as i've said, is everything preparared, as i cannot get a PA.

Fsm for ks1 is in england only at the mo.

AgaPanthers Fri 27-Jun-14 14:30:03

YABU, you can't link a means-tested benefit (school dinners) to a non0-means-tested one (DLA/PIP).

TheFairyCaravan Fri 27-Jun-14 14:32:59

There has to be a line drawn somewhere.

I get DLA, my DH also earns quite a good wage. It would have been madness for us to have been eligible for FSM.

Mrsjayy Fri 27-Jun-14 14:33:09

Are you sure you have all the benefits you are entitled too

Why not? Because of all the severely disabled multimillionaires who will take the piss?

Mrsjayy Fri 27-Jun-14 14:35:00

Do you havr a partner who lives with you

Yes, married and dh works shifts. We get everything we are entitled to.

Mrsjayy Fri 27-Jun-14 14:39:33

You shouldnt br payng for everything out of your money though it spunds hard on u

Sirzy Fri 27-Jun-14 14:41:40

Why are you paying for everything then?

And surely he can prepare packed lunches around his shifts?

DHs wages pay for rent, tax, water etc, he's not off pissing them up a wall grin

I know I'm not entitled to more, I just feel (hugely selfishly, I know that) that when one benefit is provided to allow for disability costs, and one for child costs, the gov (and society in general) could acknowledge that putting the two together means new added costs on top.

I know we're far from alone in living hand to mouth, i dont want this to be a poor me thread.

TheDoctorSandshoesAndGrandad Fri 27-Jun-14 14:45:51

Possibly a silly question, but Why can't your dh/dp make a packed lunch for the children?

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