Free school meals surely this can't be right.

(21 Posts)
curiousG Fri 22-Jul-16 16:11:19

So I already know that me and my dh aren't entitled to fsm as we earn too much (not loads obviously but over the limit). So it's come to my attention that if you are in reciept of universal credit then you are entitled to fsm. Well Aibu to think that this can't be right and if it is right then it's very unfair.

Universal credit as you know will replace the majority of benefits including child tax credit which at present we get. So am I right to assume that when we are trasnsfered onto UC (it's being rolled out in our area at present) we will automatically become entitled to fsm because that doesn't sound right to me. If it is correct then despite us being potentially better off I actually don't agree with it. How can a family on Ctc with a certain income not be entitled to fsm but then a family on UC with the same income automatically are entitled. How is that fair. So maybe not an Aibu but I'd appreciate it if someone in the know could fill me in on what actually will happen regarding fsm and UC.

Thingvellir Fri 22-Jul-16 16:16:35

Im not sure about the rules for FSM but was aware of the connection with UC - last year when DS started YR, the school asked me to complete a FSM form so they could get the Nick Clegg universal free meals for him. I did this and got a letter from the council asking me to provide my UC statement. I politely responded that I do not receive benefits so didnt have a statement and they appologised and also sent me a cheque for 40 quid as a school uniform contribution. I was somewhat flabbergasted at that! I didnt cash the cheque, it felt wrong as we are not in need.

It seems there is cash to throw around...

curiousG Fri 22-Jul-16 16:21:50

Really wow that was generous of them. That makes me wonder even more now. My area is almost finished rolling out UC and we will transfered over on to it soon but our income (what me and dh earn) won't have changed so I don't see how we'd become automatically entitled to fsm as surely the whole of the country (well the ones who receive help) will then also be entitled and that's ludicrous.

lalalalyra Fri 22-Jul-16 16:39:19

It might be that they've worked out that blanket paying for fsm for claimants of UC is cheaper than the means testing of it. If you do away with one or two staff whose job it is to work out if people are entitled to it then that pays for a lot of fsm's. Maybe?

PotteringAlong Fri 22-Jul-16 16:42:08

I agree - it's why everyone gets the winter fuel payment regardless of income. Sometimes means testing things is far more expensive than just giving it to everyone.

Don't knock it!

MinnielovesMickey Fri 22-Jul-16 16:46:28

I may have misunderstood but what I believe is when you are in receipt of UC you then become ELIGIBLE for FSM but doesn't necessarily mean you will get them, it's the same with 2 year funding applications, you may tick certain boxes that allows you to apply but on further investigation into your situation and finances it tells you you are not entitled, does that make sense?

Sorry if that's not what you meant!

curiousG Fri 22-Jul-16 16:47:56

No that's fine that's what I was wondering.

BeautyQueenFromMars Fri 22-Jul-16 16:48:48

I think FSMs are being given out to everyone receiving UC so that those who really do need them don't miss out. As UC isn't means tested like TCs are, they can't see who is in need and who isn't, so they feel it's better to give more away than necessary, so the children don't lose it.

AndNowItsSeven Fri 22-Jul-16 16:51:43

It's because their is only a tiny minority of families with dc currently eligeable for UC. Once it's rolled out properly the same rules as TC will apply because the software will be cost effective.

AndNowItsSeven Fri 22-Jul-16 16:52:43

Op if you earn more than £300 a week you can't claim
UC even if it's in your area so you won't be moved into it.

caroldecker Fri 22-Jul-16 16:53:25

The current position, according to Leeds council is:

As a temporary measure, Universal Credit will ‘passport’ to free school meals and free prescriptions during its initial limited rollout. However, we understand that a final decision on how free school meals and free prescriptions will operate within a Universal Credit world has yet to be agreed.

So free prescriptions as well.

AndNowItsSeven Fri 22-Jul-16 16:54:02

Ahh there!

AndNowItsSeven Fri 22-Jul-16 16:55:13

Sorry op is £338 a month not week.

curiousG Fri 22-Jul-16 16:56:21

Really yeah I didn't realise that. We earn more than £300 a week but I was under the impression everyone would eventually be transfered on to UC.

ImperialBlether Fri 22-Jul-16 16:57:08

Minnie, being eligible means just that. Everyone can apply; only those who are eligible will get it.

AndNowItsSeven Fri 22-Jul-16 16:57:42

ANY OF THE BELOW means you can't claim UC even if it's rolled out in your area.

not be an adopter who expects to have a child or qualifying young person placed in your care in the next 2 months, if you are single
not include any children on your claim being looked after by a local authority
not have a child or qualifying young person you are responsible for living with you who are getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or who are blind
not be pregnant
not have been pregnant within the last 15 weeks
not be a registered foster carer (even if no foster children currently live with you)
be fit for work and not have a current fit note or have applied to get one
not be self-employed, a company director or in a limited liability partnership
not be liable to pay Child Support Maintenance
not expect that you or your partner will individually receive take-home pay of more than £338 in the next month
if you have a partner, expect to receive joint take home pay of more than £541 in the next month
not expect to receive any earnings from self-employment in the next month
not have a member of your household who is in the armed forces (regular or reserves) who is away in connection with that role
You won't be able to make a claim yet if either you or your partner if you have one:

are receiving Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, DLA or PIP
are awaiting a decision on a claim to Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit or Housing Benefit
are appealing a decision against Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
are waiting for the outcome of an application to revise a decision that you are not entitled to Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Housing Benefit
are homeless or live in supported or temporary accommodation
own or partly own the home in which you live
are a carer for someone with a health condition or disability (other than as part of paid or voluntary work)
are in any form of education or training or about to start a course of education or training within the next month

curiousG Fri 22-Jul-16 16:58:01

Omg don't most people earn more than that. Crikey there will be less people entitled to fsm then won't there. I just got excited for a tiny second thinking we might be £100 a month better off but it doesn't look like it.

Birdsgottafly Fri 22-Jul-16 16:59:19

When UC was being first put together, a major objection was how it would effect 'Passport' benefits.

So a 'run on' was decided, so they would automatically be provided and eventually phased out/time limited, as time went on and a recipients income increased.

This was then thought of as very complex, the paperwork, working out the rules etc. So everyone is considered eligible for FSM, but they will eventually be means tested again, once everyone is on UC.

There has been talk of scrapping FSMs and using another system, but this would be complex from the Education Funding perspective.

The DofE is responsible for FSMs.

This won't go on forever, but the easiest and cheapest way of doing it, without children and schools missing out, was to do it this way.

AndNowItsSeven Fri 22-Jul-16 17:00:29

Eventually those non eligeable groups will shrink right down to most if not all being able to claim.
However because the software isn't ready they don't want people to claim. So it's cheaper to just pay fsm for the small amount of entitled dc than it would be to work out who would have been entitled under TC.

curiousG Fri 22-Jul-16 17:01:13

Ah right I get you.

Birdsgottafly Fri 22-Jul-16 17:03:57

""but I was under the impression everyone would eventually be transfered on to UC""

They were supposed to be. But UC was unworkable and would have left the groups mentioned in poverty.

We now may not be subject to the Child/Disabled persons etc poverty directives from the EU, so UC may one day come into being, as the Tory's originally wanted it to.

If it does, Save the Children would have to become more active in the UK, because otherwise we'd have children too hungry to learn.

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