The Housing Benefits Service carries out the statutory function on behalf of schools of checking and processing eligibility for free school meals (FSM). The service provided includes:
- End to end processing of applications for FSM made through Housing Benefit/ Council Tax Support claims or online by completing a FSM application
- Checking for eligibility using the HMRC Eligibility Checking Service (please note this service is not available for schools to use directly)
- Where eligibility cannot be confirmed, following up claims to seek confirmation of receipt of qualifying benefits
- Maintaining and updating the records database for FSM applicants by reviewing the continuing entitlement of parents.
- Access to an on-line self- service portal where schools can check eligibility in ‘real time’.
- Where appropriate, dealing with queries regarding FSM from parents/carers and schools
In providing our service we process Free School Meal applications as priority.
Processing FSM eligibility through the Housing Benefits Team maximises the number of pupils who will attract Pupil Premium Grant funding.
The cost of our service from 1 April 2019 is £6.00 per FSM eligible pupil taken from the January 2019 census statistics.