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Working Tax Credit/Free School Meals - advice appreciated.
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# 1
rbbadger
Old 23-07-2010, 8:05 AM
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Default Working Tax Credit/Free School Meals - advice appreciated.

My annual income is well below the threshold for free school meals but as I receive WTC I have been told that I can not also have free school meals. WTC is worth just over £14 per month whereas free school meals would be worth around the same amount each week. I am also aware that FSM entitlement also open the doors to other kinds of help. Is there anything I can do?



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Last edited by Former MSE Lee; 10-08-2010 at 1:04 PM.
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# 2
karenx
Old 23-07-2010, 8:11 AM
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Stop your claim for WTC and claim free school meals instead. No other way around it, if you get WTC no matter what your income is you dont qualify.
Although some councils are different but only a few in the uk. I get WTC and free school meals as my council have lowered the income band to under a certain level where you can still get free meals if your on WTC
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# 3
rbbadger
Old 23-07-2010, 8:18 AM
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I don't understand how it works though. If I cancel WTC will I lose NHS exemption? I am heavily dependent on this as I have a disabled child who is seriously ill at the moment. Also find it hard to chase up all the different benefits etc around my caring and work commitments...there must be an easier way to sort it all?
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# 4
karenx
Old 23-07-2010, 8:23 AM
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Yes you will lose your NHS card if you stop your WTC.
Theres no way out of it, rules for 99% of councils are if you recieve WTC you are not entitled to free school meals, so whether you earn 6k a year or 16k you are still not entitled.
If you are not claiming WTC and your income is under the threshold then you are entitled to free school meals.

So you need to make a choice as to what you want to do, continue with your WTC claim and keep your NHS card. Or cancel WTC, pay back the overpayment, lose your NHS card and make a claim for free school meals.
Other option is stick with what you do just now and make your children packed lunches then you dont need to worry about not qualifying for free school meals
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# 5
DX2
Old 23-07-2010, 9:38 AM
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Free school meals England/Wales

Who is entitled?
Free school meals are not provided automatically. Free school meals can be given if you fall into one of the following categories:
· you receive Income Support
· you receive Job Seeker's Allowance (income-based)
· you receive Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
· you get support under part six of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
· you receive the guarantee credit element of Pension Credit
· you are entitled to Child Tax Credit, you do not get Working Tax Credit and your family's annual income (as assessed by the Inland Revenue) is not more than £16,190. Anyone receiving Working Tax Credit is not entitled to free school meals regardless of their income unless you have become unemployed in which case free meals can be granted for a four week period only.


How do I apply?
Contact your local education authority or contact Childs’ school.

Free school meals Scotland



Free school meals can be claimed if parents/carers are receiving any one of the following:
  • Income Support (which includes Guarantee Pension Credit); or
  • Income-Based Job Seekers Allowance; or
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance; or
  • Child Tax Credit, but not in receipt of Working Tax Credit, and your income is less than £16,040 (as assessed by the Inland Revenue); or
  • Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit and an income below £6,420 (as assessed by the Inland Revenue).
  • Pupils who are 16 – 18 yrs old and receive any of these benefits in their own right can then claim for themselves.
  • Asylum seekers receiving support under part VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999 are also eligible for free school meals
How do I apply?
Contact your local education authority or contact Childs’ school.
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# 6
alwaysskint96
Old 23-07-2010, 4:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbbadger View Post
I don't understand how it works though. If I cancel WTC will I lose NHS exemption? I am heavily dependent on this as I have a disabled child who is seriously ill at the moment. Also find it hard to chase up all the different benefits etc around my caring and work commitments...there must be an easier way to sort it all?
Surely you would get free precription etc for your child even if not claiming any benefits
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# 7
Becciboobah
Old 23-07-2010, 5:12 PM
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That's what I thought. All under 16's get free prescriptions regardless of income.
Better to say nothing and look a fool than to speak and remove all doubt
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# 8
rbbadger
Old 23-07-2010, 7:39 PM
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Thanks for all the responses. Whilst we do get free prescrioptions, NHS exemption means you get help with travel expenses. As I live in a rural area and have to travel a round trip of around 45 miles to hospital at least once a week, very often more, this money has made a huge difference to me. I work part time and do not want to be a sponger but my son's illness has made it difficult for me to work at all and I have had to take a lengthy period of unpaid leave this year. I have little job security and worry all the time about a time when I am not able to keep up with mortgage payments - every little helps.
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# 9
Loopy Girl
Old 23-07-2010, 10:56 PM
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How many kids do you have?

It's not that expensive to give packed luches if you are inventive with the contents
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# 10
dktreesea
Old 26-07-2010, 6:30 PM
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My advice is to write to your MP and protest that the conditions up in Scotland are much more "low income friendly" than in England. I was in the council (in Scotland) today and was given a brochure to apply for help with back to school expenses (we get WTC).
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# 11
moomoomama27
Old 26-07-2010, 6:48 PM
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Sorry to be harsh, but they are your responsibility to feed! That is what the child related benefits are for! You cannot pick and choose which benefits wil benefit you more!!!

Tax credits assess your overall income when you claim, so I fail to see how you would able to say yes to the CTC, but no to the WTC!

Pack lunches don't have to be expensive, I have 3 children, and manage to provide a very low cost and healthy pack lunch for all 3! We are not on a high income, despite both working, and are not eligible for WTC! Yet manage, having children = sacrifices, and to me, the food, clothes for my children are priority above anything else!!!!
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# 12
Indie Kid
Old 26-07-2010, 6:56 PM
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Isn't this what CTC & child benefit are for?
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# 13
amanda40
Old 27-07-2010, 9:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dktreesea View Post
My advice is to write to your MP and protest that the conditions up in Scotland are much more "low income friendly" than in England. I was in the council (in Scotland) today and was given a brochure to apply for help with back to school expenses (we get WTC).
I thought the criteria for free school meal was the same in Scotland as in England - Could you confirm?

Ta

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# 14
DX2
Old 27-07-2010, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amanda40 View Post
I thought the criteria for free school meal was the same in Scotland as in England - Could you confirm?

Ta

Post 5 on this thread explains.
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# 15
eklynne
Old 27-07-2010, 5:50 PM
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I don't claim WTC (I'm a student) but I still get my NHS exemption card, in fact my new one came in 2 weeks ago.
Am I being given this by mistake??
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# 16
surfsister
Old 27-07-2010, 7:01 PM
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I'm in the same position as I get working tax credit can't get free dinners or free school transport it's grossly unfair much better in england not to work
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# 17
Dontknowanymore
Old 27-07-2010, 9:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfsister View Post
I'm in the same position as I get working tax credit can't get free dinners or free school transport it's grossly unfair much better in england not to work
Better to not work just because you dont get help with school dinners or travel?
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# 18
moomoomama27
Old 27-07-2010, 9:50 PM
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I just don't get it! Surely travel and food costs are adequatley met by having the child related benefits (CTC and CB)! If not something is seriously wrong with peoples personal budget planning!!
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# 19
tempertantrum
Old 11-08-2010, 9:03 PM
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I am just writing to say that certain people are being incredibly insensitive, as a mother of a disabled child I understand how little help you get financially to care and support a child with disabilities or illnesses (or both). I had to give up work to care for my daughter and now i get a 'great' amount of benefit of about £50 a week to look after her. This is not a choice, and no the government do not help enough to cover living costs especially the high costs of having a disabled or ill child. It is normally the financially well off people that are highly critical of anyone on benefits, who have no experience of it. I have never been a benefit scrounger and to suddenly have to rely on them is extremely hard. Pressure to look after the child, give up work or cut down on work, and cope on very little benefits when costs are so much higher of living in this situation. Please understand that yes you can cope with paying for children under normal circumstances, but this is very different. Unless you are in that situation it is very easy to be critical, so dont' be so harsh. rbbadger - i empaphise with you, I am in the same situation, my other daughter takes packed lunches as we have no choice as we cannot financially do it otherwise. And i'm afraid it is the only thing to do, there seems to be no way around it, whatever your income if you receive wtc you cannot get it. Good luck though in everything, be positive. x
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# 20
AnxiousMum
Old 11-08-2010, 9:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfsister View Post
I'm in the same position as I get working tax credit can't get free dinners or free school transport it's grossly unfair much better in england not to work
Hmmmm, are the school dinners and public transport REALLY that good? My kids would freak if I started buying them school dinners - they enjoy their packed lunches way too much, AND they enjoy the comfort of the air conditioned van in the summer, heated van in the winter. Working does have it's benefits - however, the OP in this case is temporarily unable to work - so is looking to see what help she might get in the meantime. Definitely better to work though surfsister

Last edited by AnxiousMum; 11-08-2010 at 9:29 PM. Reason: the 'L' button wasn't working!
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