Free school meals - new rules for UC claimants from April 2018
Can anyone help?
I am trying to get my head around the regs to protect certain claimants from being affected by the new earnings threshold from 1.4.18.
SI.No.145/2018 mentions (a)(i) to (iia), (aa), (b)(i) to (iia) or (c)(ii) of subsection (4) of section 512ZB(4) of the 1996 Education Act - however the only version of section 512ZB I can find has (4)(a)(i) to (iv) and (4)(b)(i) to (iii).
I am guessing this refers to the other benefits which passport to free school meals, but does anyone know where to find the version containing the other subsections mentioned in the new statutory instrument?
If you go to the section 512 ZB - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/56/section/512ZB - and click in the pink changes to legislation box on the ‘changes and effects yet to be applied to the whole Act associated Parts and Chapters’ then scroll down to 512ZB you get all the bits that have been inserted with a link to the SI that inserted them - it looks like in the attachment but the links won’t work in that.
Doesn’t give it you all consolildated though I’m afraid
Brilliant - thanks Daphne!
Welfare benefits adviser - Dudley MBC
Total Posts: 226
Joined: 18 June 2010
im a bit baffled by this to be honest!
is it saying that they are looking over first one, then two, then three assessment periods and in effect this will allow for fluctuations in earnings,. bonuses etc?
and so if earned income too high in month one, they will then look back to month two to see if income then would be below that threshold? and if not, then look back to month three?
if someone then qualifies, is this an ongoing process? so for example, in month 4 will they then look across the three months prior to this, same in month 5 and so on? so it is a rolling process?
I thought this was supposed to be a simplification of the system!! what a total mess (or is it me misinterpreting?)
Total Posts: 43
Joined: 20 October 2010
I agree - I can’t get my head round it either. In my son’s school you have to put in the order for meals for the following half term several weeks in advance and that can cover an 8 week period. You have to tick the eligible for FSM when you order. How can you possibly know if you are on a zero hours contract for example how much you will earn for that period?
Does anyone know if there is any kind of penalty for claiming FSM you are not entitled to in the same way as prescriptions?
Briefing from CPAG and The Children’s Society looking at who will lose out under new rules - https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/what-we-do/resources-and-publications/the-free-school-meals-poverty-trap-how-work-wont-pay-for
Commons votes 312 to 254 against annulling the Free School Lunches and Milk, and School and Early Years Finance (Amendments Relating to Universal Credit) (England) Regulations 2018 ...
From The Childrens’ Society -
A summary of legal advice provided to The Children’s Society by Stephen Broach of Monckton Chambers on the Government’s proposed regulations changing eligibility for free school meals under Universal Credit.
The advice identifies five potential grounds of public law challenge in relation to the above.
The prospects of one or more of these grounds of challenge succeeding in an application for judicial review has been assessed as good.
Welfare rights adviser - Social Inclusion Unit, Swansea
Total Posts: 277
Joined: 17 June 2010
The identikit regulations for Wales has brought the same rules for UC claimants from April 2019 (with a little transitional protection added)
The guidance from Welsh Gov talks about the annual net earnings of £7,400, but as in England the regulations look at the three previous assessment periods and whether earnings exceed £616.67 etc
How is this working in practice in England, especially for people with fluctuating earnings who could fit under the figures for the last three AP’s and get free school meals for part of the year but not the whole year and annual earnings exceed £7,400 - how would people even know could get help for part of the year (we thought term time workers and the christmas tree grower!)
Once they’ve become eligible they stay eligible to 31 March 2022 and those eligible then to end of current stage of education - primary or secondary - see CPAG pg 855 - in Wales also but up to 31 December 2023 and then end of current stage of education.[ Edited: 11 Jun 2019 at 01:17 pm by Daphne ]