Last updated:

7th December 2023

Cost of living help if you have children

Check what you're entitled to

More than £15 billion goes unclaimed in money people are entitled to across the UK each year.

This is because not everyone knows all the benefits they are entitled to.

Use the tool below to see if you’re getting everything you could be owed under the current Government rules in less than 10 minutes.

Check eligibility

Child Benefit

Support for separated families

Support for disabled children

Pupil premium

If you receive certain benefits, you can apply to a scheme called the pupil premium. 

  • This gives your school extra funding - up to £1300 per year, to help with your child’s education
  • You can apply from when your child starts school
  • Signing up to the pupil premium also means your child will get free school meals up until they leave
  • You can talk to your child's school about how they use the funding from the pupil premium

Free school meals

To qualify for free school meals for your child you must receive one of the following:

  • Income support
  • Income-based job seeker’s allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Child Tax Credit - provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income that does not exceed £16,190
  • The guarantee element of the State Pension Credit

To apply, visit the free school meals pages.

Keep in mind that even if your child is in years 1 and 2, and automatically receives free school meals, you should still complete the application if you qualify. Signing up means that your child's school will receive extra funding to help with your child's education.

Holiday, Activity and Food programme

If your child is in receipt of benefit related free school meals (FSM), you can register your interest in our Holiday, Activities, and Food (HAF) programme. 

This programme is funded by the Department of Education (DfE) and provides free activities with a healthy meal to children and young people in school years from Reception to Year 11 who are in receipt of benefit related free school meals.

How to register

If you would like to register your child or children for the HAF programme, please visit the booking page, follow the link to the correct age group, and complete all of the details on the application form.

You will need to complete a separate form for each child. The HAF team will process your application and will contact you via email to confirm your HAF code.

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