Universal Credit could take free school meals away from children

The Mirror is reporting that charities have warned children receiving free school meals could lose them under Universal Credit.

And as the roll-out of the new benefit is extended to families, pressure on the Government to spell out exactly how the change will affect kids is mounting.

Universal Credit is designed to be a simpler system that encourages claimants back into work. But it is not clear how it will replace the system of “passported’ benefits like free school meals.

A spokesman from The Children’s Society said: “We are concerned that – without an explicit guarantee from Government – children in families who are moved onto Universal Credit could see their free school meals taken away…”

School meals are what’s called a “passported” benefit because families can only claim them if they already receive certain other benefits, such as Jobseeker’s Allowance or child tax credits.

But because Universal Credit is streamlined, officials may find it hard to decide which families can claim the extra benefits.

While some families currently receiving free school meals could lose out, the shake-up may be good news for other families on low incomes who didn’t previously make the cut…

More at: Universal Credit could take free school meals away from children

 

The full report says the DfE declined to comment when approached by the Mirror which could be seen as ominous.

Were you aware of this potential issue? Any thoughts or feedback? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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