Local Election results 6 May 2021

Results

2. Winter Grant Food Vouchers

Winter Grant Food Vouchers – Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for this support?

You do not need to apply for this support. We have already identified the families who are eligible and if you are eligible, you will be contacted directly.

Who is eligible for this support?

Families with children who are entitled to income based free school meals.

Families on low incomes with pre-school children using free school meal eligibility criteria.

The offer is not available to children on universal free school meals unless they have an underlying entitlement to income based free school meals. You will need to be in receipt of one of these benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

Disadvantaged 16 to 18 year old students in further education funded institutions.

Care Leavers aged 18 and up to 25 are also entitled to this support which is not means tested.

How much am I entitled to?

The value of the food voucher will be £30 per child for the two week Easter school holiday.

How will I be paid?

Oldham Schools will issue food vouchers for children on their school roll who are eligible for income based Free School Meals.

Oldham Council will issue food vouchers for those families on low income with pre-school children by post.

Oldham Sixth Form College and Oldham College will issue direct payments to students who are eligible for free meals.

When will I receive this support?

We are aiming to get this support out for children and young people for the February 2021 half term.

Can I choose which supermarket I use?

If you have received a notification from your child’s school by text message or email about the voucher, you will have a choice of supermarkets to select from before you download your voucher.

If you receive a voucher in the post, the supermarket will have already been selected and is likely to be either a Tesco or an Aldi voucher

I don’t want the Tesco or Aldi vouchers I have received in the post, can I swop them for another store?

Unfortunately no. If you have received a voucher in the post, the only option is to have the supermarket that has been selected for you.

If I send them back to you can you give me the money or a cheque instead?

Unfortunately no – the vouchers can't be exchanged for cash or a cheque. 

When does my voucher expire?

The schoolvouchers.com website has details of when vouchers expire:

Please download your voucher if you intend to use it. Any vouchers that haven’t been downloaded by 12 April 2021 will be reassigned to support other vulnerable families before the Winter Grants funding expires on 16 April 2021.

How do I access my vouchers?

The schoolvouchers.com website has a step by step guide to accessing your vouchers

Please download your voucher if you intend to use it. Any vouchers that haven’t been downloaded by 12 April 2021 will be reassigned to support other vulnerable families before the Winter Grants funding expires on 16 April 2021.

I don’t want the voucher, what do I do?

If you have received a voucher in the post, please return it to the Council and we will ensure this is used by a family in need.

If you do not redeem your online voucher by 12 April 2021, you do not need to do anything as your unused voucher will be reassigned to another family

Will the vouchers have my name on them?

No

I have received the letter but no vouchers are included

The vouchers were included with all the letters issued by post. Unfortunately, we cannot re-issue them.

I have received the letter but have not received the number of vouchers I was expecting

Vouchers have been issued by schools to all the eligible children on the school roll.

Further education establishments have issued direct payment to their eligible students and the Council has issued letters in the post with printed vouchers.

This means that funding for your child or young person may be received in different ways so may not all be included via one method.

If this goes on will you be sending more vouchers out?

We issued vouchers to cover the Christmas holiday and the February half terms and will repeat this offer for February half term. The Easter school holiday. 

The DWP Winter Grant funding expires at the end of March on 16 April  2021 so we are not looking to repeat this exercise for families with pre-school children and care leavers under 25.

Those children and young people eligible for free school meals during term time will continue to be supported by their schools and colleges. The recently announced  Holiday Activities and Food Programme will support those entitled to means tested free school meals during the school holidays over the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays 2021. 

My child does not receive Free School Meals, how do I claim?

I live in Manchester but my child goes to school in Oldham and is entitled to free school meals, will I get the vouchers?

Yes, the vouchers are available for children and young people who attend schools and further education establishments in Oldham

I live in Oldham and my child goes to school in another borough and is entitled to free school meals, will I get the vouchers?

We have an informal arrangement with many other Local Authorities to cover the cost Oldham children and young people attending schools in their boroughs and we will do the same for their children attending schools in Oldham.

However, let us know if you live in Oldham and your child is entitled to free school meals, attends an out of borough school and you do not receive food voucher support and we will check the situation out for you.

We do not want children to lose out on this much needed support.

I’m not happy, can I appeal the decision not to award a food voucher?

Unfortunately, there is no formal right of appeal against the Council’s decision to issue a food voucher.