Free milk tokens can be claimed by certain mothers in order to ensure that their babys receive all of the necessary nutrients required in order to develop. The milk tokens scheme is operated by the Inland Revenue on behalf of the government.
Mothers who wish to claim milk tokens must complete an application form and send this to the relevant department. The form will ask details about the personal circumstances of an individual, for example their earnings and if they are on benefits, what benefits they receive. As well as asking about the financial situation, a pregnant lady will be required to prove her pregnancy. To do this a pregnant woman must visit her doctor who will then sign the application which will prove the pregnancy.
A pregnant woman can claim milk tokens from the tenth week of her pregnancy and these will continue to be provided up until a child is four years old. Milk tokens will not be back dated and it is therefore important that a pregnant woman claims as soon as she is ten weeks pregnant.
Women who are on benefits and pregnant may be entitled to claim milk tokens, although this will be dependent upon their partners earnings and also the assets they hold. Mothers who have children under the age of four and claim benefits are also entitled to claim milk tokens up until a child is four years old. Once a baby turns one the milk tokens change from milk tokens to being infant tokens, this will be automatically updated and therefore the mother does not have to make any changes. As well as mothers on benefits being entitled to milk tokens, women who are under the age of eighteen and pregnant are also in a position to claim milk tokens.
How much the vouchers are worth depends on the circumstances of an individual. If an individual is pregnant and receiving milk tokens, the value of the vouchers will be £3.10 per week. If the claimant is claiming the milk tokens for babies under the age of one the amount the tokens will be worth is £6.20 per baby under the age of one. For babies over one year old but under four years old, the amount the tokens will be worth is £3.10.
The milk tokens can be used at any participating retailer, those who are participating will display a Health Start logo. As well as supermarkets there are also milk men, greengrocers, corner shops, chemists and market stall participating in the scheme.
A helpline is also operated by the milk token scheme, this has been created to provide information to pregnant women. Help and advice is available in relation to diet and lifestyle.