In order to claim milk tokens it is the responsibility of the mother of the baby or a partner to contact the Inland Revenue and to apply for the milk tokens. This is a government scheme and it is therefore operated by a government department. In order to claim the tokens claimants can ring 0845 300 3900.
This is the same number that is used to claim infant tokens once a baby has been born. Infant tokens are exactly the same as milk tokens and provide the same benefits to mothers.
In order to claim milk tokens certain evidence will have to be provided by the claimant, this includes proving the pregnancy. In some cases it may be easier to apply for the tokens using a traditional application form, this way a medical professional can complete part of the form proving that a woman is pregnant.
If a telephone application is preferred to this then the woman must still prove that she is pregnant. The Inland Revenue will contact a womans general practioner in order to have the pregnancy confirmed, this may obviously slow down the claiming process in some cases.
The vouchers can not be used to purchased fruit and vegetables which contain added fats such as oil, salt, sugar or any other ingredients which are not deemed to be healthy such as over chips or seasoned stir frys. People who receive the vouchers but are unaware whether a product is suitable should check the pack of the food for added ingredients before purchasing. These products are not allowed as they do not provide the essential vitamins which are required for child growth.
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 traditional application process is available and this requires a woman to fill in her details and also requires a doctor to sign off to prove that a pregnancy is genuine. In the future online applications may be accepted although this is not currently available. The Inland Revenue will assess each claim for milk tokens and then make a decision on whether the claimant is eligible to be claiming.