How to Get a Free Laptop - Government Home Access Grant
The government is given out 'Home Access Grant', free laptops grants for low income families. While it was only launched in January, already the Govt's given out 55,000 grants and is processing 10,000s more.
The grant targets people on a lower income without internet access who have children in school years 3 to 9 (age 7 to 14). There are a few tests for this, but as a rule of thumb, if you qualify for free school meals, you're likely to count for this too.
How Do I Apply?
Call 0333 200 1004 or check details at www.homeaccess.org.uk. Once you've done a quick eligibility check you'll be sent an application form to complete, which generally takes 3 weeks to process. To help your application be trouble free the grant helpline has given some top tips to filling out the form:
FULL details including top tips on how to successfully apply in the New Guide: Free Laptop Grants Related: Grant Grabbing, Child Care Costs, Tax Credits
What Equipment Do I Get?
Depending on your need you can get up to £528 to spend on a computer (laptop, desktop, netbook and one year's web access). Yet you cannot go anywhere, it's only retailers that operate the scheme, though these include mainstream providers such as Comet, Phones4u and Misco.
Once you've been accepted you'll be sent a voucher to hand in to one of the participating schemes. Vouchers need to be used within three months.
Top tips to filling out the Home Access Grant Form
- It's about School Year, not Age.
Check what school year your child is in before applying. Home Access is available to pupils in school years 3 to 9, normally aged between 7 and 14 (and school years 1 to 13 if they are Looked After Children).
- Choosing the Type of Grant.
Select your Home Access package carefully. There are various packages available and you should select the type carefully as you will not be able to change it, or the purchasing method, once your form has been submitted.
If you only want internet access, you can apply for a grant just for this or you can apply for a computer too (even if you already have an old one). You're not eligible if you've already received a free computer from another scheme.
Once you have the grant ensure you check the offers from each of the suppliers as there are some differences and you need to buy everything from the same company. You also need to use the grant within three months.
- Extra Money for Some Children.
All Home Access packages come pre-loaded with Assistive Technology software, including text to speech, text prediction, mind mapping and screen magnification. Additional money is available for learners with special educational needs (to be evaluated on a case by case basis in the summer) who can apply now for an additional grant.
- Fill in all the Questions.
Ensure ALL the mandatory fields are completed on the application form before sending it back. This includes the learner's name and date of birth. If any essential information is missing from the form, it will be returned and it will delay your grant.
- Make sure the Form is Signed.
Double check that you have signed your application form before sending it back. Unsigned application forms will be sent back to you to be signed.
- Include the Correct Evidence.
Everyone needs to include a Child Benefit letter but you don't need to provide extra proof for children that have been registered for Free School Meals for more than four weeks, otherwise you will need to provide other proof of income, dated since 1 Dec 2008, such as a benefit letter.
Any supporting evidence must be an original, no copies will be accepted and the address on any benefit letters must match the address on the application form. The recipient of the benefit should complete the application form, ie, not the father if it is the mother who claims it.
- Call if you Need Help.
If you've any questions call the Home Access helpline on 0333 200 1004. Assessment Officers are available between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, and on Saturday from 9am to 1pm to help if you require help filling out the form.
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