The Social Security system's Family branch is organized into a network of 102 Department-level funds and one national fund.
The Family Allowance Funds (Caisses d'allocations familiales/ CAF) pay family benefits:
Under Section L. 512-1 of the Social Security Code, "any French or foreign person residing in France with one or more dependent children also residing in France, is entitled to family benefits for those children".
Family benefits are awarded to persons acting as the real and ongoing custodian (food, housing, clothes) for legitimate, illegitimate, adopted, or foster children up to the age of:
Finally, a flat-rate allowance is awarded to offset the financial loss incurred by families with three or more children when the eldest child reaches the age of 20. This is paid for a maximum of one year.
Formula used for the calculation of family benefits: family benefits are calculated as a percentage of the monthly family benefit base (BMAF). The BMAF is currently set at €413.16 as of April 1st, 2019. The BMAF is uprated on 1st April each year in line with the anticipated change in the average annual consumer price index excluding tobacco.
Family benefits include:
Family benefits are paid from the 2nd dependent child residing in France. They are paid without any employment criteria. As from July 1, 2015, family benefit rates are based on the income of the household or person with dependent children and the number of children. There are three income brackets.
The flat-rate allowance is payable to families with at least 3 dependent children whose child benefit is reduced when one of the children reaches the age of 20 (the age limit for child benefit) and is not earning more than €932.29 in monthly income.
To qualify, the family must be entitled to child benefit for at least 3 children, including the child who has reached their twentieth birthday. The allowance is paid on behalf of the concerned child for a period of 12 months, beginning on the first day of the month of the child's 20th birthday up to the month preceding their 21st birthday.
The monthly rate of this allowance is €83.60 as of April 1st, 2019. Essentially, as for family benefits, this amount is divided by 2 or by 4 depending on household income (year N-2). However, a supplement can be paid on a sliding scale if household income for calendar year N-2 is slightly higher than the applicable income ceiling.
This is a means-tested benefit payable to families with at least 3 children aged between 3 and 21 years. The income ceiling varies based on number of dependent children and household makeup. To be eligible for this benefit in 2019, net household income in 2017 must not have exceeded:
The amount of the family supplement comes to either €172.08 or €258.14 per month based on income bracket. The amount is the same whether the family has 3 dependent children or more.
This allowance is paid to raise a child:
The family support allowance can also be paid as an advance if the other parent is behind on child support payments.
To be eligible, the claimant must meet the following requirements:
This allowance comes to:
The various benefits to offset the costs due to the arrival of a child and help pay for the cost of childcare are grouped together under the early childhood benefit program (Paje), which consists of:
Early childhood benefits include:
These grants are intended to help cover the expenses related to the birth or adoption of a child (€949.24 for each birth and €1,898.47 for the adoption of a child under the age of 20).
They are means-tested. The income ceiling depends on the number of children in the family and the number of babies expected. The ceiling is higher when both parents are working and for single parents. As of January 1st, 2019, the family's annual income for 2017 must not exceed €31,659 for a single-income family expecting one child or €41,840 for a dual-income household or a single parent.
To qualify for the birth grant, the mother must show that she has undergone the first routine prenatal exam during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
The basic allowance is paid following a birth or adoption grant award and helps with the child's maintenance and educational expenses. It is a means-tested benefit (with the same income ceiling as the birth grant) and is paid from the date of the child's birth to the last day of the month preceding their third birthday.
In the case of adoption, the basic allowance is paid during the three years following the child's arrival, provided that the child is under 20 years of age.
As from April 1st, 2018, the following distinction is made:
The shared child-rearing benefit is granted for children born or adopted from 2015 and the supplement for free choice of working time for children born or adopted before that date.
These benefits allow a parent to stop working or work less in order to look after their child.
They can be paid on top of the basic allowance or separately (if the parent does not meet the income requirements for the basic allowance).
They are not means-tested and are payable from the first child.
Work requirement: the parent must have accrued 8 quarters of old-age insurance over:
Duration of benefits:
The shared child-rearing benefit (PreParE) is paid to each parent for 6 months for:
The supplement for free choice of working time (CLCA) is paid for 6 months for a first child and up to the 3rd birthday for a second child and any additional children.
The monthly amount of the PreParE/ CLCA (from April 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2020) comes to:
The increased rate of PreParE is €652.50 per month. It can be awarded to a parent of 3 or more children who has stopped all forms of employment. It is paid at a higher rate than the basic PreParE benefit but for a shorter period of time.
The maximum age for CLCA eligibility for an adopted child is 20, for a minimum period of 1 year.
CMG is intended to offset childcare costs for children under the age of 6. It can be paid on top of the basic allowance (if the parent meets the income-related eligibility requirements) or independently.
CMG is paid to a household or parent who is working and:
This benefit includes:
The education allowance for a disabled child is a non-means tested allowance paid to those with a dependent child under age 20 (regardless of the child's order of birth in relation to their siblings) who has a permanent disability rating of:
This allowance is not payable for children placed in residential schools, for which all costs are paid by the health insurance system, the state or social welfare.
The amount of the allowance is €132.21 per month. Children with a disability rating of at least 80% are eligible for an allowance supplement, the amount of which varies according to their needs or degree of disability. To determine the amount of the supplement, the child's condition is classified by a Committee for the Rights and Self-dependency of Disabled Persons (CDAPH) in one of six categories, using a rating scale that assesses the special care needs and costs, the financial consequences arising from the disability and/or loss of income for a parent staying at home to look after the child, and the need for a paid carer.
The monthly amounts of the supplement (from April 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2020) are as follows:
Individuals claiming AEEH and its supplement who are the sole provider and caregiver for a disabled child are entitled to a single-parent top-up. This is awarded when the child's state of health requires the single parent to stop working or cut back on his/her working hours, or to hire a paid caregiver.
On a category-by-category basis, this top-up comes to:
As from January 2019, the length of award for AEEH is determined according to the following rules:
Families claiming basic AEEH can choose:
The AEEH supplement may also be paid concurrently with the "3rd element" of the compensation benefit, which is designed to help towards home and vehicle conversion costs and transport costs.
AAH is awarded as a minimum-income benefit for people with disabilities.
Eligibility requirements are as follows:
The claimant's income for 2017 will be taken into account for AAH benefits paid in 2019.
The maximum AAH award is €860 per month as from November 1st, 2018. This amount is awarded to individuals with zero income.
Individuals drawing any type of pension receive the difference between the amount of their pension and the sum of €860.
When a claimant's disability severity rating is at least 80%, AAH is awarded for a period of 1 to 5 years. However, it is awarded for an unlimited amount of time to those with a permanent disability severity rating of 80% and whose restrictions on activities are scientifically not expected to improve.
When a claimant's disability severity rating is between 50% and 79%, AAH is awarded by CDAPH for a period of 1 to 2 years.
To learn more: handicap.gouv.fr
This means-tested allowance is payable for any child enrolled in school and between the ages of 6 and 18. The amount payable depends on the age of the child to reflect actual needs.
The allowance is payable to families or persons whose income is below a certain level (upper limits vary based on family makeup and number of dependent children). It is paid as a lump sum in August of each year. If the family's income is below the assessment ceiling, the allowance is paid at the full rate. If the family income is slightly above the assessment ceiling and below another limit decided by government order, a supplemental allowance is paid.
The full-rate allowance for fall 2019 is:
The daily parental attendance allowance is paid to any person looking after a child under 20 and suffering from a disease or severe handicap requiring constant assistance and attendance. To qualify, the beneficiary must be obliged to take time off work and be granted parent's attendance leave. A doctor's certificate attesting to the child's medical condition must be furnished to the medical board of the relevant Health Insurance Fund.
The amount of the daily allowance is €43.92 if the beneficiary is part of a couple and €52.18 for a single parent. It is paid for each day of leave from work, up to a maximum of 22 days per month.
The beneficiary is entitled to 310 days of paid leave, paid on a daily basis and to be taken over a three-year period depending on the child's needs.
If the monthly expenses necessitated by the child's condition exceed €112.34, a supplement of €112.34 is payable to families on incomes below a certain level, on production of the relevant receipts.
This allowance is intended to cover a portion of families' housing expenses. Eligibility requirements are based on the characteristics of the property in which the family is housed (surface area and conditions), the rent paid and the family's income.
The moving allowance is a means-tested benefit payable to families with at least 3 children and who are entitled to housing benefits for their new home. The bonus is equal to the actual moving expenses. The maximum amount of this award is €991.58 for families with 3 children, plus €82.63 for each additional child.
The prime d'activité is paid by France's family benefits funds (Caf) and Agricultural social mutual funds (MSA) as an incentive for low-income (salaried or self-employed) workers to continue or resume their employment with improved purchasing power.
The prime d'activité amounts to the difference between the flat rate (which is determined by household makeup and number of dependent children) and entire household income including family benefits.
The flat rate for a person living alone is €551.51.
A simulator is available on Caf's website to estimate prime d'activité eligibility and entitlements.
Important information: All family benefits, except the special education allowance (AEEH), are subject to a 0.5% CRDS tax. The tax is collected directly by the Family Benefit Funds.