Back-to-school benefit paid today

The cost of this year's rentrée compared to 2011 is said to be inline with inflation

The means-tested allocation de rentrée scolaire payment is up 25% this year, rising to €388.87 for older teens

THIS year’s – increased – payments of the allocation de rentrée scolaire are being paid today.

The money is means-tested and is to help cover the cost of equipping children for school.

The government estimates that the cost of the school rentrée this year is up about 1.9% on last year, in other words fairly “moderate”, essentially in line with inflation over the period. The benefit has however been put up 25%, in line with one of President Hollande’s election promises.

It is €356.20 for a child aged 6-10, €375.85 for one aged 11-14 and €388.87 for 15-18-year-olds.

Entitlement is based on household income not exceeding a certain ceiling, which is €23,200 for a family with one child, €28,544 for two or €33,908 for three and then €5,354 per child after that.

The income in question is called the revenu net categoriel and is worked out by the caisse d’allocations familiales (Caf), which makes the payments. It is usually similar to the revenu fiscal de référence mentioned on income tax bills, but the Caf may make certain extra deductions.

For families who received the allocation last year there were no formalities to complete for children aged 6-16, but for ones aged 16-18 you need to send in a justificatif de scolarité or d’aprentissage to the Car, showing the child is still in education or apprenticeship in the 2012/13 school year.

Families who never claimed it before had to complete forms for the Caf earlier in the year.

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