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Are you eligible for workers’ benefit?

29 April 2020

For any independent worker or salaried employee on low pay, the prime d’activité can help top up monthly income.

A few years ago, it replaced the RSA income support benefit for those who are in work.

Following the gilets jaunes movement, when many of the complaints came from people who worked but could not afford to live decently, the government promised to raise the incomes of those on the minimum wage, the Smic.

In part, this was done by increasing the prime d’activité, running a publicity campaign to make people aware of this benefit, and widening its scope so more people were eligible.

It is now given out to around five million households.

Factors such as size of family, whether you own your home, and other sources of income such as child or housing benefits are taken into account. Amounts are adjusted according to the income you receive.

Someone living alone, owning their home, and earning the Smic minimum wage will receive around €160 a month.

A couple with one child, both earning the Smic, and owning their home would obtain around €180.

Applicants should be in work but with a low income, no more than 1.5 times the Smic minimum wage, which in 2020 is €1,219 net of social charges, and they should be full-time residents of France.

If you are an EU citizen, you must have lived here for at least three months.

Non-EU citizens are also eligible, so even after Brexit it will be available to Britons with a carte de séjour.

You can do a calculation online to see if you are eligible for a prime d’activité from the French government.

Note that if you are using the calculator, you need to first fill in a section entitled vous, then the same information for your partner, and finally for any dependants. Couples apply for one prime for the family.

You then apply for the prime benefit online.

The sum is fixed for three months and is paid monthly.

At the end of every three months, you declare your income again to see whether you can continue to benefit.

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