UNDER-25s in low-paid jobs will be allowed to apply for income support for the first time next week.
The government is extending the revenu de solidarité active (RSA) to include young workers. Until now, under-25s have only been eligible if they had a child or were expecting a baby.
However the new eligibility criteria will be much stricter than those applied to older RSA recipients.
To receive the RSA jeune, applicants must be in paid employment and must have worked full-time for at least two of the past three calendar years.
Applications can be submitted from September 1 and the first payment is due to be made on October 5.
The RSA, which replaced the RMI (revenu minimum d’insertion) last summer, is designed to give people an incentive to find work.
The welfare-to-work scheme gives them extra money on top of their pay to make up for lost unemployment benefits.
The youth initiative is being financed entirely by the state. It estimates that 160,000 people are eligible.
The government announced in July that it would do more to improve access to the RSA .
It estimated that 1.6 million households meet the criteria for the benefit, but only 627,000 families are receiving it.
According to research by TNS-Sofres, a lot of people who are eligible for the payment are not aware it exists or decide not to apply because it appears too complicated.
Some believed that the benefit was only reserved for the socially excluded and "very poor".
How to apply for income support