Every new month brings new changes in France, and this month there are a host of financial updates that could affect your household budget, including benefits and energy cheques. We summarise.
From today (April 1), a range of benefits are set to be increased, including the revenu de solidarité active (RSA) and la prime d'activité (a non-means tested payment given monthly to low-earning workers),
Family benefits (allocations familiales, for families with more than two children and under 20 years of age) are also going up by 1.8%.
The new amounts will be paid from May.
Read more on benefit rises: Fuel, energy cheques, cold calls: 14 changes for residents in April
Energy cheques sent
Energy cheques – financial aid from the government to help lower-income households pay for energy bills – will be sent in April.
The amount is calculated based on income and consumption, for low-income households that spend more than 10% on their electricity, gas, or fuel bills. It ranges from €48 to €277. More than 5.8 million households are set to benefit.
Discount of up to 18 centimes per litre of fuel
From today, the majority of petrol stations will offer a “refund” of up to 18 centimes per litre on the real price of fuel in a bid to help consumers with soaring costs. The new price will be automatically applied at the till and customers do not need to do anything to claim the discount.
The price will apply to all fuel – including SP95, SP98, and diesel. The discount has been recalculated according to the proportion of VAT which is applied in different regions of France. For example, in mainland France where VAT is at 20%, the discount will be 18 cents per litre, but in overseas departments where there is no VAT added to petroleum products, only 15 cents will be taken off the price.
Increase in the MaPrimeRénov amount
MaPrimeRénov, a financial aid aimed at helping households to carry out eco-friendly renovations on their homes, will be increased by €1,000 on April 15, 2022, for households that change their oil or gas heating system before the end of the year.
Income ceiling for free top-up health insurance rises
The Complémentaire santé solidaire (CSS) scheme, which replaced the old CMU-C and ACS, is now free to single people with annual income up to €9,203/year or couples with €13,805, up from €9,041 or €13,562; a rise of 1.8%.
People with incomes between the free CSS ceiling and €12,424 (€18,637 for couples) can benefit by paying a monthly contribution, from €8-30 depending on age.
The scheme provides free or low-cost medical top-up cover for the part of healthcare not reimbursed by the Assurance Maladie. Beneficiaries should also not be charged by doctors any fees on top of the standard state-reimbursable ones and are exempt from the €20/day forfait hospitalier in hospital. They can also benefit from free glasses, hearing aids and dental prostheses.