‘Reason €10bn in French state aid is unclaimed is simple - paperwork’

A Connexion reader shares his tiring experience of trying to getting government support

It took six months for Nigel Perry and his wife to receive a disabled parking badge
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In response to your online article about €10billion of state aid going unclaimed each year, the reason for this is simple – the bureaucratic process.

My wife is 78, has three prosthetic joints, and is now four years on from having had breast cancer treatment. Recently she also developed a psychosis, adding to my responsibilities as a full-time carer.

A couple of years ago, we decided to apply for whatever assistance we could. At the social services office, we were given a dozen forms to complete. We waited for weeks with no response. I phoned every day until someone answered and was told they could not find the paperwork.

I had asked for a once-a-week cleaner and that my wife be registered as handicapped so we could, at least, make use of disabled parking. I had not asked for financial support. Nothing happened, so I gave up.

Three months later, I received an email saying my application had been refused. I replied, reiterating that my priority was a disabled sticker. Two weeks later, it arrived.

The whole process had taken six months. I guess that, like most state employees who are overworked and underpaid, it is easier for them to chuck a parcel of forms at the applicant rather than spend an hour asking the right questions and completing the paperwork there and then. It would still take three months for the red tape to be manufactured, cut, packaged, and taken by lame mule to wherever it is needed.

Nobody cares, nobody complains, so nothing changes. And they wonder why they are still sitting on €10billion!

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