Millions of families in France receive ‘return to school’ grants today

Eligibility is based on overall household income - we explain

The payment is made by France’s Caf, which oversees family benefits
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The allocation de rentrée scolaire (ARS) benefit grant will start appearing in eligible parents’ bank accounts from today (August 16).

The one-off payment is a means-tested grant given to parents to help cover costs related to the beginning of the school year for their children.

It is paid by the Caisse d'allocations familiales (Caf), and is usually automatically paid to those eligible to receive it.

Around five million children (three million households), aged between six - 18, are eligible with their parents receiving the money automatically in their bank account.

Unlike some other benefits in France, the payments are fixed – provided your child is eligible, you will receive the amount corresponding to their age.

This year’s amounts are:

  • €398.09 for children aged between six and ten

  • €420.05 for children aged between 11 and 14

  • €434.61 for children aged between 15 and 18

The benefits are means tested, and eligibility is based on overall household income.

Unlike some other family benefits, this amount does not change depending on how many adults live in the home.

Those who have already received the ARS in the past, or receive other benefits from the Caf, will automatically receive the payments.

Otherwise, you will have to apply for the benefit through your Caf.

You can learn more by reading our explainer article about the ARS below.

Read more: French benefit explainer: ‘Allocation de rentrée scolaire’

In cases where household income is slightly higher than the means-tested limit, a partial ARS payment will be made.

“When a family's resources slightly exceed the ceiling, it then benefits from a reduced-rate back-to-school allowance, dependent on its income,” said Families Minister Aurore Bergé last month.

Related articles:

Help to claim all benefit entitlements from some French authorities

How are Caf income support benefits changing in France?