What are the rules for claiming aid for home carer in France?

Those eligible for care in France can access a range of benefits

Your local mairie can assist in detailing services offered

Reader Question: What are the rules for claiming financial aid to help pay for care and other services? I am a French resident.

From your question, we assume you are talking about financial aid to pay for a carer to visit you at home and help you with daily tasks, for example.

Benefits of this kind are separate from the healthcare you receive from doctors and nurses, which is reimbursed by your Caisse primaire d’assurance maladie health authority.

The latter depends on you being registered in the French healthcare system, usually linked to employment, having an S1 form as a retiree of another country (EU or UK), or living in France continuously for at least three months.

Some benefits are means-tested

For benefits to help pay for non-medical care, the main source of help is your departmental council, which can assess your needs.

If you have serious dependency issues, eg. you cannot carry out some everyday tasks without help, you may qualify for Allocation personnalisée d’autonomie (Apa), which can go towards all or some of the cost of having help at home or making home adaptations.

It is for over-60s and is variable up to almost €2,000/month depending on means and needs. Depending on the department, this can be applied for to the department on a form and/or online (see here under Comment demander l’Apa).

You will need supporting documents including a photocopy of your residency card, EU passport or French ID card, proof of address such as a recent utility bill, your last income tax statement (avis d’impôt) and a bank Rib (account details).

There is another form of council benefit called aide sociale départmentale, which can be allocated to those needing help for services such as home help and meals on wheels, especially if they did not qualify for Apa.

You can find out about financial aids and local services at your mairie as well as, if you are elderly, at an information point for older people (put your postcode into the search box here), and, if you are disabled, at the maison départementale des personnes handicapés.

The government also offers a free online benefits simulator, to help you check on welfare benefits you may be eligible for. You can find it here.

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