CAF - Help

11 Replies



We have recently moved to france. I found out a few months back about CAF (Caisse allocations familiales) and that for two of my children are entitled to some money at the start of the school year.I've been working on the dossier and I rec'd a letter saying that I need to prove that I'm not recieving any benefits from the UK. I am not from the UK/and have never lived there, my husband a Brit but he hasn't lived there in almost 20 years. He has no idea who to contact, does anyone know where I can get an attestation from the UK stating that we don't receive any benefits or support? Any advice is appreciated.Thanks a lot,Nan

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stevelogan-331413 1329939864

I have had dealings with this outfit, I went there for what I assumed was the "Bourse", and ended up absolutely engulfed in paperwork. They wanted to know the ins and outs of a DA, I sent them all the paperwork I had regarding the incomes of my grandchild's parents, which was zero, and still they wanted more. They told me I would get something like 140 euro a month, the first month I received 12, and it went downhill from there, in total I think I had something like 24 euro over 3 months. Absolute waste of time, you won't get anything worth talking about from them, it's typically french, they don't give out to foreigners, and they put obstacles in your path all the time. I didn't bother in the end as it was a fruitless exercise.

sweetpea258 1330542473


I would contact the consulate in paris, they could advise you on who can get you the information. At a guess i would say Department of Work & Pensions could provide you with a document.

sally-326600 1330594630

When we first came here, we were told that we weren't entitled to anything (by a Frenchmen at our local mairie). However, we were! There are several aspects here. The first is the equivalent of Family Benefit (as it was, when we lived in the UK), which only applies if you have two (or more) babies/pre-school or children in full time education and amounts to about 120 euros a month for two older children. The younger the children, the better the monthly payment, apparently. There is also the one-off yearly payout in August in time for rentree. This is about 300 odd euros per child and is paid to help buy new books, stationary, shoes etc.

Then there is also the Bourse. This is a means tested payment. You ask at the school, college or lycee for the form at the beginning of the school year and you must complete this and return it with a copy of your Tax Return (two years in arrears) . If they deem that your circumstances sufficiently worthly then you are entitled to a payment - the less money your tax return shows and the more children you have, the higher your amount. We only qualified for a little, but the payments were sent direct to the school concerned and covered the lunch bills, so every little bit helps!

With regard to NewbieNan's problem, have you approached the CAF IN PERSON and explained the situation? I always find it is easier to go and speak to someone especially when you are "outside the tramlines" French beauracracy doesn't like anything outside the norm! They may well just ask for a written declaration from yourselves confirming that you were not claiming any FB from the UK (or anywhere else). Where have you come from? Surely your last country of residence is the place to ask for verification that you are not claiming benefits. At a push, you could speak to the relevant UK department and ask them to send confirmation that you are not claiming benefits from there. I know we had to have that proof before we could claim here but it wasn't difficult or costly (although I appreciate it was easier, given that I did come from the UK). I have looked on-line and found this contact info for the UK: Child Benefit Office 0845 302 1444 (so you'll need to drop the "0" and use 0044 - and let's hope it's not barred from abroad!)

It's worth persuing this, if you can, because at the time when we put in our paperwork, it was backdated for a year and came in one lump sum! Sadly, we had already lost two years payments, thanks to that charmer at the Mairie ...

Hope this helps and good luck!

stevelogan-331413 1330631260

So Sally, I went to the school and got the Bourse, which has been offset against the dinners that she doesn't eat at lunchtime, where does this other payment come from? Thanks.

sally-326600 1330673806

Hi Steve

If your grand-daughter did not stay to school lunch, this money would be remitted to your bank account. As I understand it, to qualify for Child Benefit here, you must have at least two children of either pre-school age or still in full time education. Our payments have now stopped, even though we still have one son at college, because the eldest has now left.

stevelogan-331413 1330687563

I think we are getting our wires crossed Sally, when I said she didn't eat the school dinners, I meant she sat down to eat them but they were so bad most of the time she just couldn't bear to put it near her mouth. I've read stories on here that they have presented fish heads to the kids for lunch, I presume the French kids ate it, but I think the majority of English kids would refuse it. Anyway we did get the Bourse from the school, and as you say it was offset against the dinners, however now she has left that particular school, I have heard nothing about the remaining, approx 150 euro which I am still in credit with. Does that stay at the school or is it transferable to the new school?.

This 300 euro rentree you speak of, do you have to be in receipt of child benefit to qualify for that, if not where does that come from.

sally-326600 1330723589

Fear not, Steve, the irony of your posting was not lost on me, which was why I suggested that if she did not eat at the school (given that the meals were obviously so bad) you would receive said cash! My two were not impressed with the meals either. Perhaps the new school can best advise on whether the Bourse can be transferred and help you to organise this. I can't comment as I haven't had to do it. I do know, however, it is set up at the beginning of each new school year and they are sticklers for having the paperwork sorted asap, so perhaps you won't be able to at this stage of the year. No harm in asking, though.

The rentree payout appears to be linked to the Child Benefit and so with only one child to claim for, I don't believe you would qualify. Of course, I could be wrong ....

stevelogan-331413 1330793008

What a coincidence, I've just had a letter from the CAF informing me they want another load of paperwork which under the data protection laws in the UK, would be impossible for me to obtain. Failing me providing these documents they inform me that they will cease paying the benefits.?????????????????????????????????????????????????????

I don't know who they are paying it to or where, but it definately isn't being credited to my bank. Anyway Newbie nan you might have better luck, hope you do.

NewbieNan 1332088519

Thank you for all of the information. I got in touch with CAF and they asked mem to send a signed document stating that I haven't rec'd any benefits from the UK, which I did. Then I rec'd another letter saying that the document wasn't good enough and that I needed to have an attestation from the UK govt.

I'm working on getting the affidavit, I rec'd this number from one of the Angoinfo members.

Uk Department of Work and Pensions:

0044 191 218 77 77

We will call them this week and hopefully get it sorted out.

MelanieinAzay 1429874420

hi Sally, 

We're just going through this process now. We're in Azay le Rideau and have been asked to provide evidence we don't receive Child Benefit in the UK (actually we do, and we need to cancel it), in order to register with CAF and to receive an allowance/subsidy on the creche. 

Did UK DWP send you a letter? And if so, did you need to have it translated?

May forms in front of me at the moment, any information you could provide would help!




BobnBridge 1430126303

While we've not had any dealings with CAF, we have found that in all dealings with the French system, if you have got the paperwork right, you will get the benefit / vehicle reg / health cover you are due. If not, you will get nothing until it is right. Having said that, it's definitely worth speaking to someone in person about your claim (in French).

France is NOT like the UK, where benefits seem to be given out first and then contested afterwards (something which apparently upsets a lot of British, who consider most  'immigrants' too well done by).

As for the apocryphal tale (tail?) of fish heads for lunch, I think that's a Red Herring, a load of Couilles or maybe Sour Grapes, and not at all helpful to the original question.

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