Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

France - Family allowances

In what situation can I claim?

Family allowances are paid to you if you and your family live in France in a stable and regular way and if you have the actual and permanent responsibility for at least one child. Some allowances are paid depending on your level of income.

Actual family allowances are paid as from the second dependent child. 

What conditions do I need to meet?

The right to family allowances is open to the person who is financially responsible for the maintenance of his or her legitimate, natural, adoptive, or even hosted children, once they are under his or her responsibility.

The age limit for a dependent child is set at:

  • 20 years for all children who do not work, or whose remuneration does not exceed €918.35 per month;
  • 21 years for the payment of housing benefits and family income supplement;
  • 20 years to obtain a lump sum monthly allowance.

General maintenance allowances

  • Family allowances (Allocations familiales) are payable from the 2nd dependent child. The amount is adjusted depending on the number of children and income.
  • The lump sum monthly allowance is paid to families who have at least 3 dependent children and who lose the benefit of some of the family allowances because one or more children have reached 20 years of age.
  • The family income supplement is paid to families who have at least 3 dependent children, who are between 3 and 21 years old, depending on income.
  • Family income support (Allocation de soutien familial) is paid irrespective of income, for any fatherless or motherless child, or any orphan.

Early childhood benefit (Prestation d’accueil du jeune enfant, Paje)

  • The premium at birth or on adoption is paid, depending on income, on the birth of a child, or at the time of the adoption of a child under 20 years old.
  • The basic allowance follows the payment of the premium at birth or on adoption. It is paid depending on income from the child's birth date until the last day of the calendar month before his or her 3rd birthday (or 3 years from the month following the adoption, up to a maximum child age of 20).
  • The shared allowance for the children’s education (Prestation partagée d’éducation de l’enfant, PreParE) allows one or both parents to stop or reduce their activity to take care of their children under 3 years old.
  • The free choice of activity supplement (Complément de libre choix du mode de garde) is paid to the household or person who directly employs an accredited assistant to take care of a child who is under 6 years old or place the child in a micro-crèche.

Special allowances

  • The disabled child education allowance (Allocation d’éducation de l’enfant handicapé) is paid, irrespective of income, for any child under 20 years old who has a disability and who is placed in a specialist school or who has specific home help.
  • The back-to-school allowance (Allocation de rentrée scolaire) is paid, depending on income, for any child of 6 to 18 years old who is in schooling.
  • The daily parental presence allowance (Allocation journalière de présence parentale) is paid to any person who is responsible for a child of under 20 years old who suffers from an illness or serious disability which means that they have to receive continued support and special care.
  • The family accommodation allowance (Allocation de logement familiale) is a family allowance intended to pay for part of the housing costs borne by families.
  • The moving premium (Prime de déménagement) is paid, depending on income, to families who have at least 3 dependent children and are entitled to housing benefits in their new accommodation.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Method of calculating family allowances: family allowances represent a percentage of a monthly calculation basis that is set at €407.84 (April 2017). This total is reassessed on 1 April every year.

The amounts below are valid from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.

General maintenance allowances

  • The amount of family allowances is adjusted depending on the number of children (from 2) and income:

maximum amount for 2 children: €130.51

maximum value for 3 children: €297.72

maximum value for 4 children: €464.94.

These amounts can be divided by 2 or 4 if the annual income in N-2 exceeds the amount of one of the three income brackets.

  • The maximum monthly amount of the lump sum allowance is €82.52.
  • The basic monthly amount of family income supplement is set at €169.87. This may be increased, depending on the family's income.
  • The monthly amount of the family income support allowance is equal to €146.82 (orphan) or €110.20 (fatherless or motherless).

Early childhood benefit (Paje)

  • The premium at birth or on adoption is €927.71 (birth) or €1,855.42 (adoption). This is a set amount paid in one lump sum.
  • The basic allowance corresponds to €185.54 or €92.77 per month (depending on income).
  • In the case of a total halt to activity, the amount of the shared allowance for children’s education (PreParE) is €394.06 per month. This is reduced to €254.74 per month if the recipient works less than 50% of the time, and to €146.94 when they work between 50 and 80% of full-time employment.
  • The amount of the free choice of child care supplement varies according to the age of the child, the type of childcare and the income.

Special allowances

  • The basic amount of the disabled child education allowance is €130.51 per month. This amount may be increased for a single parent, or according to the need for assistance, or the extent of the child's handicap. More information is available on the site of the national solidarity fund for independence.
  • The amount of the back-to-school allowance ranges from €365.91 to €399.48, according to the age of the child (school year beginning 2017).
  • The amount of the daily parental presence allowance is set at €43.35 if the recipient lives with a partner. It is increased to €51.51 if it concerns a single parent.
  • The amount of family housing benefit depends on income, the composition of the household, the geographic location of the house and the amount of the rent or the reimbursement instalments. A simulation of the amount of the allowance may be made using the CAF's (Family allowance office's) calculation method.
  • The moving allowance, which is paid once, is equal to the expenses actually incurred in the move, up to a maximum of €978.82 for 3 dependent children (€81.57 for each extra child).

Jargon busters

  • BMAF: Monthly base for calculation of family allowances. A sum, set by decree, which is used to calculate family allowances.
  • CAF: Family allowance office. A public body that pays family allowances to all beneficiaries, apart from farmers (whose allowances are paid by the agricultural social security insurance company).
  • Smic: French Minimum Interprofessional Guaranteed Wage. The gross monthly Smic is €1,498.47 as at 1 January 2018.

Forms you may need to fill in

Forms are available to download on the Family allowance office's website

Know your rights

The following links provide further information about your rights. These sites are not the responsibility of the European Commission and therefore do not represent its viewpoints:

Commission publication and websites:

Who do you need to contact?

Beneficiaries can contact the family allowance office on its website.

Farmers can find online the contact details of their MSA office.

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