Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

France - Notion of usual or main residence

In what situation can I claim?

In order to claim certain social security benefits, paid according to residence, you must actually be present in France, and, where applicable, have a residence permit.

What conditions do I need to meet?

In order to benefit from these allowances, your usual place of residence must be in France, i.e. a household where you live permanently, or you must have your main residence in France.

The usual residence is the place where you normally live, on a permanent basis.

The main residence is where you live for over 6 months each year.

You can offer proof of this usual or main residence by any means. You will supply all the relevant elements to the social security body: economic and legal links, family situation, social integration, etc. 

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

The allowances paid according to the condition of residence are as follows:

  • supporting the costs related to health and supplementary universal health insurance (CMU-C);
  • solidarity allowance for elderly people (ASPA); in theory from the age of 65 years old, and after 10 years' residence in France, with a work permit for people coming from other countries;
  • disabled adult allowance (AAH) from the age of 20 years to retirement age (for persons with 80% incapacity or more, partial combination with a pension possible);
  • family allowances (paid irrespective of income) and housing benefit;
  • personalised autonomy allowance (APA) from 60 years old;
  • supplementary invalidity allowance (ASI), which is an allowance paid under certain conditions, and after 10 years residing in France with a work permit for those from third countries, to disabled people who receive an early old age pension or benefits for disability and who have not yet reached the statutory retirement age to benefit from the solidarity allowance for elderly people (ASPA). 

Jargon busters

  • A social security body is a fund: the Primary health insurance fund (CPAM), the family allowance office (CAF) or the National pension fund and health at work (CARSAT), for example.
  • A payment made on the condition of residence is an allowance, an aid, a repayment, an annuity or a pension that is paid to a person who has stable residence on French territory. 

Forms you may need to fill in

The application forms for allowances are given to you by social security bodies after an initial contact concerning your personal situation. 

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:

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