Quandaries on French Child Benefit

Any issues with what nappies to buy, home schooling etc. In fact if you have kids or are planning to this is the section for you.
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Alice Abbott
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Quandaries on French Child Benefit

Post: #212454 Alice Abbott
Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:05 pm

Any ex-pats in France her with small children?

Neither my OH or I are British, I'm a citizen of the US of A and Mack is Irish. But we did work and pay into the system in the UK. Consequently we qualified for Child Benefit for our older two, which we stopped claiming when we left (although I gather we could have carried on claiming for some time after that).

Now we have twins, French born. We haven't even thought of passports for them so what nationality they will end up with remains a mystery at the moment. The two older ones are British as they were born there. However in registering their births, getting certificates etc we have discovered we are entitled to French Child Benefit etc for all four. And it seems to be a HUGE amount. Other than paying our normal "rates" we have not paid into the French system and even paid privately for maternity care.

Has anyone else claimed the benefits? I feel as though it's almost fraudulent and am considering not claiming, although in our circumstances it would make an enormous difference.

Any thoughts, anyone??

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Re: Quandaries on French Child Benefit

Post: #212464 Jandra
Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:26 pm

Having moved from the Netherlands to Germany a bit less than a year ago, we also were informed about child benefits. We have no children, but if we'd had them, we (or they) would have been elegible for German child benefits, regardless of their place of birth.

Just to point out that it isn't unusual on the mainland to be able to claim this. If it allows for budget to have your children take music lessons or get better education, then I'd go for it. If you feel uncomfortable about it, just make extra sure that it all goes towards the children.

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Re: Quandaries on French Child Benefit

Post: #212465 oldfella
Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:31 pm

As Mack is a Irish Citizen I think that you, as his wife will be covered as a Irish citizen through marriage. My advice would be that you go to your local Mairie, and ask them how you should go about all these questions, as in my experience Of 20 years in France, is that they will be most helpful, but I will stick my neck out, and say that it is up to you to join the local community, and not as so often happens just join the Expat community. Talk to CPAM, about your health cover, think about taking out French Citizenship so that you and the children have Dual Nationality , in other words if you intend make this your Home then it you have to make it obvious to your local neighbours, town hall, Health services, and remember that you live in France, and to try to compare one Country to another is really only a waste of time.

Sorry A bit of a rant. :oops: :oops:
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Alice Abbott
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Re: Quandaries on French Child Benefit

Post: #212467 Alice Abbott
Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:14 pm

I've only been to Ireland once in my life so I just can't imagine EVER thinking I can claim citizenship and I don't really see any advantages either. We are happy enough with our respective "allegiances" so I can't imagine either of us will change. We both have residency rights in the UK, I think Mack would be able to live in the US as we are married and, as an EU thing, we are both fine with living in France. We don't qualify for French health cover (new rules I believe for foreigners) but we have no problems with that and I assume the twins automatically qualify anyway in view of their place of birth, it's something else to discover in the next few weeks. We love it here but I must admit that at our age I don't necessarily see this as our final resting place. In fact I'm horrified to think it would be!

The mayor thinks we are a household of lunatics so I tend to limit my visits to the mairie to asking for "sacs jaunes" for the recyclables. We are a community of mixed Dutch, French and Brits in this village/hamlet (by association I include us with the Brits), all except us are of retirement age. Hence my question on whether anyone has experience of claiming Child Benefit as a "foreigner". Thinking about it, we do have some Dutch friends here whose four children were born in Holland. I will call them to see whether they claim anything, although they are taxpayers whereas we are not.

Oldfella, the reason I asked for anyone in the ex-pat community to comment is because I'm interested to know about children born to non-French people, whether born here or elsewhere. I don't think we actually HAVE an ex-pat contingent around Barbezieux. If there is one it has passed me by! On the other hand I don't really mind who I mix with, they mostly have something interesting to say. Our French is adequate but nowhere near fluent (unlike our two oldest who chatter away happily in French). I know we will always be "les Americains fous" here so we just accept it.

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Re: Quandaries on French Child Benefit

Post: #212470 Green Aura
Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:37 pm

I think you can take your benefit entitlement to any EU country as your OH is EU citizen, then it would be down to each country whether you'd be entitled to theirs.
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Re: Quandaries on French Child Benefit

Post: #212473 Mrs Moustoir
Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:06 pm

We have two children - one born in the UK, the other here.

The department you need to contact is the CAF - Caisse Allocations Familiale. They have offices in most French towns and you'll need to complete some forms to claim and provide documents such as the children's birth certificates, proof of residency (utility bill), copy of your passports and be able to prove that you do not receive child benefit from elsewhere - I had to provide a letter from the UK benefits authority confirming that my child benefit had stopped. I applied some years ago so can't tell you whether you qualify but can't see any reason why not as your OH is an EU citizen.

I'm curious to know how you deal with routine medical things for your children such as vaccinations and dental care if you are not in the system? Also, I'm not being funny but please don't assume that your children "automatically" qualify for cover as they don't!. Our son was born here and we have to pay both our social charges for the basic cover and for our "mutuelle" top-up. Medical care is very expensive - we needed to call an ambulance when one of the kids was taken ill last year. The SAMU ambulance cost over €200 and a three day stay in hospital was billed at over €800 - luckily we were insured.

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Re: Quandaries on French Child Benefit

Post: #212477 Alice Abbott
Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:21 pm

Thanks Mrs Moustoir, I'll follow that up on Tuesday. From what we were told the Benefits are available to anyone with children, irrespective of their own nationality. But as you say, Mack's EU nationality will be useful if that's not the case. The amounts involved seem amazingly generous from what has been suggested, I'll have to enquire whether it can be backdated as we've been here for over two years already.

As for the kids' jabs and so on, so far we've just paid for anything we need. Fortunately they are amazingly healthy and we have private family cover for anything serious. If the twins aren't covered it will probably not even cost anything to extend the cover for them too. I suppose it's an ongoing American thing - we become accustomed to paying for health cover. And I am/was a dentist so I make sure we have no dental problems.


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