When the exchange rate for the pound fluctuates downwards versus the Euro, it can have an impact on your pension. During lean times, some pensioners in France may be eligible for French government financial aid or allocation de solidarité aux personnes âgées (ASPA) benefit.
The benefit is for people whose monthly pension does not reach the amount of a full French state pension, since, through no fault of their own, such as unemployment, sickness or living abroad, they did not work for enough years in France.
It is only available to those who have been permanent residents of France (conditions apply). Recipients must also be registered for income tax. Normally, you would qualify for this benefit from age 65, however, in some exceptional cases, where the person is officially incapable of work you can claim from age 60.
Pensioners are only entitled to claim for this benefit if they have an income of no more than €787.27 a month for a single person or €1,227.27 a month for a couple [2013 figures]. It works by topping their total income up to these levels.
Those who qualify for ASPA may also be exempt from income tax, TV licence and property tax.
How to claim for ASPA
The ASPA is mainly managed by CNAV nationally and locally by your nearest CRAM. You should make a claim to them if you have worked in France. To find their contact details visit www.cnav.fr/7adresse/f_reseau.htm
If you have never worked in France, you should apply to the Caisse des Dépôts, which manages ASPA for permanent residents in France who do not have a state pension.
Your application must be via your mairie. If they are not familiar with ASPA, they can contact SASPA www.saspa.fr
The FrenchEntrée Team