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New Restrictions on Expat Social Security Rights

Monday 02 April 2007

The French Government has tightened laws on the rights of expats from the European Community to French social security benefits.

The new laws follow swiftly on dramatic revelations in the French press in the past year about social security fraud by EU expats living in the Dordogne.

However, whilst these revelations may have speeded up introduction of the new law in France, they form part of a general clarification of the law in line with EU Directives.

The French Government has specifically withdrawn entitlement to French supplementary social security benefits, called Revenu Minimum d'Insertion (RMI), to those who relocate to France and do not find employment or start a business. It was RMI which was at the centre of the social security row in the Dordogne.

They have also withdrawn the right to specific benefits for a one parent family, called l’allocation de parent isolé.

Retired expats from the EU will continue to benefit from free health cover, provided they are eligible from their home country, as has always been the case.

However, those relocating under state retirement age will have no general social security entitlement unless through employment, or starting a business. Nevertheless, we believe those under retirement age not working will be entitled to health care, provided contributions are paid, but we are seeking confirmation from the authorities.

You can read more about health cover in France by visiting our guide to French Health Care.

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