Prime Minister Jean Castex announced payment in October, as rapidly rising fuel prices drove up expenses for millions of people. The idea was that the payment would soften the financial blow for lower-income households.
It was sold as a simple short-term solution to an acute inflationary problem. But when it comes to means-testing, the devil’s in the detail.
Salary ceiling for employees
Workers who brought home less than €2,000 in October are eligible for the payment. The amount taken into consideration is the amount paid into an employee’s bank account plus the prélèvement à la source payment – a figure most people ignore on their payslips. If a salary plus that tax payment is more than €2,000, then the employee is not eligible.
Employers are obliged to make this payment to eligible employees.
For artisans and other self-employed workers, the calculation for receipt of the payment is based on income in 2020, including any state aid. To be eligible the self-employed must have earned, on average, between €500 and €2,000 per month across the year.
Payments to those eligible will be made directly by Urssaf.
Older people will receive the payment if their pensions amount to less that €2,000 per month, post-tax.
Students will be the first to receive the payment – without earnings requirements. The assumption is that they’re working relatively low-paid, part-time jobs to cover their living costs while studying. However, they must receive housing allowance, be on a scholarship, or have a work contract in order to benefit from the inflation payment.