Family allowances: CAF continues to delay processing files

"I submitted a housing benefits application at the beginning of January, and I still haven’t heard from you,": Emma, a 27 year-old journalist, has been waiting since she moved.

Family allowances: CAF continues to delay processing files

"I submitted a housing benefits application at the beginning of January, and I still haven’t heard from you,": Emma, a 27 year-old journalist, has been waiting since she moved. Some CAF recipients take a while to receive their services. There have been delays in payments to certain Family Allowance Funds, (CAF), which are responsible for the Active Solidarity Income and the Allowance for Disabled Adults.

Recently, the CAF was also charged with being an intermediary in the payment alimony. Nicolas Grivel, its director general, said that although the CAF had been slow in processing cases for 18 months, it is now improving. "There were some difficulties in the implementation of the reform to housing aid at the beginning 2021," says Nicolas Grivel. This allows them to be calculated from the current income of beneficiaries and not backwards two years. He explains that it caused delays.

He stated that the average time for all services managed by CAF, including the personalized housing allowances (APL), takes 17 days. This is being reduced to 16 work days. . This is roughly three weeks. We give priority to social minima such as the RSA or the AAH where the answer is provided in less than 15 days. Many recipients have reported delays when they move house or change their family circumstances.

Delays can vary from checkout to checkout. These delays are usually caused by computer anomalies that have persisted after the APL reform but also staff reductions," says Frederic Neau (deputy secretary of the federal FO section social organizations). According to Frederic Neau "2,100 deletions were planned permanent contracts over 2018-2022 for a total 36,000 agents." He adds that to make up for any delays, certain boxes are closed one day or one evening per week for public reception.

Nolwenn (24 years old) has not touched his APLs in the seven months since he moved. "I've tried to call for seven months. Sometimes I get told that my file isn’t visible to agents when they log in to check it, and other times I get told that they can see it but must wait." Nicolas Grivel explained that video or telephone meetings have been developed between agents and users. Also, email exchanges have been created, which eliminates the need for policyholders to visit the counters. This allows for communication with the administration to be easier for the most people, but it can also make the process more difficult for others. According to INSEE, 17% of the population are illiterate.

"Precarious people have difficulty with administrative procedures, particularly if they don't speak French well. And do not have a computer, printer, photocopier necessary to complete their file, "explains Daniel Verger, Head of Studies-Research-Opinion at Secours Catholique. Bruno Rakedjian (ATD-Quart Monde manager national access to fundamental right), says that precarious individuals find themselves in a difficult situation when they must wait for an appointment for a month.

The associations claim that controls have been tightened in order to prevent fraud and to suspend payments if files contain inconsistencies. Nicolas Grivel says that simple files are quickly processed, as we have all the necessary documents. Some complicated files take a while to process because they require more analysis, exchanges and interaction. He said that the current phase is positive in terms of speeding up processing.

Nicolas Grivel states that benefits will be paid if there are delays in opening files. The payments will not be made retroactively if the file is not opened in time. Emmanuel Macron mentioned the "at source" payment program during his electoral campaign. It would allow everyone to receive the aid they need without having to multiply the steps. It could be done without sacrificing it for weariness or ignorance.

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