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Carte d'Invadilité and home help in France

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I moved to France in 2004 having had three strokes in the UK and not been advised of any financial or physical help available; in fact even my physio was taken away from me. I left hospital with a wheelchair and a seat for the bath so I could bathe/shower. My husband was and is my carer. Strangely I was put on high level Icapacity Benefit and when I moved to France on an E121 the French health service gave both my husband and me 100% cover.

I have received excellent treatment in France, regular blood tests, cholesterol checks (I was told after my last stroke my cholesterol was high but being alergic to statins cholesterol treatment wasn withdrawn.) I am now taking a different medication without statins. Last year I presented pain in my hands and wrists and was immediately refered for blood tests, when the doctor received the results I was sent to a rheumatologist. He had further tests and x-rays carried out and diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis which since last June has spread through my body; I have also been diagnosed with a herniated disc in my back for which I have physiotherapy. I am now taking steroids everyday and have cortisone injections which a nurse administers at my house weekly. I have blood test, x-rays and see the consultant every six weeks. I make my blood test and x-ray appointments in advance and often have to point out that I don't need them for another month or they would be done the next day!

In February I saw my GP as my blue parking badge was due to expire in June and I know it can take a while to renew. I asked about a Care d'Invalidité and explained I have extreme problems in getting up stairs, need help from my husband in cutting up food, getting to the toilet, showering, dressing and walking. Was there anything that I could apply for that would help?

She signed the paperwork for the parking badge and made an appointment for me at the Centre Sociale. The lady there was a great help and she filled in the forms saying we would apply for everything and anything and see what happens! After various questions (none about income) she suggested we ask for an electric wheelchair as I can no long self propel and for a stair lift, also she suggested a home help. We sent the paperwork off and just waited.

I received the parking badge after a month and just after that the Carte d'Invadilité. Then I had a phone call that someone from la Maison Départementale des Personnes Handicapées who came to visit me. She asked questions and looked around the house and asked my specific problems. I can't prepare meals as I can't hold the peeler, a knife etc and had been told there were aids available to help in my everyday life but I would have to pay for them. The lady said that they would give me money to buy them. She said a man would come and assess the house for adaptation too and for the wheelchair.

I received a letter telling me I am considered 80% or more disabled and will receive an allowance which will pay for a home help (she starts the begining of June for three house a week and will do house work and when needed take me shopping without my husband.) My husband will also get an allowance for helping me in the house with washing, dressing etc.

From the time of visiting the Centre Sociale in February most of what was requested has been put in place and the man comes about the stair lift and other adaptations  plus the wheelchair on Friday.

The lady from the company who are providing the home help told me there was no problem in me getting the help I need even though I am not French as the provision is there.

In fact when I broke my shoulder in 2007 I was told I could apply for help in the home but my husband was able to cope then. His own health which has been poor for nearly 15 years has deteriorated and he is now prepared to accept that we need help as do I. I feel guilty about asking for help from anyone but my health is such that I have to accept things for what they are.

I am happy that I can get this help in France but I feel bitter that I cannot get it from the UK because I am a new applicant from overseas even though the benefits and allowances are deemed exportable. We paid into the system all our working lives and as we both receive civil service pensions the tax MUST remain in the UK. We are not able to claim on it but we are subsidising people in the UK. I have written to the MP for our last consituency in the UK regarding the situation but the head of the DWP says they are STILL looking at the recurpussions of allowing people who have left the UK to claim DLA, AA and Carers Allowance.

For some people my situation mayn help and asking at the Centre Sociale may get you the help you need. We did come on E121s, receive 100% cover on our Carte Vitale and have been here 5 years. However, as we found if you don't ask you don't get.

If anyone wants to contact me and talk about my experiences please do as I hope this will help to relieve the worry and uncertainty of others who desperately need financial and or physical help.

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  • 3 weeks later...
If you were to pm I would give you the email address of someone who is actively involved in the fight to have DLA + here in France. It was a very complex issue (even for me and in the law) and it is not strictly true that it is capable of export. There are conditions. Meanwhile my wife has suffered from RA for over 32 years. She takes steroids but Humira is a drug she has been taking for some time and it really has helped. Perhaps you should talk to your Dr about it?
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My huband is almost blind and has a carte d'Invalidité (80%). We are retired and have health cover under the E121. We have been here 5 years and have top-up insurance to pay the extra.

Do you know if he/we would be entitled to 100% cover?

Many thanks.
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       Something that I don't think has been mentioned is that people with a carte d'invalidité of more than 80%, get an extra 1/2 part quotient familiale on their income tax . Claim it by crossing box P (husband) or F (wife) on page 2 of form 2042. For the first year of claiming send a photo-copy of both sides of the carte. Anyone who has missed this can ask to be re-assessed for up to 3 previous years.

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Just found this thread and it may be of help to us.

My mother and father in law would like to join us here in France and are both over retirement age and in receipt of their pension in the UK and both receive full DLA (ie care and mobiliy component). Am I correct in reading that the mobility component of the DLA is NOT transferrable to France? If this is so they would not be able to manage on their other income. So if it is NOT transferrable could they apply for the equivalent of the French Disability Benefit, they would be well below the threshold and are both well over 80% disabled. Father in law has had numerous heart attacks and suffers with angine and struggles to walk and mother in law too has had heart attacks and can hardly walk at all.

Any advice appreciated, we would love them to be here but cannot afford unfortunately to support them financially.
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As things stand at the moment, the mobility element of DLA is not transferable.  However, that element has been referred back to the ECJ for review by a UK judge and it is likely that the mobility element will, at some stage in the future, be exportable.

As far as I know, your in laws will not be eligible for French benefits.  The Uk will always be their competant state - they will both need E121s if they want to move to France - and because of that, they can only claim UK benefits.  They haven't worked or paid into the French system and the French certainly wont give them benefit.  They should get 100%  for their ALD though, paid for by the UK.

You don't say how old they are.  Be aware that under their new guidance rules, the DWP will certainly try to move your in-laws to Attendance Allowance when they hit retirement age and they move to France - if they're already that age, the change will be imposed - but they should then be able to claim Carers Allowance, all the above allowances (DLA/care, AA and CA) having been allowed again under the October 2007 ECJ judgement.  Apart from the change to AA, which should be seamless if they already get DLA, the people involved in the campaign on these benefits understand that current recipients should just continue to get their benefits without the rubbish the rest of us are having to endure.

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That is brilliant advice thank you so much.

Mum in law is 73 and father in law 66. And reading through the DWP web site about Attendance Allowance we think they should be on that anyway. They have both been on DLA for a long time so I suppose (not knowing the UK system anymore) a transfer should be relatively easy!! They are going to investigate. Thanks again.
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