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DON'T BE SICK IF YOU'RE A MICRO-ENTREPRISE!


Marielle
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My husband has been off sick for 3 months with a broken leg.  During the period of his incapacity he has received 17 euros per day from the assurance maladie but has still had to pay all his cotisations to RAM, URSSAF and AVA.  We have found it all a terrible strain and without the help of my father we would have just gone under!  I find it incredible that in a supposedly socialist country there is absolutely no help from any of the agencies.  Their attitude is one of "it's nothing to do with us".  After 90 days he has been exonerated from cotisations for AVA for the 4eme trimestre 2006, but this does not take the form of any kind of refund but just gets taken off of the 2007 cotisations.  We are seriously considering giving up and going back to the UK!  Is there anyone out there who has had a similar experience?

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Sorry Marielle, but the truth of is that most sensible self employed people take out an accident insurance policy that covers them for loss of earnings in the event of an accident.  You appear not to have considered or ignored the possibility of an accident preventing employment and earnings and now expect the state to pay for your lack of foresight.  If you had been in the UK you would have got naff all in the same circumstances so why do you expect France to be different?
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 I would have thought that this would have been one of the things that you would have looked into when you set up your micro bic, one of those very important, 'what if' questions.

Truthfully, being sick in France doesn't offer the cover one would expect. After three months salaries are reduced. AND this is cumulative over, well, with my husbands employer a couple of years. We were, I suppose, lucky as my husband had an accident and  our home insurer made up the salary difference. If he had just been 'ill' then we would have been in a right mess. And it is all very well having the insurance cover we have to take with loans, but sometimes they don't work as well as expected. And even if the mortgage goes down, there are still the everyday bills due.

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[quote user="Marielle"]We did take out an accident insurance through our bank, but, that would only pay out in the event of his being 5% disabled.  Unfortunately, our bank advisor did not tell us that at the time!! [/quote]

What is 5% of a body? I would say my leg was a lot more than that[8-)]

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Sorry, didn't have time to finish previous post as the dogs decided it was time for a walk.  My point was not really about how much you get paid from the State, if at all, but the fact that you are still expected to pay all your cotisations.  In the UK you pay as you earn, not pay even if you're not earning.  If my husband is contributing at a rate of 48% of his income why is it unreasonable to expect something in return.  He certainly would not be contributing at that level in the UK on his current earnings.  We were sensible and we did take out insurance which our bank agence recommended and which he assured us would pay out w.e.f. first day of sickness, so please don't be so condescending.   This was posted as a warning to others, who are not on a high income - mostly in this area due to the fact that there are so many "builders" working in the black, but that's another matter.
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Sorry Marielle I hope you didnt think I was being rude, I really would like to know what an Insurance company classes as 5% disabled? [8-)] I would of thought if one of your legs wasnt working that has to be more than 5% of your body. I hate the way insurance companies try to con people out of paying them with rubbish statements like that. I had an accident not long ago and was off work for nearly a year , luckerly i was employed so was covered by sick pay, but a credit card for which i has insurance on to cover my repayments in case of an accident in fact only paid out the interest that they were charging , so in fact paid me nothing. when I was back at work that was one cancelled card[:@]  
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Well, I for one find it rather rough for someone to be asked to pay cotisations on non-existent earnings, regardless of what insurance a person has.

The use of tables to calculate percentage disability is fairly common among insurance companies, if a complicated and ultimately boring subject if you are not personally interested.

Here's an example picked at random - you need to scroll down a way to a section that talks about "Minimum percentages of loss of use for

amputation levels, losses of motion, sensory losses and surgical procedures" but don't bother, it's not worth it.  I don't know if it's a good example as I fell asleep reading it.

Percentage disability

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Thanks Marielle, for bringing this to attention.  We did not realise this, and unfortunately I don't think we have not taken out any insurance against  injury, to be honest, it would be yet another bill to pay, and in the first year of working within the micro enterprise it would be a nail in the coffin....what with the cotisations to URSSAF, AVA,Mati-Camon and the decannale.  We are going to look into this now.

I hope your husband gets better soon, and sorry to hear you have had a rough few months.

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[quote user="Marielle"] My point was not really about how much you get paid from the State, if at all, but the fact that you are still expected to pay all your cotisations.  In the UK you pay as you earn, not pay even if you're not earning. .[/quote]

 

Marielle, whilst I sympathise with your predicament and the poor advice that you were given, what did you do in the UK or was the O/H employed and got sick pay? I say this because you don't seem very au fait with self employment in the UK, because you are just not comparing like with like. 

Just to get the facts straight, if your O/H was self-employed in the UK he would not pay as he earned because self employed people pay their income tax nearly one year behind, just as they do in France.  You would have just paid your tax for the year April 2005 to March 2006 in the UK. if you were self employed.  However,  NI has to be paid as you go in the UK, just as in France, but if you talk to the social charges people,  you may find that you can defer payment of social charges until things improve.  

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Marielle, you two have got this far and you'll both get through it! Keep going! We all have tough times and sometimes it's not so easy to get through them. It seems as if you have good backup.

You could have 'suspended' the business whilst OH was incapacitated. I reckon you should both hot limp it to the ChdeMet with the medical notes and see if there's anything that can be done retrospectively. I'd really turn it on though, you know how the beaurocrats can be here, turn on the tears!

Don't get wound up by the negativity of Ron, you need good energy now, not bad.

Good luck Marielle, it'll all come right.

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Chris - Thanks so much for your kind words.  What is it with Ron??  In response to some other posts, we have spoken to the various agencies and I don't know if it's just this area but they didn't seem to want to help.  Anyway he's back at work now but it's going to take some time for us to get back (financially) to where we were before his accident.  The only person who was really helpful was the URSSAF woman, although she explained that because the cotisations due were the regularisations they just have to be paid.  We're cancelling the insurance and looking for some cover which is more suitable.  If anyone has any suggestions for a good level of cover which does not cost the absolute earth, would appreciate it. 
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[quote user="Marielle"]Chris - Thanks so much for your kind words.  What is it with Ron??   [/quote]

Ron uttered kind words too though! [:)]

If someone is thinking about setting up a Micro and search on this site, I'm sure his comments will be found very useful, as they so often are.

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We have just recently had a visit from a representative from Perigord development, this is a new department (from what I gathered) working as advisors, helping us expats who have registered at the chambre de metiers or commerce.  I was given a name of Alexandra Thevenet to contact if there are any problems or things we don't understand to do with business.  Unfortunately, this is only for the Dordogne....I wonder if you have similar thing in charente?

Marielle, please keep us updated on your insurance quest, we for one, would find it interesting.

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There are some insurance companies that print all the specification etc in English ( one used to advertise on the opening page of the forum, but I don't know what they are like) . 

You may pay a bit more for the privilege of having it in English but at least you will know exactly what you are covered for and it could save you money in the long term.

EDIT   This is the one, they do 'professional insurance' ( is that what you need?) as well as other types.

http://www.french-insurance.com/other_french_insurance.asp

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