Activity bonus: keep an eye on your account in the coming days
[Activity bonus] The next activity bonus payment is due this Wednesday, February 5. The money will actually be credited to the beneficiaries’ bank accounts according to each bank’s own deadlines.

[Updated to Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at 10:31 a.m.]This is the D-day for payment of the second performance bonus of the year. The payment of this aid, which is intended for employees with a low level of pay, will take place on Wednesday 5 February. It will, however, only appear on the beneficiaries’ accounts in the coming days (1 to 3 days), depending on the deadlines specific to each banking institution. If it is too late to apply for an activity premium as from February, applicants for aid may however apply now to receive it as from March 2020. This aid is granted for a period of three months. After this period, applicants for the activity bonus must again prove that they meet the eligibility criteria for receiving it. To this end, they must submit a new declaration of resources before the end of the current month for effective inclusion in the accounts as from the following month. They therefore have until Saturday 29 February to subscribe to this declaration. Those who are dependent on the general scheme can go through the CAF website, via the quarterly declaration tab, or via the CAF my account application.

The activity bonus was introduced on 1 January 2016 to replace the active solidarity income (RSA) and the employment bonus (PPE). It is paid to workers with modest incomes. Student employees, trainees and apprentices are eligible under certain conditions. The application for the activity premium is made via a teleservice on the CAF or AMM website.

Who is entitled to the activity bonus?

In order to be entitled to the activity premium, several conditions must be met: 

  • Being over 18 years old
  • Living in France permanently, i.e. the duration of stays outside France must not exceed 3 months per calendar year (or from date to date). Moreover, the activity bonus is only paid for the full months of presence in France.
  • be solely responsible for the care of one or more children, or have a professional activity, whether salaried or not, whose net income exceeds 932.29 euros per month.

It should be noted that the posted worker is not entitled to the activity premium. The same applies to a person on parental education leave, sabbatical leave, unpaid leave or on standby, unless he or she is receiving income from work.

Activity bonus: simulation

To find out if you can collect the activity bonus, you can do a simulation on the CAF site.  You must provide several pieces of information:

  • Place of residence
  • Postal Code
  • Housing situation (tenant, owner, free accommodation, etc.)
  • Year of birth
  • Family composition
  • Professional situation
  • Income from investments (movable or immovable property) 

It should be noted that, in calculating the activity bonus, the CAF takes into account the family benefits, AAH and housing allowance received over the last three months. Self-employed persons must also declare their last turnover and the amount of their profit for the year N-2. Please note that a decree of May 2017 modifies the rules for calculating the activity bonus for self-employed workers in order to take into account their particular situation. As of 1 July 2017, they can calculate their entitlement to the activity premium (but also to the RSA) on the basis of their quarterly turnover (instead of their net annual income). Following the simulation, an amount is given. This one is indicative.  It is also possible to use the site mes-aides.gouv.fr. It can be used to simulate the amount of 33 social benefits, including the activity bonus.

Application for activity premium

The activity premium application must now be made online. On the CAF website for applicants who are dependent on the general scheme and on the AMM website for those who are dependent on the agricultural scheme. Two forms are available on the CAF website. One for people who are not yet CAF recipients and the other for people who are already CAF recipients. They must provide their recipient number, postal code, date of birth and secret code. You must apply before the end of the current month to receive the premium starting the following month. People who have difficulty filling in the online form can go to their nearest CAF to try to obtain information or to their local agricultural social mutual benefit society (MSA) branch.

What is the amount of the activity premium?

The basic amount of the premium is EUR 551.51 per month for a single person. It varies according to the income of the beneficiary’s household as a whole. The activity bonus was increased on 1 October 2018, along with other social benefits such as the RSA, the allowance for disabled adults (AAH) and the temporary waiting allowance (ATA).  The activity bonus may also be increased depending on the composition of the household (the number of children therefore affects the amount) and/or the isolation of the parent.

Payment of activity premium

When it is granted, you receive the bonus for three months. For example, if you applied in January, you will receive the premium in February, March, April. The transfer is sent every 5th of the month. This means that on March 5, the recipient receives the February payment. After this three-month period, you will have to declare your resources again to verify that you are still eligible. The declaration is made on the CAF website via the quarterly declaration tab but also via the CAF My Account application and on the AMM website. If the grant is refused, the applicant for the activity premium has the possibility to request an appeal.

On what date is the activity bonus paid?

The activity bonus is paid from the 5th of the month. For your first application, if you have submitted your file to Caf before the end of the month, the premium will be paid on the 5th of the following month. The same will be true for every month you are eligible for the bonus.

What is the minimum wage to receive the activity bonus?

In order to be entitled to the activity bonus, student employees and apprentices must receive a minimum wage of 932 euros net per month for at least three months. There is also an income ceiling that must not be exceeded in order to qualify for the activity bonus (see below). 

What is the cap on the activity premium?

To qualify for the activity premium, the applicant must not exceed a certain amount of income. These resource ceilings vary according to the situation. In 2019, they are from:

  • 1,787 euros for a single person or 1.5 Smic
  • 2,794 euros for a childless couple in which only one family member works
  • 3,754 euros for a couple with two children and both parents in employment
  • 3,342 euros for a couple with two children on a single salary.

It should be noted that these ceilings do not take into account a housing package, housing assistance or other resources. Self-employed persons (craftsmen, liberal professions, tradesmen and farmers) whose income does not exceed a certain ceiling can benefit from the activity premium. The business premium allocated to them is calculated on the basis of the last industrial and commercial profits (BIC) or non commercial profits (BNC) declared for tax purposes or, in the absence of a BIC/BNC declaration, quarterly sales. 

Is the activity bonus retroactive?

No, premium payment is not retroactive. This means that you will only receive the activity bonus for the months following your application, even if you were eligible in previous months.

Calculation of the activity premium 2019

The calculation of the activity premium is complex since it takes into account several parameters:

  1. The lump sum, which depends on the composition of the household and in particular the number of dependent children, to which must be added 61% of the amount of the household’s professional resources. Amount that may be increased according to the professional resources of each worker
  2. The resources taken into account in the household.

The best way to find out the amount of the activity bonus for which you are eligible is to use a simulation tool.

What income is taken into account for the calculation of the activity premium?

The amount of the activity premium shall be the difference between the flat-rate amount, i.e. EUR 551,51, and the applicant’s total resources. If, in addition to income from professional sources, the latter has other resources (back-to-work allowance, family allowances, etc.) these are deducted from the rights to the activity bonus. 

The amount of the activity bonus also depends on :

  • Housing subsidies received (ALF, ALS or APL)
  • Or the benefit in kind granted for the occupation of a dwelling free of charge or in case of ownership.

These aids and benefits in kind are assessed monthly and on a flat-rate basis according to the number of people in the household.

Scale of activity premium

The figures below were communicated in 2015 by the government on the occasion of the creation of the activity premium. They therefore do not take into account the increase in the activity premium that took place on 1 January 2019. To find out the current schedule of the activity bonus and the amount you can earn, nothing is better than an online simulation tool.

What is the amount of the activity premium?

Revenues received

Amount of the activity premium per month

Inactive

0 €

0.25 Smic

185 €

0.5 Smic

246 €

0.6 Smic

246 €

0.7 Smic

199 €

0.75 Smic

188 €

0.8 Smic

176 €

0.9 smic

136 €

1 smic

132 €

1.1 Smic

105 €

1.2 Smic

60 €

1.3 Smic

15 €

1.4 Smic

0 €

What is the activity bonus for an apprentice?

The legislator decided that the activity premium would be intended for people who have already entered the labour market. However, students or persons on an apprenticeship contract can benefit from the premium under certain conditions. Student employees who receive more than 932 euros per month (i.e. 78% of the net minimum wage in 2019) during the three months preceding their application may be entitled to the bonus. The same is true for apprentices or young people doing an internship in a company, who earn 78% of the minimum wage.

For students and apprentices, living with their parents does not change the conditions of access to the premium. On the other hand, things are different for apprentices and students who live as a couple. In this case, the CAF considers the couple to be living together and the income is pooled. Salaries will therefore add up and may exceed the amount of eligibility.

An increased activity premium for isolation

Your premium may be increased if you are a single parent, i.e. single, divorced, separated or widowed with dependent children or pregnant. The increase shall be granted as from the month in which one of these events occurs:

  • Pregnancy declaration
  • Birth of a child
  • Divorce or separation
  • Death of spouse.

The increase is granted for 12 months, continuous or discontinuous, during a period of 18 months following the event. If your youngest child is less than 3 years old, the increase is granted until he or she is 3 years old. The amount varies according to the number of dependent children. Please check with your CAF or the MSA.

Activity bonus and couple

An increase in the activity premium is provided for according to the composition of the applicant’s household. His rate is :

  • 50% for the first person in addition
  • 30% more per person
  • 40% per person more than 3eperson if the household has more than two children (or dependent persons under 25 years of age, except the person with whom the applicant lives as a couple: spouse, Pacs partner or cohabitant).

As a reminder, the activity bonus is allocated taking into account all the household resources: as long as the person you live with as a couple receives a certain level of resources, you may not be entitled to the activity bonus even if you are on minimum wage.

Is the activity premium taxable?

The activity premium is not taxable. This means that you don’t have to pay income tax on the money you receive. You don’t have to report it to the tax authorities either. This is regardless of your income and the amount of the premium.

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