Monday, July 26, 2010

The Famous French Paperwork- The CAF Edition

Prior to my departure in May, in the month of April, I filled out some paperwork to the Caisse d'Allocations Familiales (CAF). The CAF is responsible for helping low-income families with their housing situations by reimbursing a partial amount of what they paid. Despite being a foreigner, I, as a "fonctionnaire de la république," qualified for these same services. (You gotta admire the French for all of these social aids.)

I asked my landlord to fill out his set of documents and I did the same with mine. I turned in a copy of my salary from the lycée, made photocopies of my visa, my titre de séjour, even my birth certificate. I filled in my income information for 2008. I submitted these documents to the organization and thought that I was home-free. I should have that money reimbursed into my bank account in no time at all.


The persnickety French organizations always have the knack to corner me with something. More than three months have passed since I sent in that rotten paperwork, and the CAF still has not reimbursed the money that I need to survive my arrival back in Dijon.

My French landlord was nice enough to forward me the letter that reads as such:

Mlle French Bean:

-You forgot to sign a document that you thought only corresponded to your landlord.

-Please provide us with a copy of your salary bulletin for the months of September and October

-What was your professional work situation in September 2009?

...It's a good thing I'm nearly 9,000 km away so they could not see the mini-explosion I had when I received this letter.

I shouldn't complain. If I do things correctly, then I should have the money I paid for. No problem. All I need to do is send out the documents they ask for and give an explanation as to why I was a nearly-unemployed soul during the month of September while stating that I am still an employed soul and have no money for survival in Dijon. As long as I can pay my rent, then I can forget about eating. Food is over-rated, anyway and I'd rather have a roof over my head.


And while I'm at it, I shall make my appointment at the French consulate to have my visa paperwork filed.

Barb the French Bean


  1. Waiting for the money you paid for? Sounds like a scam to me. Are you sure these French bureaucrats are for real?

  2. Oh, yeah. They are 4 realz, Legacy. The CAF is legit.

    -French Bean


Apparently, leaving comments on this blog is a hit-or-miss game of Russian roulette: you are either lucky and can comment away, or you are required to log in when the settings are CLEARLY set to allow trouble-free commenting (sorry 'bout that, folks). If anything, the Facebook page is always a viable option. :) -Barb