VII. Disability - France's social security scheme for self-employed workers

Craftspeople and shopkeepers can be awarded a disability pension following an illness or accident.

A. Eligibility requirements (applicable both to craftspeople and shopkeepers)

To be eligible, an applicant must:

  • Not have reached statutory retirement age,
  • Be an RSI member at the time of application,
  • Have paid contributions to RSI for at least 1 year, subject to all applicable provisions relating to coordination among Social Security systems,
  • Be up-to-date with all health insurance and daily benefits contributions,
  • Not be drawing an early retirement pension from an aligned scheme (General or agricultural employees' scheme),
  • Not be receiving a disability benefit from another scheme for the same disability (except for a different cause or worsening of the disability),
  • The disability must not be the result of a deliberate offense on the member's part or from a civil or foreign war event,
  • Have undergone a thorough medical exam by one of RSI's medical examiners, who will determine the member's disability or inability to work.

RSI's disability insurance offers two types of benefits:

B. Pension for partial inability to work

A member can be awarded a pension for partial inability to work if his/her physical condition shows a loss of ability to work or to earn a living of more than 2/3 when compared to the physical condition required for his/her profession.

The annual pension amounts either to 30% of the member's average annual income, or the average income on which contributions were paid while a member of RSI (average revenue over the member's 10 best years of employment while an RSI member, or of the member's total income when there are fewer than 10 calendar years of contributions).

C. Pension for total and permanent disability

A pension for total and permanent disability can be awarded until the member reaches statutory retirement age if the member is medically recognized as having a total and permanent disability, and if the disability limits access to employment in a significant and ongoing manner.

The annual pension amounts to 50% of the member's average annual income, or the average income on which contributions were paid during the member's employment under the RSI scheme.

D. Entitlement amounts

The minimum and maximum disability insurance entitlements are listed here.

These benefits are awarded up until the member reaches statutory retirement age.

Pension amounts may vary based on the results of one or more medical exams:

  • The pension may be temporarily suspended or revoked
  • The pension may be extended
  • The degree/ category of the member's disability may be changed.

E. Pension top-ups

If you need assistance from a caregiver

If you are receiving a pension for a total and permanent disability and need ongoing help from a caregiver to perform the ordinary activities of daily living (getting up, going to bed, getting dressed, moving, eating), you may be eligible for a pension top-up of 1,107.49 € per month. This entitlement is suspended during any periods of hospitalization.

If you are on a low income

Members with an annual income of under 8,424.05 € (for a single person) or 14,755.32 € (for a couple) can receive an additional disability allowance ("allocation supplémentaire d'invalidité") if they have an overall disability that reduces their ability to work or earn a living by at least 2/3. As from April 1st, 2014, this allowance is awarded at a rate of 4,845.17 € per year for a single person.

Important information

Through RSI's health and social programs, certain types of aid can be paid to people who meet the requirements and are encountering difficulties due to a disability.

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