I don't know exactly how the new rules work but if they are like any of the others they will be dependant on income.
With the Assistante Sociale, I think it's like anything else - depends who you get. Saying that I think they must all be vaguely decent 'all rounders' - quite unlike anything we have in the UK at the moment where the system is fragmented beyond belief.
I was expecting 'less' from my assistante, not because I thought she wasn't any good but because I knew she didn't speak English - or, more to the point, I don't speak French (these days I can add 'well enough') but I tried to make up for it by taking everything she'd told me to take + some. I'd also made an effort with the forms I'd been directed to by the people on here and I knew from those forms that there were more specific things the AS might need - in the end all that was missing was a RIB slip and I took that in the next morning.
She got me my SS number immediately.
What I failed to realise at the time of course, was that because she had kicked a lot of stuff off, I was going to be deluged with even more paperwork (which I am now sitting under)
I know your experience wasn't too good, and I'm certain that not all people have miracle workers - but I really wish someone had told me about the AS service when I first got here. They aren't flustered by much and they deal with such a broad scope of work whether it be personal, health or registration, that they should be a first point of call when people need assistance. It's probably also an issue with the title which the Brits get confused with social workers - they aren't social workers in that context, they just lend a hand when you need it no matter what the situation.
Just editing to say Debra that although each organisation is responsible for their own dossiers, the AS can find out if there are problems or what hold ups are etc. Like I said with my SS number - she just made a call and got it straight away.
Just seen your post, Louise - thanks, I'll go with the La Ram thing!