Getting in the system

Hi I have a friend and his wife who speak no French so have asked me to assist them they would like to register into the French system for healthcare etc he has a small UK disability allowance and they have no other dependants,what do they need from the UK and would his disability pension be affected by him being registered here, where the two main things that he wanted information on any help would be gratefully received.thanks in advance.

The EU rules changed in April this year- you now no longer have to supply a translated birth or mariage certificate and no-one should request it.

We registered in May with no problems whatsoever>

This was the process:

Request S1 forms supplied by Newcastle before you leave the uk the UK - takes approx 2 weeks for them to arrive - stating intended date of settling in France,

Take this form together with:

  1. original copies of: birth and mariage certificates [to show my change of name after mariage]
  2. passports,
  3. proof of address on a bill from the Syndicate de Leau or the EDF.
  4. A RIB from your cheque book - a very crucial item which I have never seen anyone mention before - they class this as both the 'certificate de Domicile' as well as they need it to set up the payment system.

CPAM then give you a form to register with your chosen GP, which you get them to complete, you sign it, they sign it and stamp it and then you return it in person to CPAM

After a couple of weeks they send forms to you to sign to say stating whether you have any rights to a French pension, complete sign and date those, return in supplied envelope, a couple of weeks after that another form will arrive requesting your signature and a passport style [no glasses, no smiles] photo which you attach to the form and return it to them [again in supplied envelop] - hey presto 2 weeks later your carte gris appears

About about the same time new EHIC cards arrived enablinbg us to now travel to the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

We also took out travel insurance as French citizens so that wherever we go in the world we are covered [recomend a mutual as far cheaper] and top up insurance [again through a mutual]

Steve, you could also look at the health section on the Useful Links page where you will find a lot of info including a run-down on CMU.

That's what I thouhgt, John, until I rang DWP in Newcastle, who told me that the moment we became non-UK resident, the EHIC cards are invalid. So, back to CPAM!

He may well be but does it matter? The EHIC gives you that same cover as a French person would receive?

Wow nothing toooooo complicated then, cheers everyone for taking the time to help with this I will go forth with my head full of knowledge thanks to you all…god bless SFN and all who sail in her…

He is just wrong!!

I just phoned DWP in Newcastle who explained the whole thing to me very clearly - most helpful. Apparently the EHIC card they issue when you are still Uk resident expires automatically as soon as you move abroad. Then you apply to either DWP [at the number you already have] or the Pensions Service if you have a UK state pension on 0044 1912187777. They will send you an S1 in duplicate which you take to CPAM with all the other stuff. CPAM keep one copy and send it to Newcastle, as it is still UK which is responsible for meeting the financial commitments, even though it is CMU who provide the cover in France. Seemples! [I hope...]

We followed Jennifer's sequence to the letter, arrived at CPAM. The gentleman who interviewed us immediately asked to see our EHIC cards and declared we couldn't join CMU until they expire [next February]. So, clearly, "local rules apply"!

All help with this exceedingly complex subject is gratefully received! First piece of advice to your friends: LEARN FRENCH!!!! .

You are not always obliged to supply translated birth certificate... It all depends on how nice is your CPAM, go there with a French speaking friend and ask them exactly what they want.


The reply by Jennifer is to the letter of the rules but it does not have to be like that.

I and my wife just toddled along to the CPAM office with our passports and proof of French residency and I remember no hitches. We certainly have never had birth certificates translated - Remember the passport gives one's birth date and location.

If they receive the British State Pension then they must obtain an form S1 from the Dept of Work and Pensions, Newcastle. This will entitle them to CPAM cover in the same manner as retired French people.

Disability benefits - Under EU law these are payable in France under the same conditions as in the UK - BUT such benefits are undergoing considerable turmoil thanks to Iain Duncan Smiths review of all benefits.

Disability benefits are being incorporated under PIPS (Personal Indeoendence Payment) All receipients are being reviewed and are being re-assessed which can often involve a medical examination - The person here concerned should make sure that this reassessment in completed before leaving the UK. Once done then the payment will not be discontinued when living in France. I am aware that this change from DLA to PIP is causing difficulty for some British French residents.

Hi there,

Your friends have to apply via the CPAM for CMU health coverage. This is what we deal with for most of our clients and it really is the only way. If they are retired in France, they will need: Proof of pension from the UK, long form birth certificates translated by an official translator, passports, application form (see attached), proof of address in France (tax fonciere, tax habitation bill), secondary proof of address in France (telephone or internet bill). They then take everything in person to the CPAM office closest to where they live.

If you need anymore help, let us know, we are always happy to help.

Jenn from monamiandy