Tomrrow I have to go and see what is called the ASSEDIC (basically the French social security) because I was taken off their books for being on a French language course these last 5 months. I’m not sure if that is logical, but it sure means that their list of unemployed is reduced by err…. one (me).

Anyway – as usual here in France I’ve had loads of paperwork to sort out since (fact of life here no matter what administration you have to cross). I had last subscribed to the ASSEDIC last September – at the time they wanted some sheets of paper that are known as “attestations” – basically a paper given by an employer at the end of a contract. As I had several temporary contracts from Summer 2003 until January 2004 I had an attestation paper for each one.
When you sign on unemployed the ASSEDIC asks for the originals of these papers which they use to assess your unemployment entitlement (the attestations tell them your contributions during the contract, dates worked and other info).

I’ve also had to provide other attestations for my French course – when completing an education course in France you also get one of these papers – which gives details of the hours completed, whether the course was paid for, free, or if I was paid to complete it.
The difference is that I keep the originals of these attestations and give the ASSEDIC copies to justify my existance over the last 5 months .
So I’ve had to resubscribe to the ASSEDIC by filling in the same form I filled in last September, providing proof of a bank account, copies of my “Carte de Séjour” (my French ID card) and my “Carte Vitale” (French health insurance card) along with all these sodding attestations from my work and French course.

So it’s taken me 3 or 4 days to get all these papers together – copy those that need copying, and try to explain what has been missing and what I’ve been doing for 5 months.
The French course has been slightly complicated in that I’ve had to complete it in two locations, with two providers. The first provider cancelled the course as there wasn’t enough people – so I was sent somewhere else to complete the course in the same town.
Added to this I was sent two forms by the ASSEDIC when this happened so the provider can stamp them and then I provide details of the hours I’m going to do. For a start off, even though I added the correct hours and dates to the forms and sent them back to the ASSEDIC they got the dates wrong when they informed me I’d been unsubscribed from the their service.

So bascially despite telling them what I’ve been doing the last 5 months their records do not tally with what I have on my papers.

After all that I don’t even receive any sorts of benefits from the social security here – so I think they must just like a laugh (or they do it to give French civil servants something to do).

Funnily enough I’ve never ever had the same experiences with the administration in the UK like this. So it’s definately a “French thing”.


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