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What is a dependent child for family benefits?

Verified 01 January 2023 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

In order to qualify for family benefits, a child must be effectively and permanently dependent on the recipient (parent, guardian, etc.). If he works, his remuneration must not exceed 55% MIC.

There is no need for a relationship of parentage between the person raising the child and the child. It may also be a child who has been collected (brother, niece or nephew, etc.).

In order for the child to be considered as dependent, the recipient must ensure that effective and permanent load. That is to say, to provide for its maintenance (food, housing, clothing) and to assume the emotional and educational responsibility for it.

The child must live permanently in France. Foreign stays must not exceed 3 months in a calendar year.

The child is considered dependent until his 20 years (21 years for the allocation of family complement and housing).

Up to 16 years, the child must respect compulsory education.

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The child continues his or her studies

If the child is in school or student and working, his net remuneration should not exceed 55% of Smic: titleContent (for 169 hours) to continue to be considered as dependent.

Salaries are valued over a period of 6 months (of 1to October to March 31st andto April to September 30). The total is then divided by 6.

The Smic taken into account depends on the period concerned:

Tableau - Maximum compensation for a dependent child

Period concerned

Smic considered

Maximum compensation

Between October 2022 and March 2023

Smic effective at 1to October 2022


Between April 2022 and September 2022

Smic effective at 1to April 2022


Between October 2021 and March 2022

Smic effective at 1to October 2021



Since the amount of the SMIC was changed in 2022, the maximum remuneration per dependent child varies in 2023.

Example :

For the young person who received €1,219 net in July and August, the monthly average for the period of 1to April to September 30th is €2,438 divided by 6, or €403.33. Since this amount is below the ceiling, family benefits are therefore maintained in full for the entire period.

If the average exceeds the ceiling, the young person no longer counts for benefit calculation only for months where the monthly ceiling has been exceeded.


if the young person works during the holidays and does not return to school afterwards, the ceiling is assessed every month from the 1to months of activity, not 6 months.

He is an apprentice, trainee or employee

If the child works, is an intern or an apprentice, his or her monthly net income must not exceed €1,047.55 (55% of the Smic for 169 hours).

If his remuneration exceeds the ceiling for one or more months, the entitlement to benefits shall be waived for that month or months.

A child ceases to be dependent if he or she becomes a recipient of a family benefit. This is the case for the young person who perceives Personalised Housing Assistance (LPA).

However, an independent child for family benefits is not necessarily an independent child for taxes.

Example :

A 19-year-old student without personal resources rents a home and collects the LPA.

  • For Family Allowances : he is no longer dependent on his parents, even if he does not earn his living and has not reached the age limit.
  • For income tax : he can be declared dependent on his parents.

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