What is a dependent child for family benefits?

Verified 01 January 2024 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

To be eligible for family benefits, a child must be the actual and permanent dependants of the beneficiary (parent, guardian, etc.). If he works, his remuneration must not exceed 55% SMIC.

There need not be a relationship of parentage between the person raising the child and the child. It can also be a child taken in (brother, niece or nephew, etc.).

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

The child must live permanently in France. Stays abroad should not, in principle, exceed 3 months during a calendar year.

A dependent child is considered to be:

The child is considered dependent until his or her 20 years (21 years for the allocation of the family supplement and housing allowances) if his net monthly remuneration does not exceed a certain amount.

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The child is continuing his studies

If the child is in school or a student and works, the net earnings of the child shall not exceed 55% of the Smic: titleContent (for 169 hours) so that he continues to be considered as dependent.

Wages are assessed over a period of 6 months (from 1er October to March 31 and from March 1er April to September 30). The total is then divided by 6.

The minimum amount taken into account depends on the period concerned:

Tableau - Maximum remuneration for a dependent child

Period concerned

Smic taken into account

Maximum Remuneration

April 2023 to September 2024

Smic in force on 1er april 2023


Between October 2022 and March 2023

Smic in force on 1er october 2022


April 2022 to September 2022

Smic in force on 1er april 2022



with the change in the SMIC in 2023, the maximum remuneration per dependent child varies in 2024.

Example :

For the youth who perceived €1,219 net in july and august, the monthly average for the period of 1er april to september 30 is €2,438 divided by 6, or €403.33. As 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 the calculation of benefits only for the months when the monthly ceiling has been exceeded.


If the young person works during the holidays and does not resume his studies afterwards, the ceiling is assessed each month from the 1ster months of activity and not per 6-month period.

He is an apprentice, trainee or employee

If the child works, is a trainee or an apprentice, the child's net monthly earnings must not exceed €1,082.87 (55% minimum wage for 169 hours).

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

A child ceases to be dependent if he himself becomes a recipient of a family benefit.

This is the case for the young person who perceives personalized housing assistance (CHA).

However, a child who is self-sufficient in family benefits is not necessarily self-sufficient in taxes.

Example :

A 19-year-old student without personal resources rents a home and receives the PLA.

  • For family allowances : he is no longer dependent on his parents, even though he does not earn a living and has not exceeded the age limit.
  • For income tax : he can be declared dependent on his parents.

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