A person in a wheelchair (Illustration).
ALLILI Mourad / SIPA
A petition to review the method of calculating the AAH is approaching 100,000 signatures on the Senate website.
The signatories ask that the income of the spouse of the disabled person no longer be taken into account.
The Senate has just appointed a rapporteur, but it will still be necessary to convince the presidential majority in the Assembly.
“The disabled adult allowance (AAH) is our means of survival and it allows us a certain independence.
But it stops if we have the misfortune of falling in love ”.
In two sentences, Audrey summed up the paradox of the AAH.
This 20-year-old young woman, recognized as more than 50% disabled, managed to receive this benefit after months of procedures.
She currently receives 902 euros per month (the maximum), which is used, among other things, to pay for care related to her disability but which is not reimbursed by Social Security.
Audrey is in a relationship and would like to live with her boyfriend instead of having to stay with her parents.
And that's where the problem comes in: "if I live with him, I will no longer be able to receive the AAH, she explains, because the allowance is calculated on the basis of the couple's income".
Her spouse being on a permanent contract and earning more than 2,200 euros per month, their income would indeed exceed the authorized ceiling.
“So I can't live with him without lying to CAF, which I refuse.
And if I tell the truth, I would be completely dependent on my spouse, explains Audrey.
It is a risk, because if you are unhappy, or worse, victim of violence within your couple, you cannot leave any more because you will not have any income for months ”.
A petition that revives the debate
It is to put an end to this situation experienced by many people with disabilities that several legislative proposals and amendments have been tabled since 2017. Each time, it was a question of "dissociating" the AAH, in other words to ensure that the spouse's income is no longer taken into account in the calculation.
A first step was taken in February 2020, when the National Assembly had adopted at first reading - and against the advice of the government, we will come back to it - the bill going in this direction carried by the deputy Jeanine Dubié (Freedom and Territories).
Nothing, or almost.
The text went to the Senate, but "no parliamentary group wanted to put it on the calendar", laments the MP.
It is therefore to influence the elected representatives of the Luxembourg Palace that an official petition was created in September 2020 on the Senate website.
To be able to be automatically examined by the conference of presidents of the Senate, the text had to have 100,000 signatures.
This January 27, 2021, the petition brought together 91,000.
The government, the last obstacle?
The mobilization has moved the lines, and the threshold of 100,000 signatures will not even need to be reached.
Last week, the Senate indeed decided to appoint a rapporteur to carry the text, which should be examined in March.
“This is going in the right direction, welcomes Jeanine Dubié.
I hope that the individualization of the AAH can be definitively adopted before the end of the term, in 2022 ”.
For the supporters of the reform, there remains one major obstacle, and not the least: convincing the government.
As we mentioned above, the executive had opposed the proposal during its examination at first reading in the National Assembly.
Since then, he has not changed his position.
The government considers that specific provisions are already sufficient to ensure a decent standard of living for people with disabilities.
He cites in particular the disability compensation benefit (PCH) (which concerns 280,000 people, against 1.13 million for the AAH), and the tax deduction for each holder of the disability card (0.5 additional part in the calculation of income tax).
"There are also situations where taking into account the spouse's income may prove to be favorable to the beneficiary, explained in November 2020 the Secretary of State in charge of disabled people, Sophie Cluzel.
This is the case, for example, if the latter works, but not his spouse.
We often tend to forget such situations, but 44,000 households would be the losers in the event of "deconjugalization" of the AAH ".
"If the impact study confirms that there would be losers, we would amend the text to avoid these side effects", replied last week Catherine Deroche (LR), president of the Senate social affairs committee, interviewed by the website Faire face.
Once the text has been voted on and amended by the Senate, the bill will return to the Assembly, where LREM is in the majority.
The supporters of the reform, like Jeanine Dubié, hope that the broad consensus - from LR to France Insoumise - on the reform of the AAH will make the walking deputies reflect.
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