February letters



“I am finding it increasingly difficult not to respond on a daily basis to so many items that leave me angry. I am irascible enough without reading about Air France’s unacceptable treatment of the disabled man in the wheelchair. Yet another nail in their aviation coffin. After the last strike by their air-traffic controllers I emailed them to say I would not be using their airline at any time in the future. Strangely enough, I did receive a reply thanking me for my concern. I await the next strike, but not with bated breath. And my first reaction to the latest wheeze about workers refusing to read emails after working hours was a wry smile. My second reaction isn’t printable. We know France still clings to industrial processes of a previous life – that’s why their economy is in such a perilous position – but surely this could easily be solved with a clear written contract that defines all workers’ roles and responsibilities.

“You are, as usual, right in your observations. Don’t rule out a candidacy challenge to Hollande next year. Let me know if you want me to nominate you.”

Health Insurance 

“The authors of the article might be interested to hear about the problem I personally encountered when applying for my Carte Vitale. Although I moved here once we had passed the then retirement age in the UK and so was receiving a UK pension, it took nearly 3 years for approval for my carte to come through. At the outset I had presented all the required original documents. Copies were taken and submitted with my application. I then later supplied the Traduction Assemente when requested and over the years in total provided 5 copies of my documents. Our local CPAM office even put in a complaint on my behalf….all to no avail. We finally discovered after a visit to the CPAM office in Montpellier that the watermark on UK certificates which proves they are authentic does not show up when the doc is photocopied. Finally they submitted the original document (and returned it to me promptly after I had warned I would take retribution if it did not!!!) and my card came through in a matter of a couple of weeks.”

From the authors of the article:  Unfortunately, you hit one of the integral, and frustrating, problems in the Carte Vitale application system; that the wording used in the correspondence you receive rejecting your application never clearly cites for which reason(s). Once you have some experience in these matters, you become used to their ‘codes’, as well as finding ways to avoid receiving these coded letters in the first place! For example, there are ways to avoid problems if you suspect that your photocopy (birth, marriage, divorce, death etc) is not going to pass the CPAM’s rigorous controls because not every element has photocopied well. First of all, when you arrange to have your certified translation done, you should take the time to ask if the translator can stamp and sign (authenticate) a couple of colour photocopies. Always ask for at least two, preferably three, so that you can keep a spare if they ask you for the same thing yet again. 

Another option is to take the original down to your local CPAM and ask them to photocopy, sign and stamp it to confirm its authenticity (if you can get them to actually write something like ‘conforme à l’originale’, even better). Then leave it in their letterbox or with a member of support staff at their desk (NOT at reception). Don’t forget to always include a photocopy of the last letter you have received with any subsequent paperwork you hand in. This will have your name, address and, if you have already been allocated one, your temporary Social Security number (the one beginning with a 7 or an 8). 

I’m sorry this advice is too late to help you, but hope it offers a chink of light to other Carte Vitale applicants out there! If in doubt, please do contact us and we will help you through the process.  www.renestance.com

A House in Trausse

“I have so enjoyed reading the excerpts!” 

“I’d love to win a copy of her book! Better yet, I’d love to meet her…”

“Seems a cracking read.”

Congratulations to the winner of the draw, and sorry for those of you who applied and didn’t win.