French ex-pastry chef pursued for welfare debt of 22 cents

30th August 2014, Comments 0 comments

A former pastry chef from the south of France has been threatened with debt recovery proceedings by the body that pays his social benefits over 22 cents.

The man, from Frontignan near Montpellier, said he almost fell off his chair when he read that the agency RSI that paid his sickness benefit was pursuing him for the sum of 22 cents which had been "incorrectly paid", the Midi Libre website reported.

In the letter, sent on August 20, the agency said that Jean-Louis Micalet had ignored a previous letter giving him a chance to settle the debt.

"You have not taken advantage of the proposed methods of repayment given in that letter. Unless you take further action, we will be obliged to initiate a recovery procedure," it said.

"I didn't receive this first letter, else I would have paid out," the chef joked. "I know all these things are automated but this is out of control -- it cost more than 22 cents to send that letter!"

RSI told Midi Libre that its health insurance system relied on wrongly paid sums being recovered. "When multiplied by the millions of people covered, the sums can be big," it said.

© 2014 AFP

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