Dordogne CPAM trains Restos du Coeur volunteers to combat the underuse of aid

The queue goes all the way in front of the room with the pictures of Coluche, on the road to Angoulême at the exit of Périgueux. It’s like that every week. Volunteers hand out cans, bread, cartons of milk, but they also spend the day giving advice. Julien, a young man of 37, has his shopping bag in one hand, his phone in the other: “I came to get food, but I’m also asking for CAF, because I don’t understand any of that.”

“We try to explain their rights to them”

“We try to explain their rights to them. But wow, they’re all lost”, laughs a volunteer, Eric. The center’s thirty volunteers are mostly retired, and faced with all the beneficiaries’ questions, they do what they can : “People don’t know their rights, there are some who have no more teeth, no glasses”. “Some, CMU [couverture maladie universelle], they do not know ! I know a little from my old job, we can guide them a little, but we are not trained for that”adds Patricia, another volunteer.

“Some, CMU [couverture maladie universelle], they do not know ! We can guide them a little, but we are not trained for that”
– Patricia, a volunteer

Things may change in the coming weeks. The health insurance has decided that train Restos du Coeur volunteers administrative labyrinths. This will begin with Neuvic’s premises at the beginning of November with kits distributed by the primary health fund to restaurant volunteers to inform them about all the health insurance assistance systems, to get a general practitioner or an appointment with the dentist, see a complementary health. The volunteers will then be able to better inform the recipients when they are asked questions.

20 to 25% of non-recourse in the health field

In the Dordogne, the proportion of non-recourse is estimated between 20 and 25%, i.e. almost a quarter of the population who give up an appointment or help for treatment of ignorance, shame or discouragement in the face of administrative complexity. “We see it absolutely every day”, assures Michel Gardette, responsible for personal assistance at Restos. He is very keen on this CPAM training, because “the administration is very complicated”.

“We hope to train our volunteers so that they, in turn, explain to the recipients what they are capable of”. CPAM also plans to open hotlines on certain distribution days directly in certain Restos distribution centers, to guide recipients through the intricacies of social assistance.

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