Take-Up of Social Assistance Benefits: The Case of the French Homeless

Research paper by Sylvain Chareyron, Patrick Domingues

Indexed on: 09 Nov '16Published on: 07 Nov '16Published in: Review of Income and Wealth


A considerable number of studies have been conducted to measure and analyze the phenomenon of the non-take-up of social assistance. However, the homeless portion of this population has long remained outside the scope of this research, so that little is known about their non-take-up behavior. In this paper, we focus on this population using a French national survey and we derive measures for the non-take-up of French basic income support. Our findings indicate that there is a substantial rate of non-take-up among the homeless, but that this rate is lower than that for the general population: approximately 18% of eligible homeless persons do not claim benefits compared to 35% of the general population. Using a large set of variables, we investigate the determinants of non-take-up. We show that although some of these determinants are shared with the general population, as identified in the literature, the homeless population exhibits some particularities. Furthermore, our results also suggest that the poorest of the homeless have a larger non-take-up rate than other homeless.