Office workers, civil servants, liberals … All you need to know about the death benefit left to loved ones

Upon the death of a socially insured person in business, his / her relatives may receive a death grant under certain conditions. This sum of money should allow them to meet their first expenses, especially funeral expenses. The conditions of assignment and the amounts awarded depend on the social security scheme of the insured person.

at least € 3,539 for private sector employees

Conditions relating to the deceased

Health insurance may pay death benefit to relatives of a deceased person who was in one of these situations in the three months prior to his or her death:

  • employee;
  • compensated by Pôle emploi;
  • recipient of an invalidity pension;
  • holder of a pension for an accident at work or occupational disease with a physical disability rate of not less than 66.66%.


This capital is paid primarily to people who, at the time of death, effective, total and permanent responsibility of the deceased :

  • spouse without professional activity,
  • children,
  • ascending.

In the absence of priority beneficiaries, it is paid in the following order:

  • to an unseparated spouse or PACS partner;
  • to descendants;
  • to the ascendants.

If there are several non-priority beneficiaries of the same rank, the sum is shared between them.

The amount of the death benefit

From 1 April 2022 the death lump sum paid by Social Security is equal to 3,539 euros (revalued every 1 April, based on price inflation, excluding tobacco). It is not taxable, nor subject to social security contributions, nor to inheritance tax.

It approaches

Please note that the benefit in the event of death is not automatically assigned, it must be requested from the CPAM on which the deceased depended at the time of death. In practice, priority beneficiaries must apply for it within one month of the date of death. After this period, they lose the right of priority but can appear up to two years after the date of death. The same goes for non-priority beneficiaries, who have two years to apply.

To this death benefit is often added that passed on by the employer. Companies have an obligation to put in place for their executives a pension system in the event of death (collective agreement of 14 March 1947). If they do not comply with this obligation, they must pay the heirs of the deceased a lump sum equal to three times the annual ceiling of the Social Security, or € 123,408 in 2022. More and more employers extend to all their employees.

This capital is generally based on the gross annual salary. It can be increased in case of accidental death. An allowance may also have been paid to cover funeral expenses. Some contracts also provide for a education pension : children can therefore receive a pension until they reach the age of majority or at the end of their studies (with an age limit often set at 25 years).

In general, the worker chooses who will be the beneficiary of the lump sum in the event of death. Failing this, the insurer will pay it to the spouse or PACS partner, to the children, then to the ascendants.

Employees covered by the MSA

The death of an employee of the Agricultural Social Mutuality (MSA) also entails the award of a death grant of € 3,539, under the same conditions as for an employee under the general scheme. The request must be made to the fund of the MSA on which the deceased depended or to that of the place of residence.

3,539 euros for self-employed farmers

Conditions relating to the deceased

From 1 January 2022, the Mutualité sociale Agricole (MSA) has been able to pay a death benefit to the relatives of insured self-employed agricultural workers who have died as a result of illness or accident. These are the heirs of heads of farmers, family collaborators, partners and employees of farms or farms. Attention, to be entitled to it, it is necessary that, on his death, the farmer can justify a duration of belonging to the self-employed agricultural workers for at least one year (this period can be assessed taking into account another social security scheme) and be in good standing with their contributions on January 1st of the year.


The order of beneficiaries is the same as in the private sector.

The amount

The amount is identical to that guaranteed to the beneficiaries of agricultural employees covered by the general social security scheme, i.e. € 3,539 in 2022.

It approaches

Within two months of the month in which the self-employed farmer died, the MSA must provide the beneficiaries with information regarding the conditions for granting the death benefit. The latter then have two years to inform the fund of their status as beneficiaries and to communicate, if necessary, any further information on any other person who has links with the deceased.

The death benefit in public service

Conditions relating to the deceased

The heirs of a deceased civil servant are entitled to the death benefit if the latter was in one of the following situations at the time of his or her death:

  • in business,
  • in detachment,
  • on leave for health reasons
  • or under the flags


If the deceased was married or in a civil partnership with children, the death grant is paid:

  • 1/3 to the non-separated spouse or PACS partner for 2 years
  • 2/3 to the children of the civil servant, under the age of 21 on the day of death, or disabled people without any age restrictions, exempt from income tax.

If the deceased was married or in a childless PACS, the death benefit is paid in full to the spouse or PACS partner.

If the deceased was single or cohabiting, the death grant is paid:

  • entirely to children;
  • or, failing that, to the ascendants dependent on the official at the time of his death.

The amount

From 1 January 2021 the amount of the death benefit is no longer fixed but is determined on the basis of the last annual salary received by the public official before his death, including allowances (residence allowance, family salary supplement, etc. ):

  • if the official has died in service before the statutory retirement age, the amount of the death benefit corresponds to his last gross annual salary;
  • if the official has died in service, beyond the legal retirement age, his beneficiaries will receive a sum corresponding to a quarter of the last gross annual salary;
  • if the deceased was a contractual agent, the death lump sum is equal to the sum of the wages received in the twelve months preceding the date of death, reduced by € 3,539.

It approaches

To receive the death benefit, the beneficiaries must apply for it to the administration of the employer of the deceased civil servant.

Up to 10,284 euros for artisans or traders

Conditions relating to the deceased

Self-employed artisans or merchants affiliated with the Social Security for self-employed workers (formerly the social security scheme for self-employed workers, RSI) are also entitled to the death benefit.

The amount

The amount of the death benefit depends on the situation of the deceased:

  • if it was active his family members receive an amount corresponding to 20% of the annual social security ceiling (Subscription), or € 8,227.20 in 2022 when the policyholder meets all the conditions (being affiliated with the SSI, having contributed, etc.);
  • if he was retired, the death benefit is equal to 8% of the annual social security ceiling, that is € 3,290.88 in 2022, provided that the deceased was enrolled in the social security scheme for self-employed workers for his last activity and had validated at least 80 quarters with the RSI.

An additional lump sum may be paid, under certain conditions, to each dependent child under the age of 20 (no age limit for handicapped children). Its amount corresponds to 5% of the Pass, that is € 2,056.80 in 2022.


This capital is paid as a priority to the persons who, at the time of death, are the effective, total and permanent dependent of the deceased: spouse without professional activity, children, ascendants. In the absence of priority beneficiaries, the capital is paid to the non-separated spouse or PACS cohabitant, to the descendants or, failing that, to the ascendants.

The procedures and deadlines for using them are the same as those provided for relatives of employees in the private sector.

Up to € 54,432 for some liberals

Each category of liberal professions (lawyers, notaries, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, midwives, chartered accountants, bailiffs, etc.) has its own system of protection in the event of the death of the insured! Indeed, the Liberals are divided between ten professional funds, which are very autonomous.

Therefore, on Carpimko depend nurses, masseurs-physiotherapists, podiatrists-podiatrists, speech therapists and orthoptists who practice in private practice. Upon their death, the latter pay, subject to conditions, a death grant to the relatives, with priority to the spouse. Its amount rises in 2022 to € 36,288 for a spouse without children and € 54,432 for a spouse with one or more dependent children.

In the absence of a spouse, the death benefit is granted, in order of priority, to dependent or handicapped children, to dependent or handicapped descendants, to dependent ascendants. If no beneficiary is considered dependent, the death benefit is paid in order of priority to children, descendants and ascendants.

In all these cases, the death benefit in 2022 is set at € 18,144.

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