SASSA Child Grants Application Requirements and How Much You Can Get

Since the establishment of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) in the year 2005, the agency has helped improve the standards of living in the country. For several years now, the agency has been providing assistance to people vulnerable to poverty, especially the elderly, those with young children, as well as people with disabilities. The SASSA assistance given to people with young children is provided in the form of a child support grant, care dependency grant, and foster child grant.

While the child support grant assists parents with the costs of the basic needs of their young ones between the ages of 0 and 18 years, the care dependency grant provides assistance to children with severe mental and/or physical disabilities. The foster care grant, on the other hand, assists foster parents in raising children placed in their care by court order according to the terms of the Child Care Act. Notably, there are requirements for obtaining the SASSA child grants, as well as limits to how much they are worth and what can possibly lead to the suspension or lapsing of the child grants.

SASSA Child Support Grant

With the aim to provide help, especially to lower-income households, the SASSA child support grant can be applied for by the primary caregiver of a child which includes a parent, grandparent, or someone who’s mainly responsible for the child’s upkeep. Here are the requirements that qualify the primary caregiver for the grant;

  • The applicant must be a citizen of South Africa, permanent resident, or refugee.
  • The primary caregiver and the child must live in South Africa.
  • The applicant can’t get the grant if he/she applies for more than six children who are not their biological or legally adopted children.
  • The applicant and the spouse must pass the means test. The test is used to ascertain the financial status of the household. It stipulates that the income threshold for a single person should not be above R54,000 and that of the married person should not exceed R108,000.
  • The child should be 18 years old or younger.
  • The child cannot be catered for in a state institution.
  • Applicants who are married ought to provide supporting documents for themselves and that of their spouses.

Documents Required for the Application

  • A 13 digit bar-coded South African identity document (ID)
  • Refugees can prove their identity and status by providing the Section 24 permit.
  • A document that proves that the applicant is the primary caregiver of the child. One can get an affidavit from the police, a letter from the school principal of the child, or a report from a social worker.
  • The birth certificate of the child, which must have an identification number.
  • An authorization note from the child’s parents or guardian to care for their child/children is required if you are not the parents or guardian of the child.
  • Proof of how you have tried to get the parents to pay for the child’s upkeep if you are not the child’s parents or guardian.
  • A discharge certificate from your former employer or your Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) card is required if you are unemployed.
  • Proof of income, which could be your salary slip, pension slip, or bank account statement for the previous three months.
  • A school attendance certificate is required for children between the ages of 7 and 18, as one of the primary aims of the child support grant is to ensure that children complete schooling. Nevertheless, the application won’t be disqualified if the applicant doesn’t produce the certificate.

How and When to Apply For The Grant

A primary caregiver who wishes to apply for the SASSA child support grant should visit the nearest SASSA office on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 AM to 4 PM. There, the person will fill the child support grant application form in the presence of a SASSA officer. The application process doesn’t take more than two hours and is free of charge. At the completion of the application, a receipt that serves as proof of your application will be given to the applicant and it should be kept very safe.

While applying for the grant, the primary caregiver should state how he/she wants to be receiving the money. You can be paid in cash at designated pay points on specific days or through the new SASSA payment card issued by SASSA in connection with the South African Post Office (SAPO) and Postbank. The grant can also be paid into your personal bank account. However, the payment can stop when the following occurs;

  • The primary caregiver doesn’t claim the money for three consecutive months.
  • The child dies.
  • The child leaves the country.
  • The child turns 18 years.
  • The child gets admitted to a state institution.

How Child Support Differs From Older Person’s Grant

SASSA older person’s grant, which is meant for people who are 60 years or older, provides financial assistance to older SA citizens. With most of them not having other means of income during their old age, the grant helps them cope financially. The grant’s requirements slightly differ from the child support grant as it doesn’t apply to children. That being said, the older person’s grant qualification requirements include:

  • Submission of a 13 digit bar-coded identity document (ID).
  • The applicant must be a citizen of South Africa, permanent resident, or refugee.
  • The applicant and spouse must pass the means test which is a test to determine their financial status. It stipulates that a single person’s asset should not exceed R1,227,600 and that of a married person shouldn’t be above R2,455,200. Also, that the annual income of a single person shouldn’t be above R86,280 while a married person’s income per year shouldn’t exceed R172,560.
  • The applicant must be sixty years or older.
  • The applicant ought not to be admitted to a state institution.
  • The applicant must not be a recipient of another social grant.
  • The applicant must reside in South Africa.

SASSA Child Grants
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Documents Needed For The Application of The Grant

  • Proof of marital status (if applicable).
  • Proof of income, which includes a three months bank account statement, pension slip, or dividends slip.
  • Proof of residential address.
  • Identity document (ID). But if you don’t have an official ID, you can do the following:

• Complete an affidavit on a standard SASSA format in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths who doesn’t work for the agency.

• Attestation document for your name and age. This must be a sworn statement that bears the signature of a reputable individual such as a traditional leader, minister of religion, councillor, social worker, or school principal.

• You will be referred to the Department of Home Affairs after your fingerprints have been taken by a SASSA official. There, you will apply for an identity document and if you don’t get one while your application is being processed, your grant will be suspended.

  • A copy of a spouse’s death certificate, a will, as well as first and final liquidation are required if the applicant’s spouse passed away within the last five years.
  • A discharge certificate from your former employer or your Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) card will be required if you are unemployed.
  • Proof of assets which include the worth of the property you own.

Requirements For Other SASSA Child Grants Besides Child Support Grant

As previously mentioned, the South African Social Security Agency has three forms of child grants. They include a care dependency grant for children with severe disabilities and need full-time care and a foster care grant given to foster parents for catering for of child/children under their care. Here are the requirements as well as step-by-step guidelines on how to apply for the SASSA child grants.

Foster Child Grant

For one to qualify for a foster child grant needed for taking care of a foster child/children kept in their custody by court order due to the child being abused, abandoned, orphaned, neglected, or at risk, the person must meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant must be a citizen of South Africa, permanent resident, or refugee.
  • The child must be 18 years or younger.
  • The child and the applicant must reside in South Africa.
  • The foster child must be legally placed in the care of the applicant and must remain in his/her care.

Documents Needed For The Application

  • A 13 digit bar-coded identity document.
  • A refugee should bring his/her status permit as well as a refugee identity document.
  • The birth certificate of the child or the identity document from their country of origin.
  • If your ID or the birth certificate of the child is lost, you can do the following:
  1. Complete an affidavit on a standard SASSA format in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths who doesn’t work for the agency.
  2. Provide an attestation document for your name and age and that of the foster child. This must be a sworn statement that bears the signature of a reputable individual such as a traditional leader, minister of religion, councillor, social worker, or school principal who knows you and the child.
  3. You will be referred to the Department of Home Affairs after your fingerprints had been taken by a SASSA official. There, you will apply for an identity document and/or the child’s birth certificate. If you don’t get the document(s) while your application is being processed, your grant will be suspended.
  • Proof that you have submitted an application for an identity document and/or birth certificate at the Department of Home Affairs. This can be a temporary identity document issued to you by the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Proof of your marital status.
  • The child’s school certificate will be required if the child is schooling.
  • Court order that placed the child/children in your care.
  • Baptismal certificate (if available).
  • A road to health clinic card (if available).

How To Apply

STEP 1: Visit any closest SASSA office with the aforementioned documents.

STEP 2: Fill the foster child grant application form in the presence of a SASSA official.

STEP 3: A receipt will be handed to you as proof of your application.

Note: At the expiry of the court order which is usually every two years, the grant will be reviewed. You will be notified three months in advance before the review takes place. An extension order for foster care can be given by the presiding officer if the child is still in secondary school at the age of 18. As such, the foster care grant can be extended till the child turns 21 years.

Also, it’s worth noting that a foster child with severe mental and/or physical disabilities can obtain the SASSA foster child grant, as well as the care dependency grant. The grant, however, will lapse if;

  • The child dies or the last living foster parent passes away.
  • The child gets admitted to a state institution.
  • The foster parents leave the country for a long time.
  • The child is no longer in your foster care.
  • The grant is not claimed for three consecutive months.
  • The foster parent is no longer a refugee.

Those who do not collect their grant with a biometric validation (fingerprint) will be asked to complete the life certificate once every year. The life certificate serves as a confirmation of the beneficiaries’ life status.

Care Dependency Grant

A primary caregiver or foster parents can apply for the SASSA care dependency grant for any of their children with severe disabilities if they meet the following qualification requirements:

  • The applicant must be a citizen of South Africa, permanent resident, or refugee.
  • The child must be 18 years or younger.
  • The child must not be permanently admitted to a state institution.
  • The applicants must submit a medical assessment report that confirms permanent or severe disability of the child/children.
  • The applicant and the child must reside in South Africa.
  • Except for foster parents, the applicant and the spouse must meet the requirements of the means test. It stipulates that a single person should not earn more than R223,200 per year and a married person’s annual income shouldn’t exceed R446,400.

Particulars Required For The Application of The Care Dependency Grant

  • A 13 digit bar-coded identity document (ID)
  • A refugee should bring his/her status permit as well as a refugee identity document.
  • The birth certificate of the child or the identity document from their country of origin.
  • If your ID or the birth certificate of the child is lost, you can do the following:
  1. Complete an affidavit on a standard SASSA format in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths who doesn’t work for the agency.
  2. Attestation document for your name and age and that of the child. This must be a sworn statement that bears the signature of a reputable individual such as a traditional leader, minister of religion, councillor, social worker, or school principal who knows you and the child.
  3. You will be referred to the Department of Home Affairs after your fingerprints had been taken by a SASSA official. There, you will apply for an identity document and/or the child’s birth certificate. If you do not get the document(s) while your application is being processed, your grant will be suspended.
  • Proof that you have submitted an application for an identity document and/or birth certificate at the Department of Home Affairs. This can be a temporary identity document issued to you by the Department of Home Affairs.
  • A medical/assessment report for confirmation of the child’s disability.
  • Except for foster parents, other applicants are requested to provide their pension slips, salary slips, or bank account statement for the previous three months.
  • Court order that placed the child in care (for foster parents).
  • Proof of your marital status.
  • A document that proves that you are the primary caregiver of the child (if you are not the child’s parents). You can get an affidavit from a police officer or the biological parents, a letter from the school principal of the child, or a report from a social worker.
  • Proof of how you have tried to get the other parent to pay for the child’s upkeep if you are the child’s biological parent and sole provider and caregiver.
  • The child’s school certificate will be required if the child is schooling.
  • Baptismal certificate (if available)
  • A road to health clinic card (if available)
  • A discharge certificate from your former employer or your Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) card will be required if you are unemployed.

If you are sick or too old to visit the SASSA office to apply for the grant, you can give a permission letter or doctor’s report stating why you can’t visit the office to a family member or friend who can apply on your behalf.

How To Apply

STEP 1: Visit any nearest SASSA office with the aforementioned documents.

STEP 2: The child will be referred by SASSA for an assessment by a state medical officer before the application process begins.

STEP 3: Fill the care dependency grant application form in the presence of a SASSA official.

STEP 4: A receipt will be given to you as proof of your application.

The care dependency grant will be canceled when the following occurs;

  • The primary caregiver or the child passes away.
  • The child turns 18 years old. However, the child can apply for the SASSA disability grant at this point.
  • The child is admitted to the rehabilitation center, psychiatric facility, or state institution

Note: When the care dependency grant is being reviewed, the outcome can cause the grant to be suspended, as it will be reviewed from time to time. But you will be notified three months in advance before the review takes place. Hence, it is advised that primary caregivers should notify SASSA of any changes in their circumstances or that of their child/children, especially financial or medical changes as this can lead to suspension of the grant. Other factors that lead to the suspension of grants are:

  • Failure to co-operate with SASSA when the grant is being reviewed.
  • Involvement in a fraudulent operation or misinterpretation
  • If the approval of the grant was done by mistake.

Can I Apply For SASSA Child Grants Online?

Following the launching of an online grant application portal by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) in September 2020, child grants can be applied for online. Those who wish to apply should visit the SASSA website. They should have the aforementioned documents for the child grants they wish to apply readily available and certified by a commissioner of oaths. The supporting documents will be submitted online and linked to their applications. One can apply for the SASSA child grants online using a computer or a mobile phone.

Besides the stipulated documents needed for the application, applicants are expected to have a functioning email address with which they will sign up and be able to log in to the portal. Also, with the email address, the applicants will be receiving feedbacks regarding their applications. Once the application for the grant is completed, a receipt will be generated which serves as proof of the application. The status of the application can also be checked online from time to time.

How Long Does it Take For SASSA Child Grants to be Approved?

The application for the SASSA child grants can take up to three months to be processed. Once the grant is approved, you will be paid from the date you applied for it. However, if the application was not successful, the South African Social Security will write to you, explaining why the application was disapproved.

In case you do not agree with the outcome, you can appeal within 90 days of receiving a notification from the agency regarding your application and why it was disapproved. You will make the appeal for reconsideration to the Minister of Social Development at the national office of the Department of Social Development.

What is The Amount Paid For The SASSA Child Grants?

The amount paid to the beneficiaries of the SASSA child grants normally changes yearly. Previously, the social grants used to be slightly increased by the government in April and October every year. However, all the social grants got increased in April 2021. Thus, the beneficiaries of the child support grant now receive R460 every month. The amount was previously R450 before it was recently increased. Also, beneficiaries of foster care grants were previously paid R1,040 every month but have been receiving R1,050 since April 2021.

The care dependency grant beneficiaries earn the highest amount compared to the payment received by the other SASSA child grants beneficiaries. They earn the same amount (R1,860) as the beneficiaries of the disability grant, as well as the older person’s grant who are between the ages of 60 and 74. Due to the increase which took effect in April 2021, they have been receiving R1,890 monthly.

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With the child support grant being the smallest of all the social grants, the Children’s Institue based at the University of Cape Town (UCT) has written to the Parliament requesting that the grant should be slightly increased by R10 in October 2021. Children’s Institute’s senior researcher, Katharine Hall stated that though the increase won’t be enough to cover the cost of minimum basic nutrition for a child, it would, to some extent, offer protection against malnutrition and child hunger.

The Standing Committee on Appropriations has welcomed the call made by the Children’s Institute to increase the child support grant. Hence, the Committee has urged the Department of Social Development to prioritize the child support grant in spite of the constraints of its budget cuts due to the cessation of social assistance following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

List of The SASSA Grants and Amount Paid

Type of Grant  Previous Amount New Amount (From April 2021)
Child Support R450 R460
Foster Child R1040 R1050
Care Dependency R1860 R1890
Older Persons (60 years – 74 years) R1860 R1890
Older Persons (75 years or older) R1860 + R20 R1890 + R20
Disability R1860 R1890
Grant-in-Aid R450 R460
War Veterans R1860 + R20 R1890 + R20

 

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