The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) distributes a child support grant (also referred to as a children's grant), which is a social grant aimed at lower-income households to assist parents or the primary care giver with the costs of the basic needs of their child.
In South Africa, a 'child' is defined as anyone under the age of 18.
Who Can Apply For The Child Support Grant?
You can apply for the grant if you are the primary caregiver of a child (a parent, grandparent or anyone who's mainly responsible to look after the child).
What Is The Qualifying Criteria For The Child Support Grant?
To qualify for the Child Support Grant, there is a number of eligibility criteria both you, as the parent or primary caregiver, and the child need to meet. Whether or not you qualify for the Sassa Child Support Grant will be determined through a means test.
You need to meet the following criteria to qualify:
Be a South African citizen or permanent resident.
Not earn more than R48 000 a year (R4 000 a month) if you're single. If you're married, your combined income shouldn't be above R96 000 a year (R8 000 a month).
If you are not the parent of the child then you will need to provide proof that you're the child's primary caregiver. You can use an affidavit from a police official or the biological parent, a report from a social worker or a letter from the principal of the child's school as proof.
In order for the child to qualify, they must:
be under 18 years old,
not be in the care of a state institution,
live with the primary caregiver, who isn't paid to look after the child.
Both the primary caregiver and the child must live in South Africa in order to qualify for the child support grant.
You cannot get the grant for more than six children who aren't legally adopted children or your biological children. You also may not get the grant if someone else is already getting a grant for the child.
SASSA will also perform a means test in order to determine whether an applicant's income is less than a certain level in order to be eligible for the grant.
How To Apply For The Child Support Grant
You can apply for the child support grant by visiting your nearest Sassa Office and filling in an application form in the presence of a Sassa officer. The application form is free and once you have completed the process you will be given a receipt. You must keep this receipt as proof of your application.
It is important that you complete your details on the application form correctly to prevent any delays in the application process, as well as to allow Sassa to contact you regarding your application status.
Documents that you need to take along with you include:
Your South African identity document (ID), which must be bar-coded,
The child's birth certificate, which must have a valid ID number,
Your salary slip, bank statements for 3 months, or pension slips, and any other proof of income,
If you're unemployed, your Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) card – "blue book" – or a discharge certificate from your previous employer,
If you're not the child's parent or guardian, a written note of permission from the parent or guardian that you should take care of the child,
If you're not the child's parent or guardian, information about how you've tried to get the parents to pay maintenance,
Information that shows that you are the child's primary caregiver.
You will need to ensure that you have all these documents with you when going to one of the Sassa offices to fill out a grant application form.
Once you have been approved for the grant you will receive an amount of R440 per month per child. You must specify how you would like the grant paid when you are completing your application.
The grant payment can be paid out in cash on certain days of the month or you can receive the payment electronically into your bank account.
Besides being paid directly into your bank account, there are other ways for you to receive your payment, You can collect your grant from a retail merchant, have it sent to your Sassa card or you can utilise CashSend services.
You can change the payment method at any time by filling in a form, but the change will only happen a month later.
If your grant application has been rejected then you can appeal this decision and if SASSA then decides to approve your application you will start getting payments within 3 months of the approval of your application.
In this case, the amount that you receive will be backdated to the day you applied for the grant.
You will no longer receive payments if:
The child dies,
The end of the month in which the child turns 18,
If the caregiver doesn't claim for 3 consecutive months.
If the child is absent from the country, or
The child is admitted to a state institution.
SASSA will review your grant regularly to check this. Should any changes occur in your or your child's circumstances you must then inform SASSA.
If you need more clarity on the grant then you can contact the SASSA toll-free number: 0800 60 10 11, or Email: [email protected] for more details. You can also follow them on social media for any other communications.
You can visit our Sassa section for more information on the other grants available and how they work.