What Is A Sassa Means Test? Your Guide To Sassa Policies

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When you apply for a social grant from Sassa, they may do an evaluation called a means test. Here is what a Sassa means test is and how it affects your application for a Sassa grant. 


A means test is used by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to determine whether or not an applicant qualifies for financial assistance in the form of a social grant like the Child Support Grant or other Sassa grant. (Note that the foster child grant isn't linked to a means test as there is no income threshold).

Income and Assets

When conducting the means test, Sassa will evaluate the income and assets of the applicant in order to determine that the person's income and assets are below an amount specified by the agency. This is for the adult social assistance grants means test.

This is done because Sassa grants are meant to provide financial aid to those who do not have the means to support themselves and their families so if a person's income and assets are too high they won't qualify. This is for assessing adult social assistance grants which require a Sassa means test.

The Sassa means test differs from one social grant type to another. For example the adult social assistance grants, the older persons grant, war veterans grant, and disability grant are all paid on a sliding scale. This is different to the child support grant which has different social grant rules applying. The Child Care Grant is paid to the Child's Primary Caregiver.

This means the more private income the applicant has in their own income, the smaller the government pension they will qualify for.


The thresholds for income and assets when they look at a person's income in their bank account for the Sassa means test are:

Assets threshold

    A single person should not have assets totaling more than

      R 1 056 000.00

    A married person’s joint assets with his/her spouse should not total more than

       R 2 112 000.00

The value of a house that a person lives in is not taken into account, regardless who it belongs to.

Income threshold Based on Own Income or Married Income

    A single person should not earn more than R73 800 per year
    or R 6150 per month
    A married person’s combine income with his/her spouse should not be more than R 147600 per year,
    or R 12300 per month.

The income of a spouse is taken into account for the means test whether you are married in or out of community of property so that doesn't impact the social grant payment or asset threshold. Bank statements will be scrutinised.

However, if your spouse has deserted you for more than 3 months, then the marital status of the applicant is not taken into account for the means test. In this case you would need to attest to the desertion with an affidavit that accompanies the income and assets to allow Sassa grant pay to take place.

SRD grant appeals

What counts as income?

Income means money you get from somewhere else for the purposes of the means test. This can be:

  •     Renting out a room in your house for a fee
  •     Leasing out any other property for a fee
  •     From a private pension fund
  •     Earning money for work that you do
  •     Profits you make from farming or from any business
  •     Compensation for instance from UIF, Road Accident Fund or Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Fund (COIDA)
  •     Financial support received from relatives such as dependent children;
  •     Maintenance received as an ex-spouse or for a child

If one of the spouses already receives a grant, then that grant must not be counted as income for the means test when you apply for a grant.

A husband and wife can claim separate grants If either of the spouses already gets a grant, then that grant must not be counted as income when the other spouse applies for a grant. This will be assessed with the income and assets.

Your assets for purposes of the means test can be:

    The value of a house or land that you or your spouse own (if the property has a bond registered over it then it is regarded as having a nil value), remember that a home that you own is not counted as an asset if you live in it
    Bonds or loans or other outstanding debt
    Cash in the bank or any account with a bank or building society.

What can be deducted when calculating income?

You are allowed to deduct the following:

  •     Contributions to a pension fund or retirement annuity
  •     Income tax that you pay
  •     Payments made to a medical aid
  •     Payments made to the unemployment insurance fund

Who cannot get a grant?

Whether  you are elderly, disabled, or a war veteran, a grant may still be refused if you:

  •     Already get another social grant (except in the case of a Grant-in-Aid which is only given to a person if they are already receiving either an Older Person’s Grant, Disability Grant or War Veteran’s Grant)
  •     A mineworker who receives money in terms of the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act
  •     Get money for permanent disablement from the COIDA
  •     Are kept and cared for in a wholly funded state institution (like a state-run nursing home, a hospital or a  prison), although you may be entitled to a part if you are in a private institution which has a contract with the state
  •     Do not pass the means test.

How much money can you get?

The amount you get depends on your income. The amount also changes each year with the annual government budget.

Sassa bank details

SASSA Appeal Status

Are you trying to figure out what your SASSA appeal status means? If your appeal status is 'meanstest', keep reading to find out what this means for your application as well as your income and assets. 

SASSA has explained what the 'meanstest' status means for applicants waiting on feedback for their applications.  "Means testing refers to a process where any funds flowing into the account of an applicant, whose application was declined after reconsideration, are tested against the criteria." said SASSA. 

This means SASSA will then have to determine if funds flowed into the account of the applicant during the previous month or not - instead of the income and assets. If there are no funds, SASSA will approve the application and pay out the funds. 

SASSA Income Threshold For Means Test

Grants for older persons, disability and war veterans:

  • Income threshold: Not earn more than R86 280 if you are single or R172 560 if married (annual amounts)
  •  Asset threshold: Not have assets worth more than 1 227 600 if you are single or R2 455 200 if you are married.

Child Support Grants:

  • Single person: Not earn more than R 54 000 per year
  • Married person: Not earn more than R 108 000 per year

Care Dependency Grants: 

  • Single person: Not earn more than R 223 200 per year
  • Married person: Not earn more than R 446 400 per year

For more information about Sassa grants, click here. 


Suggested Article:

Sassa payments

Sassa has made it clear that Sassa grant payments commence on the second working day of the month, with many grant beneficiaries questioning this. Now, the social security agency has revealed why this happens.

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