If you are the parent, guardian, foster parent or custodian of any child between the ages of 1 year old and 18 years old who needs full-time care because of mental or physical disability, you can get a monthly payment from the government called a Care Dependency Grant. The child must need and have permanent home care.
You must both be living in South Africa at the time of applying for the grant. You must also be looking after the child legally as a parent, guardian, foster parent or custodian parent, so you must either be the child’s parent, or have a court order which says you must look after the child. Unless you are the foster parent of the disabled child, both you and the child must be South African citizens to get the grant. The applicant must submit a medical/assessment report confirming permanent, severe disability.
Only people whose financial situation is below a certain level can get the grant. The test to decide is called a means test. The means test for the care dependency grant depends on the income of the entire family. In 2011 the means test for the Care Dependency Grant said that you can get the grant if the joint income of the applicant (you), spouse and child is less than R273 600 a year. You can also get a grant if you are a single person with an income of less than R136 800 a year. The income of foster parents will not be taken into consideration.
You cannot get the grant if the child is in a psychiatric hospital or receives care from a treatment centre. You also cannot get the Child Support Grant or the Care Dependency Grant. You can only get one of these kinds of grants for the child. However, you can get a Care Dependency Grant as well as a Foster Child Grant for the same child.
The amount of the grant changes every year. In 2012 the grant amount is R1 200 per month.
You can apply for the care dependency by filling in an application form at your nearest South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) or counter service point at a Regional Office. You do not need to pay anything to make the application.
Your application form will be completed in the presence of an officer from SASSA. When your application is completed you will be given a receipt. The receipt must be kept as proof of your application.
You will also need to show certain documents and provide some information, including:
Your South African identity document (ID), which must be bar-coded.
The child’s birth certificate, which must have an ID number.
A medical report for the child, which must say what the child is able to do. This is known as a functional assessment.
If you are the foster parent of the child, the court order making you the foster parent.
Proof of your marital status, such as a marriage certificate, divorce papers, or a death certificate of your spouse, or a sworn statement (affidavit) if you have never married.
Proof of the income for you and your spouse, such as UIF card (‘blue card’), wage certificate, or pension details.
Proof of the income of the child.
The money can be paid out in cash on specific days at designated paypoints, or you can get the money paid electronically into your bank account. Remember that normal bank charges apply to any money going in and out of your bank account. You can decide to change the payment method at any time by filling in a form at a Welfare office, but the change will only happen a month later.
It will take about thirty working days for your application to be processed and checked and either approved or refused. You will get a letter saying whether your application has been approved or refused, and if it is refused the letter will tell you how to appeal.
If it is approved, you will start getting payments within three months. The payments will be backdated to the day you applied for the grant. You can find out what has happened to your application and when you can expect payment by telephoning the SASSA toll-free helpline on 0800 601 011.
The grant will be cancelled if you die, if the child dies, if the child is admitted into psychiatric care or rehabilitation centre or any other institution, or when the child turns 18 years old. Once the child turns 18 years old, the child can apply for a disability grant. Your grant will be reviewed from time to time to check this. You must inform SASSA of any changes in your or your child’s circumstances.
Department of Social Development
South African Social Security Agency
Toll-free help line: 0800 601 011 for information on:
Qualifying rules for all government grants.
District office addresses and contact numbers.
For help with what has happened to your application.
How you can also report any fraud or corruption.
Topics you find on Page 2?
• Unsuccessful application
• Methods of payment
• Suspension of grants
• Restoration of grants
• Main reasons for lapsing grants
• Social Relief of Distress
• Amount of Grants
• Address List