Taking care of a child is very expensive. We realise this, and want to help you understand how our child support grant works, and who can apply for a South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) grant.
What is the child support grant?
The child support grant is aimed at lower income households. The aim of the grant is to help parents with the costs of the basic needs of their child. The grant is not meant to replace other income, but intended to bridge the gap in the cost of living.
Who can apply for the grant?
If you are the primary caregiver of a child (a parent, grandparent or anyone who is mainly responsible to look after the child) you will need the following to qualify for a grant:
- Be a South African citizen or have permanent residency.
- Not earn more than R39 600 a year (R3 300 a month) if you are single. If you are married, your combined income should not be above R79 200 a year (R6 600 a month).
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 is not paid to look after the child.
Remember if you are not the child’s parent, you must provide proof that you are the primary caregiver of the child. This must be in the form of an affidavit from the police, a social worker’s report and an affidavit from the biological parent or a letter from the principal of the school that the child attends.
You are unable to get a grant if you are:
- being paid to look after the child,
- are not the child’s primary caregiver,
- someone is already getting a grant for the child,
- you represent an institution which takes care of the child.
If you are not the parent of the child, then you have to get the consent of the child’s parent, guardian or custodian to receive this grant. You and the child must both be South African citizens. You must also both be living in South Africa when you apply. You cannot get this grant for more than 6 children.
Only people whose financial situation is below a certain level can get the grant. The test to decide whether you qualify is called a means test.
What is the grant amount?
The amount changes every year, but the child support grant is currently R330 a month.
What is the application process?
You can apply for the child support grant by filling in an application form at your nearest SASSA Office or counter service point of a Regional Office. Application is free.
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,
- your salary slip, bank statements for three months, or pension slips, and any other proof of income,
- if you are unemployed, your Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) card – “blue book” – or a discharge certificate from your previous employer,
- if you are 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 are not the child’s parent or guardian, information about how you have tried to get the parents to pay maintenance,
- information that shows that you are the child’s primary caregiver.
If you cannot make the application yourself, a friend or family member can bring a letter from you, and a doctor’s note saying why you can’t visit the office yourself. A home visit may then be arranged.
When you make the application, you should say how you would like the money to be paid. The money can be paid out in cash on specific days at a pay point, or the money can be 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, but the change will only happen a month later.
It will take about 30 working days for your application to be processed and checked, and either approved or refused. If your application is refused, you will get a letter explaining why it has been refused and how you can appeal.
If it is approved, you will start getting payments within 3 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 calling the free SASSA telephone number 0800 601 011.
Payments will stop if you die, if the child dies, when the child becomes too old, if someone else starts looking after the child, or if your circumstances change in any other way, so that you don’t qualify for the grant anymore.
Your grant will be reviewed from time to time to check this. You must also inform the department of any changes in your or your child’s circumstances.
Phone the toll-free help line at 0800 601 011 for information on:
- pay-out dates,
- 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