Taking care of a child is very expensive. We realise this and want to help you understand how the 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 to assist parents with the costs of the basic needs of their child. The grant isn’t meant to replace other income but intended to bridge the gap in the cost of living.
Who can apply for the grant?
If you’re the primary caregiver of a child (a parent, grandparent or anyone who’s mainly responsible to look after the child) you’ll need the following to qualify for a grant:
- Be a South African citizen or have permanent residency.
- 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’re not the parent, then you’ll have 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.
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.
You and the child must live in South Africa. You can’t get the grant for more than 6 children who aren’t your legally adopted or biological children.
You’re unable to get a grant if you’re:
- being paid to look after the child,
- not the child’s primary caregiver,
- someone is already getting a grant for the child,
- you represent an institution that takes care of the child.
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’s the grant amount?
The amount changes every year, but the child support grant is currently R440 per month per child. Please see payment arrangement during Covid-19.
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’ll 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 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’re the child’s primary caregiver.
When you make the application, you should say how you’d 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.
If the grant is refused, you can appeal.
If it’s approved, you’ll start getting payments within 3 months. The payments will be backdated to the day you applied for the grant.
Payments will stop 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.
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.
SASSA shared the following news on 24 April 2020. ” #Covid19SocialRelief: R300 per child will be added to Child Support Grants in May only, making it R740 per child. From June until Oct 2020 this grant will go back to R440 per child but each caregiver will get an additional R500 regardless of the number of children they receive a grant for
All other grants will increase by R250 for a period of 6 months #SASSACARES”
Please contact the SASSA toll free number: 0800 60 10 11, or Email: GrantEnquiriesWC@sassa.gov.za for more details. You can also follow them on Facebook or Twitter
South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)
Phone the toll-free helpline 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’s happened to your application,
- how you can also report any fraud or corruption.
- SASSA call centre 0800 60 10 11
- Call centre available working hours only
- Link to Postbank call centre for SASSA/SAPO card related enquiries