How to Apply for the SASSA Child Support Grant

By Craig Will •  Updated: 06/22/24 •  5 min read

The South African Child Support Grant, popularly known amongst its beneficiaries and South Africans as the SASSA grant, was first introduced in 1998.

Since its inception, the SASSA Child Support Grant has acted as a social cushion for the country’s economically vulnerable children.

According to the Minister of Social Development, Ms. Lindiwe Zulu, the SASSA Child Support Grant

reaches over 13 million children living in poverty every month.

Over the course of 14 years, the country’s social grant program has evolved into one of the most comprehensive social protection systems in the developing world.

With expansions to the Child Support Grant’s criteria for eligibility over this same period, including an increase in the age limit from seven to eighteen years old.

As well as adjustments to the income threshold to take inflation into account and improve equity.

How to Apply for the SASSA Child Support Grant?

If you fall into the large number of economically disadvantaged South Africans with children under the age of 18 or are a child yourself, you can apply for the social grant by means of the following steps.

Visit your nearest South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) office, accompanied by the following documents:

Your 13-digit bar-coded identity document (ID) alongside the birth certificate of the child you wish to cover under the SASSA Child Support Grant.

Should an ID for yourself or the child’s birth certificate be unavailable, you must complete an affidavit in the standard SASSA format in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths who is not a SASSA official.

Documented proof of any maintenance you receive for the care of the child. Proof of earnings.

Your marriage certificate, if applicable, and in the event of a divorce, the court order stating that you have custody of the child.

If one or both of the child’s parents are deceased or missing, you must present proof of such in the form of a death certificate or missing persons report where applicable.

Proceed to complete the application form in the presence of a SASSA official.

Once you have completed filling in the application form alongside the required documents, you will be given a receipt as proof that you applied.

Who qualifies for a SASSA child support grant?

The qualification criteria for a SASSA Child Support Grant follows a strict set of guidelines set forth by the Department of Social Development and is also informed by South Africa’s unique socioeconomic needs.

To qualify for a social grant, you must be the child’s primary caregiver, such as a parent, grandparent, or the juvenile head of the family who is above the age of 16.

Should you not fall into any of the above categories, yet you are still the child’s primary caregiver, you are encouraged to submit proof of your claim in the form of an affidavit from the police or a social worker’s report.

You must be a South African citizen or permanent resident and not earn more than R52 800 per year if single and R105 600 per year if married.

The child must be under the age of 18 years, not cared for in a state institution, and must reside with the primary caregiver permanently.

It is also very important that both you and the child reside in South Africa on a permanent basis.

How much is the SASSA child grant?

Should you meet the SASSA Child Grant eligibility criteria and be approved as a beneficiary by way of the means test, you will receive R450 a month for each child.

With the applicable laws in place that limit the amount of children who can benefit per beneficiary to 6 children.

The Department of Social Development also increased the threshold for poor South Africans who find themselves as caregivers to children who have been orphaned as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The primary caregivers of eligible children orphaned by the pandemic are subject to receive R720 per month according to the latest social grant criterion.

How long does it take for child support grant to be approved?

The average approval time for a SASSA Child Support Grant from the date of applying is a maximum of three months for your application to be improved.

Should your grant be approved, you will be paid from the date on which you applied.

If your application is not approved, SASSA will inform you in writing as to why your application was unsuccessful.

If you disagree with SASSA’s decision, you can appeal it to the Minister of Social Development at the national office of the Department of Social Development.

You must appeal your declined application within 90 days of being notified of its status with SASSA.

How much should a father pay for child support in South Africa?

Although South African law doesn’t provide an exact amount of money regarding child support, they however provide the legal framework from which estimates can be drawn.

As per the law, there is a means test by which a father can be held accountable for child support, which for the most part, requires that the father has the means to pay maintenance, as well as that the claimed amount be reasonable.

Some of the expenses that are covered by South African law in the event of a maintenance claim include, amongst other things:

The costs of necessities such as food, clothing, and housing, as well as paying for a proper education.

Courts may also order that the father contributes to the payment of laying-in expenses and maintenance from the date of the child’s birth up to the date on which the maintenance order is granted.

The amount of child support that a father will pay is contingent on his salary, but on average monthly payments often amount to about 12% of one’s monthly income for a single child.

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