Being an anomaly among the developing nations, South Africa recognizes the need to create an equitable society by wealth distribution. It does this by having a well-established social welfare system that offers social grants to the less fortunate members of the society. Every month there are approximately 17 million SASSA grants payouts in South Africa. Read on to know more about the currently available educational grants.
Social grants in South Africa are guided by section 24 through to 29 of the Bills of Rights of the constitution and are directed by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA). Are you in need of financial assistance? Here is some useful information for individuals that receive SASSA financial help or are in need of one, as you will discover all that you need to know about the qualifying SASSA grant requirements as well as the procedure for applying for these social grants in South Africa.
Types of SASSA grants 2019
According to the Social Assistance Act 2004, there are seven types of SASSA financial help offered in the country. These include grants for:
- Child support
- Care dependency
- Foster child
- Older persons
- War Veterans, and
- Grant in aid
Who qualifies for a SASSA grant?
All of the social, non-refundable government financial aids are ‘means tested’. By means tested, we mean that your income and assets are evaluated, and you will be eligible for the grants if you fall below the given limit.
One of the questions most individuals seeking government financial aid always ask is how much must you earn to qualify for a SASSA grant? The answer is that SASSA evaluates the income of the applicant as well as their assets to ascertain if they fall within the income assistance threshold. For example, for child support assistance, it was determined in April 2017 that unmarried parents whose annual income was below R 48,000 (R4,000 monthly) qualify for a social grant. As such, married people whose combined annual income is below 96,000 (R8,000 monthly) also qualify for a social grant. The amount changes with the type of social grant, and below we have given the SASSA grants increase 2018 for each category.
What are the requirements to apply for SASSA grant?
Here are some of the prerequisites needed to qualify for a social financial help depending on the type that one is applying for.
1. Child Support Grant
How much is the SASSA Child Grant? Previously the monthly SASSA payout for child support was R400 but as of October 1st, 2018 it was raised to R410. So, who qualifies for child grant in South Africa?
- The main caregiver must be a South African native, permanent resident or refugee.
- Both the applicant and the child must be residing in the country; the kid must be below 18 years of age.
- The applicant must present the child’s birth certificate.
- In case you are not the biological parent of the kid, you need to provide evidence that you are the primary caregiver. This can be an affidavit from a police officer, a social worker report, correspondence from a school’s head or an affidavit from the biological parent.
- The kid or kids must have been born after December 31st, 1993.
- The applicant and their spouse must fall within the required financial threshold.
- The applicant must provide a 13 digit bar code smart card ID.
- If you are an adoptive parent, you cannot apply for more than six non-biological kids.
- The applicant needs to present the child’s school attendance certificate as it will help to ensure they stay in school and complete their studies. However, not providing it does not mean that you will be denied the child support financial help.
2. Care Dependency Grant
This type of financial aid is offered to real parents, foster-parents, or primary caregivers of children with disabilities. The payout value per month for this grant was increased from R1,690 to R1,700 from October 1st, 2018.
- The applying party must be a South African citizen, permanent resident or immigrant.
- Both the applicant and child must reside in South Africa.
- Children must be below 18 years old.
- Proof of a medical or assessment report showing the kid’s permanent severe disability.
- The care-dependent kid(s) must not be permanently cared for in a government institution.
- The applicant must provide a birth certificate for the child.
- The applicant needs to submit a 13-digit bar code smart card ID.
3. Foster Child Grant
The payout for Foster Child government financial aid is set at R 960 per month.
- As the foster guardian, you need to be a South African national, permanent resident, or refugee.
- You and the child must be residents of South Africa.
- You must provide official court documents indicating that you are the foster parent.
- No means test is needed for this financial help as the kid must remain in your care as the foster caregiver.
- You must present the foster kid’s birth certificate.
- You need to provide a 13-digit bar code smart card ID.
4. SASSA Disability Grant
Disability Grant payout was increased from R1,690 to R1,700 on October 1st, 2018. To qualify for this grant, you must:
- Be either a South Africa resident or a refugee permanently living in the country.
- Be aged between 18 and 59 years.
- Have evidence that a doctor found you unfit for work due to a mental or physical disability.
- Have a medical report done within the last three months of your application date.
- Your spouse must meet the means test threshold.
- Not be cared or maintained in a state facility.
- Provide a 13-digit bar code smart card ID.
- The disability financial help can either be permanent or temporary. In case of the temporary that is valid for 6 to 12 months, you need to re-apply if it expires before you have fully recovered to return to work.
5. Older Person’s Grant (old age pension)
How much is the SASSA grant for pensioners? The highest payout for SASSA pension financial aid is R1,690 but if one is over 75 years old, the value is set at R 1,710 and can go as higher as even R1,720. So, who qualifies for a SASSA pension?
- Applicants need to be citizens or permanent residents of South Africa.
- Applicant must be 60 years or older.
- The applicant must not be maintained in a state institution.
- The applicant must not be a recipient of other SASSA monetary help.
- The applicant, as well as their spouse, must fall within the means test threshold.
- The Applicant needs to submit a 13-digit bar coded smart Identification card.
6. War Veterans Grant
The highest payout for this SASSA financial aid is R1,720 every month. To qualify for War Veterans Grant, the applicant:
- Must be a South African national or a permanent resident.
- Must be aged 60 years and above or disabled.
- Must have served in the Second World War or the Korean War.
- And his or her spouse must meet the means test conditions.
- Must not be cared for in a public facility.
- Must not be a recipient of any other social grants.
- Provide a 13-digit code smart ID card.
7. Grant in aid
Grant in aid is a form of social grant offered to individuals (war veterans, older people or people with disabilities) who cannot take care of themselves. The aim is to allow one to pay a full-time caregiver to look after them. The value of this financial help increased from R400 per month to R410 as of October 1st, 2018. To qualify, the applicant
- must be a South African citizen or permanently residing in the country as a refugee and receives a disability financial aid, old age pension, or war veteran grant. Also, the applicants should be in need of 24/7 attendance by another individual due to their mental or physical incapabilities.
- You must be assessed by a medical practitioner to confirm that you cannot take care of yourself.
- You must not be cared for in a government facility or institution whose services are subsidized by the state.
Also, the South African government offers temporary financial assistance known as Social Relief of Distress to individuals who desperately require material assistance and cannot attend to even the most basic needs for themselves or their families. This aid is given every month for a maximum of 3 months, but in exceptional cases, extensions can be granted. Applicants need to be citizens or permanent residents in the country that:
- Are waiting for any of the relevant governmental financial assistance above to be approved.
- Are medically incapable of undertaking payable employment for less than six months or have been affected by a disaster.
- Have been left unattended by a deceased breadwinner, or physically or mentally incapable breadwinner admitted in a government-funded institution.
- Do not receive maintenance from persons legally required to do so and can prove that trying to obtain such assistant has not been successful. Also, they do not receive aid from any organization.
How to apply for a SASSA grant
Now that you understand the different social financial assistance offered by the South African government, how do I apply for a SASSA grant? Here is the procedure for applying for any of the above SASSA financial aids:
- Visit the nearest SASSA branch office to apply for a social grant. In case you are weak, sick, or too old to physically go, you can send a family member or a friend with a letter authorizing the application. Alternatively, you can request a SASSA official through a call to conduct a home visit.
- The SASSA official will finish registering you for the financial assistance and offer you a receipt which you need to keep as evidence of the application. You do not have to pay a dime for this process as it is free of charge.
- In case your request is unsuccessful, SASSA must write a letter explaining its decision.
- Individuals have the right to ask SASSA to review its decision if they feel it is unfair. Please note that this request has to be done within 90 days after receiving the application rejection notification. If one is still not given financial aid, they can appeal to the Minister of Social Development.
- All applicants of social grants must have proof of identity. In case you do not have the 13-digit bar code ID card or a birth certificate for the kids, you need to contact SASSA to know which substitute documents can be used for the same purpose.
- Once your application is successful, you will be issued a SASSA card as well as a bank account where the cash will be deposited every month. The card offered is linked to MasterCard; hence, you can use it to make purchases, withdraw funds, as well as other transactions without incurring additional costs.
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With the fine details above, you should be well equipped with information on how to apply and who qualifies for SASSA grants. Keep checking SASSA grants news for latest developments, and for more SASSA grant enquiries, contact the institution using their hotline 0800 601 011.