How to get child support grants in South Africa
If you are needy, you can get a grant to help you raise the child you look after. Here's everything you need to know, from the South Africa Government Services.
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How do I know if I qualify for a child support grant?

You must:

  • be the child’s primary caregiver (eg a parent, grandparent or a child over 16 heading a family). Note: If you are not the child's parent, proof that you are the child’s primary caregiver must be supplied through an affidavit from a police official, a social worker’s report, an affidavit from the biological parent or a letter from the school principal from the child's school.
  • be a South African citizen or permanent resident.
  • not earn more than R39 600 per year (R3 300 per month) if you are single. If you are married, your combined income should not be above R79 200 per year (figures correct December 2015).

The child must:

  • have been born after 31 December 1993
  • not be cared for in a state institution
  • reside in South Africa with the primary caregiver who is not paid to look after the child.

Note: You cannot get this grant for more than 6 children who are not your biological or legally adopted children.

How do I apply for a child support grant?

Go to the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) office nearest to where you live and bring the following:

  • Your 13 digit-bar-coded identity document (ID) and the child’s birth certificate.
  • If you don’t have an ID or the child’s birth certificate, you must submit:
  • 1. An affidavit on a standard SASSA format in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths who is not a SASSA official.

    2. A sworn statement by a reputable person (eg councilor, traditional leader, social worker, minister of religion) who knows the applicant and child.

    3. Proof that you have applied for an ID and/or birth certificate at the Department of Home Affairs.

    4. A temporary ID issued by the Department of Home Affairs (if applicable).

    5. Baptismal certificate if available.

    6. Road to Health clinic card if available.

    7. School report if available.

    • Proof of any maintenance you receive for the child.
  • Proof of your earnings.
  • Your marriage certificate if applicable.
  • If you are divorced, the court order saying that you have custody of the child.
  • If one or both parents are dead or missing, the death certificate of the deceased or proof that the parent is missing, eg a missing person's report from the police.
  • Complete the application form in the presence of the SASSA officer (note that only you as the applicant or a SASSA official can complete the application form). Application forms are not available online, but you can get them from your nearest social security (SASSA) office (see below).

    You will be given a receipt. Keep it as proof that you applied.

    Also read: How to register your newborn baby's birth

    Also read: How to register your child's birth if you missed the 30-day deadline

    How much does it cost?

    Applying for a child support grant is free.

    How much child support grant can I get? 

    At the moment (December 2015), the amount you will get is R330 per month per child.

    How long will I wait until the first payout is made?

    It may take up to 3 months to process your application.

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

    How will I be paid?

    The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will pay the grant to you through one of the following methods:

    • cash at a specific pay point on a particular day
    • electronic deposit into your bank or Postbank account (the bank may charge you for the service), or institution acting as administrator of the grant.

    Note: If you are unable to collect the money yourself, you can appoint a procurator at the SASSA office, or give someone power of attorney to collect the grant on your behalf.

    When may the child’s grant be reviewed?

    SASSA can decide if the child’s grant must be reviewed. Your income as declared when you apply for the grant will form the basis for this decision. You will be notified 3 months in advance of the date the review will take place or the date on which the life certificate is due.

    If you receive your money through the bank, an institution or procurator, you are required to fill in a life certificate for the child at the SASSA offices every year.  

    When may the child’s grant be suspended?

    The following may result in the suspension of the child’s grant:

    •     when your circumstances change
    •     the outcome of a review
    •     if you fail to co-operate when the child’s grant is reviewed
    •     when you commit fraud or misrepresent the child
    •     if there was a mistake when the child’s grant was approved
    •     if the child is no longer in your care.

    When will the child’s grant lapse?

    The grant will lapse if:

    •     the child passes away
    •     the child is admitted to a state institution
    •     the caregiver doesn’t claim it for 3 consecutive months
    •     the child is absent from the country
    •     at the end of the month in which the child turns 18 years.

    What if my application is not approved?

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

    If you disagree with the decision, you can appeal to the Minister of Social Development at the national office of the Department of Social Development. You must appeal within 90 days of being notified that your application was unsuccessful.

    Who to contact:

    Click here to visit the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) website or call 0800 601 011.

    • National office (Pretoria, Gauteng): 012 400 2000, SASSA House, Cnr Beatrix and Pretorius Streets, Arcadia
    • Pretoria, Gauteng: 012 400 2000, 501 Prodinsa Building, Corner Beatrix and Pretorious Streets
    • Johannesburg, Gauteng: 011 355 7600, SASSA Offices, 69-75 Commissioner Street
    • East London, Eastern Cape: 043 707 6300, SASSA Offices, 1st Floor Waverly Office Park, 3-33 Phillip Frame Road
    • Bloemfontein, Free State: 051 409 0853, SASSA Offices, African Life Building, 75 St Andrews Street
    • Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal: 033 342 3580, SASSA Offices, 1 Bank Street
    • Polokwane, Limpopo: 015 293 6235, SASSA Offices, 18 College Street
    • Nelspruit, Mpumalanga: 013 752 5110, SASSA Offices, No.2 Bester Street, Progress House
    • Mafikeng, North West: 018 381 7400, SASSA Offices, Master Centre, Industrial Mafikeng
    • Kimberley, Northern Cape: 053 802 4900, SASSA Offices, Cecil Sussman
    • Cape Town, Western Cape: 021 469 0200, SASSA Offices, Golden Acre, Adderly Street

    Source: South African Government website

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