Use the following link:


SASSA and social grants: Everything you need to know

By Erene Roux
The SASSA files: From the requirements to the application process, here is everything you need to know about social grants in South Africa.
It is believed that social grants support 33% of South Africans.
According to Jannie Rossouw, the head of school of economic and business sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, grants are very important in South Africa due to the extent of poverty, the consequent number of recipients, and the amount paid out.
Grant money is not only used to support beneficiaries but also to provide broader support to the citizens of South Africa.


Based on research he conducted more than one-third of South Africans depend – directly and indirectly – on grant payments. Any disruption of grant payments will therefore have a massively detrimental impact on a large number of poor households.


Social grant applications are administered by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).
According to the not-for-profit news agency GroundUp,  SASSA is mandated by the South African Social Security Agency Act of 2004 to “ensure the provision of comprehensive social security services against vulnerability and poverty within the constitutional legislative framework”.
In order to understand the do’s and dont’s of these grants, here is a rundown of everything we know so far:
The Social Assistance Act of 2004 and regulations to the act provide the legal framework for the administration of seven social grants.
Grants are targeted at categories of people who are vulnerable to poverty and in need of state support. These are older people, people with disabilities and children.
Also, the Social Relief of Distress award provides immediate temporary assistance to people in dire need of financial support and is given to people in the form of vouchers, food parcels or money for a three month period.
Grants available include:

  • Child Support Grant
  • Older Person’s Grant
  • Disability Grant
  • Grant-in-Aid
  • Care Dependency Grant
  • War Veteran’s Grant
  • Foster Child Grant


Applicants for social grants must be South African citizens, permanent residents or refugees and currently living in South Africa.
Except for the Foster Child Grant and the Grant in Aid, social grants in South Africa are currently “means tested”. This refers to the process of assessing the value of your assets and income and is different for single and married people in SA.
You will only be eligible for a grant if your income and assets fall below a certain threshold. This threshold is different for all the grants and will depend on whether or not you are married.
The amount you receive for your Old Age Grant and the Disability Grant is also determined by the means test and you may not necessarily receive the maximum amount offered by SASSA.

If you do some work or have another source of income but still really need social assistance you can still apply for a grant. You must declare all your income and assets to SASSA. If you receive the disability grant, old-age grant or war veterans grant your monthly money will be reduced according to how much money you earn.
If you are admitted to a state institution for an extended period of time, the value of your Old Age Grant, Disability Grant or War Veteran’s Grant will be reduced to 25% of its value from the 4th month following your admission until you are discharged.


  • To receive this grant you must be the primary care giver of a child who also lives with you in South Africa.
  • If you are not the biological parent of the child, you must provide proof of your primary caregiver status – such as as affidavit from a police official, a social worker’s report, an affidavit from the biological parent of the child, or a letter from the school principal of the child.
  • Children must be under the age of 18. Children must not be cared for in a state institution. You cannot apply for more than six non-biological or legally adopted children.
  • In order to qualify for the grant you need to meet the requirements of the means test.
  • You can read more over here.


  • The Care Dependency Grant is given to the caregivers of children with disabilities.
  • The child must be found permanently and severely medically disabled by a medical officer and must be under the age of 18. The child cannot be cared for in a state institution.
  • In order to qualify for the grant you need to meet the requirements of the means test.
  • You can read more over here.


  • To meet the requirements for this grant both you and the child you care for must live in South Africa.
  • The child must be under the age of 18 years old and there must be a court order indicating that you have been designated the foster carer for the child.
  • There is no means test for foster parents. The child must remain in the care of the foster parent.
  • You can read more over here.


  • In order to qualify for this grant you must be between the age of 18 and 59 years.
  • You must be found medically unfit for work by a medical officer because of a mental or physical disability. The grant is available on a permanent or temporary basis for between six and twelve months.
  • When your temporary grant expires and you have not recovered sufficiently to return to work you will need to apply for the grant again. Your permanent grant can be reviewed in order to assess whether you are in fact still disabled.
  • You cannot be the recipient of other grants, and must not be cared for in a state institution.
  • In order to qualify for the grant you need to meet the requirements of the means test.
  • You can read more over here.


  • If you are living on a social grant but can’t look after yourself you can get an additional grant to pay the person who takes full-time care of you.
  • The Grant in Aid is an extra grant for people receiving disability, older persons or war veteran’s grants who, because of their mental or physical disabilities, are unable to look after themselves and need to pay a full-time caregiver. In order to receive this grant, you will need to be assessed by a medical officer.
  • You cannot receive this grant if you are being cared for in a state institution.
  • You can read more over here.


  • You can apply for this grant if you are 60 years or older. You cannot be a recipient of other grants, and you must not be under the care of a state institution.
  • In order to qualify for the grant, you need to meet the requirements of the means test.
  • You can read more over here.


  • To qualify for this grant you must have fought in World War I, World War II or the Korean War. You must also be over the age of 60 or disabled. You cannot be a recipient of other grants and must not be cared for in a state institution.
  • In order to qualify for the grant you need to meet the requirements of the means test.
  • You can read more over here.


Social relief of distress is temporary assistance for people in the following situations:

  • You need help while you wait for your children’s grants to be processed
  • A crisis or disaster has occurred (e.g. your house has burnt down)
  • You do not qualify for a grant, and you are in a desperate situation
  • You are disabled for a period of less than six months and therefore not eligible for a disability grant
  • You are unable to get maintenance from the other parent of your child or children
  • The breadwinner in the family has died
  • The breadwinner has been sent to prison for a short time (less than six months)
  • You have been affected by a disaster, but the area or community in which you live has not been declared a disaster area.
  • You can read more over here.

Social Relief of Distress is issued monthly for a maximum period of three months. An extension of a further three months may be granted in exceptional cases. You cannot apply for this grant if you are already the recipient of a different grant.


You should apply at the SASSA office nearest to where you live. If you are too old or too sick to apply for the grant at the office you may have a friend or family member apply on your behalf. You can also arrange for a home visit, although you may wait a while for this.
The application forms must be completed in the presence of a SASSA officer. When you hand in your application you will be given a receipt as proof of application. The application is free. You will receive written notification if your application is denied. You have the right to ask for reconsideration and you can also lodge an appeal within 90 days.
Applicants must provide proof of identity. If you do not have a 13-digit bar-coded Identity Book or birth certificate for children, you may provide alternative documentation as proof of identity. Contact your nearest SASSA office to find out which alternative documents are accepted.
Other documents required for application: If married, provide ID of your spouse and proof of spousal relationship (marriage certificate, divorce order, a sworn statement, or spouse’s death certificate). Sworn statement or affidavit stating the income and assets of yourself and your spouse. Supporting documents to prove your income and assets. You must also provide proof of the income of dependent children.
The application process takes up to 90 days and your first payment will include back-pay for the time you wait to receive the grant. This is calculated from the first day of application.
Note: When affidavits are required, SASSA will provide the affidavits to be completed.


If your grant application is successful you will receive a SASSA card and a bank account where your money will be deposited each month.
This article was originally published by THE SOUTH AFRICAN website
The end!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *