With the number of Covid-19 cases rising and job insecurity and salary cuts across various economic sectors, making ends meet has become tougher than it’s ever been. Parents feeling the pinch of income loss struggle to feed their children, however, government provisions have been made for this.
In April, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a plan of action to combat rising poverty levels. Grant beneficiaries can expect an increase in monthly grant amounts, and in May, an additional R300 per care giver has been added to the monthly amount of R440. Thereafter, an adittional R500 per caregiver will be added until October.
Health-e News compiled a handy list of things to know about child support grants based on the Department of Social Development’s guidelines.
What is a child support grant?
A child support grant is a set amount of money given to parents by the South African government. These parents/caregivers need financial assistance taking care of their children. Grants, although usually distributed per child, will be given per caregiver from June to October.
How long does the application take to process?
It may take up to three months to process your application. If your grant is approved, you will be paid from the date on which you applied.
How much does the application cost?
The service is free.
Child support grant qualification criteria:
- Be the child’s primary caregiver;
- If you are not the child’s parent, you must provide proof that you are the child’s primary; caregiver through an affidavit, a social worker’s report, an affidavit from the biological parent or a letter from the principal of the school attended by the child;
- Be a South African citizen or permanent resident; and,
- Not earn more than R48 000 per year if you are single. If you are married, your combined income should not be above R96 000 per year.
The child must:
- Be under the age of 18 years;
- Live with the primary caregiver who is not paid to look after the child; and,
- Both you and the child must live in South Africa.
Note: You cannot get this grant for more than six children who are not your biological or legally adopted children.
What is the application process?
- Go to your nearest SASSA office and bring the following:
- your identity document (ID) and the child’s birth certificate. If you don’t have an ID or the child’s birth certificate you must complete an affidavit in a standard SASSA format in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths who is not a SASSA official.
- Bring the following documents:
- a sworn statement by a reputable person who knows the applicant and child;
- a temporary ID issued by the Department of Home Affairs (if applicable);
- baptismal certificate if available;
- road to health clinic card if available;
- 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; and,
- If one or both parents are dead or missing, the death certificate of the deceased or proof that the parent is missing, e.g. a missing person’s report from the police.
- Complete the application form in the presence of the SASSA official (note that only you as the applicant or a SASSA official may complete the application form).
- You will be given a receipt. Keep it as proof that you applied.
Once approved, how will you be paid?
- cash at a specific pay point on a particular day;
- electronic deposit into your bank or Postbank account, but this may have bank fees; or,
- an institution acting as administrator of the grant.
Note: If you are unable to collect the money yourself, you can give someone power of attorney to collect the grant on your behalf.
What if your application is not approved?
You will be notified in writing about an unsuccessful appeal. In this case of rejection, you have the right to appeal the decision 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.
When may the child’s grant be reviewed?
SASSA has the right to review your grant at any time of their choosing. The basis of this review will be the income presented in your application. Three months’ notice will be given before the review. During the notice period provide proof of life to SASSA.
When may the child’s grant be suspended?
If you commit fraud, misrepresent the child or the child is no longer in your care the grant will be suspended. This also applied if you fail to cooperate when the child’s grant is reviewed or the circumstances under the application change.
When will the child’s grant lapse?
The grant will only lapse if the child passes away, is admitted into a state institution, leaves the country, the caregiver doesn’t claim the grant for three consecutive months, or the child turns 18.
What forms to complete
Application forms are not available online, but you can get them from your nearest SASSA office. According to the Level Four lockdown risk adjusted procedures for grant beneficiaries, Wednesday and Thursdays are the allocated days for new child support and foster child grant applications.
Who to contact for queries?
SASSA Toll free: 0800 60 10 11