The Child Support Grant (CSG) is intended to provide for the basic needs of South African children whose parents or primary care-givers are not able to provide sufficient support due to unemployment or poverty.
Parents and primary caregivers qualify for the child support grant if their child is under the age of 18. They may apply for the CSG if they qualify as per the means test.
The amount of the grant is R 380.00 per month for every child who qualifies.
It does not matter whether you are the parent of the child or not, or whether the parents of the child are living together, whether they are married or not married, if one the parents is in prison, or if the mother or father receives another state grant.
Who can apply for a CSG?
A primary care-giver can apply for the Child Support Grant on behalf of a child or children in his or her care. A primary care-giver can be a parent, grandparent, or anyone who is mainly responsible for looking after and providing for the basic needs of the child. A primary care-giver must be older than 16 years old and does not need to be family of the child.
The grant will be paid for all qualifying biological or legally adopted children. In the case of non-biological children and who are not legally adopted, the grant will be paid for a maximum of six children.
The grant is paid to the primary care-giver. In all cases the grant follows the child. This means that if someone else becomes the primary care-giver, then the grant goes to that person.
The primary care-giver is responsible for ensuring that the child is fed, clothed, immunized, given access to health-care and for using the money to benefit the child. *SASSA must be allowed to have access to the child at all reasonable times.
The child’s ability to get the grant will depend on the financial situation of the primary care-giver and their spouse. If the primary care-giver is a single parent, they should first try to get money from the child’s other parent through applying for a maintenance order.
The person who applies must be:
- The primary care-giver of the child
- Over the age of 16 years
- Living with the child in South Africa at the time of the application for the grant
- South African citizen or a permanent resident
- Pass the means test
A primary care-giver cannot apply for a grant if:
- They are being paid to look after a child
- Someone else is already getting a grant for the child
- They represent an institution which takes care of the child
- They do not qualify in terms of the means test
What is the means test to qualify for a Child Support Grant?
In order to qualify for a Child Support Grant, the primary care-giver must pass a means test to see if the child is eligible for the grant. The asset threshold test is the same for all other grants but the income threshold differs.
- A single person should not earn more than R 39 600.00 per year or R 3 300.00 per month
- A married person’s joint income with his/her spouse should not be more than R 79 200.00 per year or R 6 600.00 per month
How can a primary care-giver apply for a Child Support Grant?
The process for applying for the Child Support Grant is the same as for all other grants.
The following documents are required for the application:
- Primary care-givers South African identity document
- Child’s identity document or birth certificate
- Proof that the child has been immunized
- Proof of any maintenance received from a parent of the child, or proof of efforts made to obtain maintenance from a parent
- Proof of your and your spouse’s earnings; if you are working, the employer must fill in a special form for an employer’s report
- If married, a marriage certificate
- If divorced, the court order giving details of custody of the child
- If the primary care-giver is not the parent of the child, a letter or affidavit from the parent of the child giving the person permission to take care of the child
- A death certificate if one or both parents is dead. If the father or mother is missing, proof of this, like a missing person’s report from the police and sworn statements from you and another family member
- A school report is not a requirement for application for a CSG or for ongoing receipt of a grant
All copies of documents must be certified. This means they must be signed and stamped by a police officer or any other commissioner of oaths.
The applicant will be given a copy of the application or a dated receipt signed by the SASSA officer. This provides proof of the application.
If the application is not approved, a letter will be sent to give reasons for the rejection. You have the right to appeal l against this decision.
Payment of a Child Support Grant
There is supposed to be a waiting period of only up to 3 months before the primary care-giver receives payment. The first payment of the grant should include all the money from the date of application.
Payment can be made in the way that suits you:
- Cash payment on specific days at a pay point
- Electronic payment into a bank account
*Information obtained courtesy –Blacksash