Social Grants & Child Support

Educate yourself about when you are entitled to apply for a social grant and what the procedure is to obtain a grant, amongst much more.

What is a Social Grant?

The South African Constitution recognises everyone's general right to socio-economic security. This right requires the Government by law to work towards giving South Africans, and all who live in the country, access to various basic services, such as healthcare, water, electricity, and food amongst many more. One of the ways the Government helps people get these services is through giving out social grants (i.e money) to people in need. 

Social grants are paid and administered by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) on behalf of the Government. A person can find their closes SASSA branch, ask any other questions by either:

  • Calling the toll free number at : 0800 60 10 11; or
  • Emailing SASSA at GrantEnquiries@sassa.gov.za

Types of social grants: 

The following are types of social grants:

  • State Pension;
  • Disability Grant;
  • War Veteran’s Grant;
  • Grant-in-Aid;
  • Child Support Grant;
  • Care Dependency Grant; and
  • Foster Child Grant.

State Pension

A state pension is a grant given to elderly people to help them look after themselves and their families. 

Who can apply? 

A person may apply for a state pension if:

  1. The person applying is a South African citizen, a permanent resident or a refugee;
  2. The person applying is 60 years old or older; and
  3. The person applying is currently living in South Africa.

Where to apply? 

In order to apply for a state pension, a person must apply at their nearest South African Social Security Agency office. If the person applying is too old or sick to travel to their local South African Social Security Agency branch, then a family member or friend can apply on their behalf. The person applying can also request a South African Social Security Agency officer to conduct a home visit. 

Documents needed: 

This documentation will be required:

  • The ID document of the person that is applying, and the ID document of their spouse if they have one. The person can either use their original, or a copy that is certified.

These documents may be required:

  • A written statement in which a person sets out their income and assets. This statement is called an "affidavit" and can be made at any police station or at the South African Social Security Agency;
  • A proof of income of the children of the person applying; and/or
  • Any other documents that can be specified by the Social Security Agency.

Requirements to qualify for a state pension: 

In order to qualify for a state pension:

  1. The person applying must not be a recipient of any other grants;
  2. The person applying must not be maintained or cared for by a State institution; and
  3. The person applying must meet the requirements of the Means Test as follows:

Means test for state pension: 

The Means Test is a test the Government uses to see if the person applying needs social assistance. In order to pass the test:

  • If the person applying is single, their income cannot be more than R 78 120 per year or R 6 510 per month, and their assets cannot be worth more than R 1 115 400; or
  • If the person applying is married, the combined income of the person applying and their partner cannot exceed R 156 240 or R 13 020 per month and their combined assets cannot exceed R 2 230 800.

Value of the state pension grant: 

This grant will pay up to R1 780 per a month when the person applying is under the age of 75 years old or R1 800 per a month if they are older than 75 years old.

Disability Grant

A disability grant is a grant given to disabled people or their caregivers to help them look after themselves and their families. 

Who can apply? 

A person may apply for a disability grant if:

  1. The person applying is be between the ages of 18 and 59 years old;
  2. The person applying is found to be medically unfit to work by a medical officer for either a mental and/or physical disability;
  3. The person is a South African citizen, permanent resident or refugee; and
  4. The person is currently living in South Africa.

Where to apply? 

In order to apply for a disability grant, a person must apply at their nearest South African Social Security Agency office. If the person applying is too old or sick to travel to their South African Social Security Agency office, then a family member or friend can apply on their behalf. The person applying can also request a South African Social Security Agency officer to conduct a home visit. 

Documents needed: 

In order to apply for a disability grant, the following documentation is needed:

  1. The ID document of the person that is applying. The person can either use their original, or a copy that is certified; and
  2. A medical assessment report, that is not older than three months, confirming the disability of the person applying.

Requirements to qualify for the disability grant: 

In order to qualify for a disability grant:

  1. The person applying must not be a recipient of any other grants;
  2. The person applying must not be maintained or cared for by a State institution; and
  3. The person applying must meet the requirements of the means test as follows:

Means test for a disability grant: 

The Means Test is a test the Government uses to see if the person applying needs social assistance. In order to pass the test:

  • If the person applying is single, their income cannot be more than R 78 120 per year or R 6 510 per month, and their assets cannot be worth more than R 1 115 400; or
  • If the person applying is married, the combined income of the person applying and their partner cannot exceed R 156 240 or R 13 020 per month and their combined assets cannot exceed R 2 230 800.

Value of the state pension grant: 

This grant will pay a maximum of R1 780 per a month.

War Veteran’s Grant

A war veteran's grant is a grant given to people who fought in World War I or World War II or the Korean to help them look after themselves and their families. 

Who can apply? 

A person may apply for a war veteran's grant if:

  1. The person applying has fought in World War I, World War II or the Korean War;
  2. The person applying is a South African citizen; and
  3. The person applying is currently living in South Africa.

Where to apply? 

In order to apply for a war veteran's grant, a person must apply at their nearest South African Social Security Agency office. If the person applying is too old or sick to travel to their South African Social Security Agency office, then a family member or friend can apply on their behalf. The person applying can also request a South African Social Security Agency officer to conduct a home visit. 

Documents needed: 

Only the ID document of the person that is applying. 

Requirements to qualify for the war veteran grant: 

In order to qualify for a war veteran grant:

  1. The person applying must not be a recipient of any other grants;
  2. The person applying must not be maintained or cared for by a State institution;
  3. The person applying must be 60 years old or older; and
  4. The person applying must meet the requirements of the following means test.

Means test for a war veteran grant: 

The Means Test is a test the Government uses to see if the person applying needs social assistance. In order to pass the test:

  • If the person applying is single, their income cannot be more than R 78 120 per year or R 6 510 per month, and their assets cannot be worth more than R 1 115 400; or
  • If the person applying is married, the combined income of the person applying and their partner cannot exceed R 156 240 or R 13 020 per month and their combined assets cannot exceed R 2 230 800.

Value of the state pension grant: 

This grant will pay a maximum of R1 800 per a month.

Grant-In-Aid

A grant-in-aid is a further grant given people on either a state pension, a disability grant, or war veteran grant to help them look after themselves and their families. 

Who can apply? 

A person may apply for grant-in-aid if:

  1. The person applying is a beneficiary of either a state pension, a disability grant, or war veteran grant; and
  2. The person applying is unable to care for themselves and require a full-time caretaker.

Where to apply? 

In order to apply for a grant-in-aid, a person must apply at their nearest South African Social Security Agency office. If the person applying is too old or sick to travel to their South African Social Security Agency office, then a family member or friend can apply on their behalf. The person applying can also request a South African Social Security Agency officer to conduct a home visit. 

Documents needed: 

In order to apply for a disability grant, the following documentation is needed:

  1. The ID document of the person that is applying; and
  2. A medical assessment report, that is not more than three months old, confirming the disability of the person applying.

Requirements to qualify for the grant-in-aid:

  1. The person applying must not be maintained or cared for by a State institution; and
  2. The person applying must require full time care by another person owing to their physical and or mental disability.

Value of the state pension grant: 

This grant will pay R420 per a month.

Child Support Grant

A child support grant is a grant given to people to help them look after their children. 

Who can apply? 

A person may apply for a child support grant if:

  1. The person applying is the primary care giver of a child who also lives in South Africa; and
  2. The child is a person under the age of 18 that is not cared for by a state institution; and
  3. The child lives with the primary caregiver applying for the grant.

This means that even if the person applying is not be the biological parent of the child, they may still apply for the grant if they are the child's primary caregiver. To show that a person who is not the parent of a child is their primary caregiver, a document must be obtained from a police officer, a biological parent of the child, or a social worker. This document must state that that person is the child's primary caregiver. 

Where to apply? 

In order to apply for a child support grant, a person must apply at their nearest South African Social Security Agency office. If the person applying is too old or sick to travel to their South African Social Security Agency office, then a family member or friend can apply on their behalf. The person applying can also request a South African Social Security Agency officer to conduct a home visit. 

Documents needed: 

In order to apply for a child support grant, the following documentation is needed:

  1. The ID document of the person that is applying;
  2. The birth certificate of the child; and
  3. The document stating that the person applying is the primary caregiver of the child.

Requirements to qualify for the child support grant: 

In order to qualify for a child support grant:

  1. The child for whom the grant is for must be 18 years old or younger;
  2. The child must not be maintained or cared for by a State institution;
  3. The person applying cannot apply for more than six non-biological or legally adopted children; and
  4. The person applying must meet the requirements of the following means test:

Means test for a child support grant: 

The Means Test is a test the Government uses to see if the person applying needs social assistance. In order to pass the test:

  • If the person applying is single, their income cannot be more than R 48 000 per year or R 4 000 per month; or
  • If the person applying is married, the combined income of the person applying and their partner cannot exceed R 96 000 or R 8 000 per month.

Value of the state pension grant: 

This grant will pay R420 per a month.

Care Dependency Grant

A child decency grant is a further grant given to people to help them look after their children who are disabled. 

Who can apply? 

Any person that is a caregiver of a child with a disability. 

Where to apply? 

In order to apply for a care dependency grant, a person must apply at their nearest South African Social Security Agency office. If the person applying is too old or sick to travel to their South African Social Security Agency office, then a family member or friend can apply on their behalf. The person applying can also request a South African Social Security Agency officer to conduct a home visit. 

Documents needed: 

In order to apply for a care dependency grant, the following documentation is needed:

  1. The ID document of the person that is applying; and
  2. A medical assessment report confirming the child’s permanent severe disability.



Requirements to qualify for the care dependency grant: 

In order to qualify for a care dependency grant:

  1. The child for whom the grant is for must be 18 years old or younger;
  2. The child must have a permanent medical disability, confirmed by a medical officer;
  3. The person applying cannot apply for more than six non-biological or legally adopted children; and
  4. The person applying must meet the requirements of the following means test:

Care dependency grant means test: 

The Means Test is a test the Government uses to see if the person applying needs social assistance. In order to pass the test:

  • If the person applying is single, their income cannot be more than R 202 800 per year or R 16 900 per month; or
  • If the person applying is married, the combined income of the person applying and their partner cannot exceed R 405 600 or R 33 800 per month.

Value of the state pension grant: 

This grant will pay R1 780 per a month.

Foster Child Grant

A foster child grant is a grant given to people to help them look after foster children. 

Who can apply? 

A person may apply for a foster child grant if:

  1. The person applying is a caregiver of a foster child; and
  2. Both the person applying and child are currently living in South Africa.

Where to apply? 

In order to apply for a foster child grant, a person must apply at their nearest South African Social Security Agency office. If the person applying is too old or sick to travel to their South African Social Security Agency office, then a family member or friend can apply on their behalf. The person applying can also request a South African Social Security Agency officer to conduct a home visit. 

Documents needed: 

In order to apply for a foster child grant, the following documentation is needed:

  1. The ID document of the person that is applying;
  2. The birth certificate for the foster child; and
  3. A court order indicating that you are the caretaker of the foster child.

Requirements to qualify for the grant: 

In order to apply for a foster child grant:

  1. The child must be under the age of 18 years old;
  2. The child and the caretaker must be living in South Africa; and
  3. The child must remain in the care of the person applying for the foster child grant.

Value of the state pension grant: 

This grant will pay R1 000 per a month.

Lawful Deductions From Social Grants

The only permitted direct deduction from a social grant is a deduction for funeral policy premiums, which may not exceed more than 10% of the total value of the grant. This applies to state pensions, war veteran grants and permanent disability grants. These deductions may not be made against temporary grants or a child grant. This is regulated by the Social Assistance Act of 2004. 

Note: Any other direct deductions from any social grant is unlawful.