The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) provides monthly cash grants to eligible caregivers to help support children in need. The Child Support Grant is one of the grants administered by SASSA. If you are raising a child and struggling financially, you may qualify for this grant.
- 1 What is the Child Support Grant?
- 2 Who Qualifies for the Child Support Grant in 2023?
- 3 How to Apply for the Child Support Grant
- 4 When Are Payments Made?
- 5 Additional CSG Allowances
- 6 How Long Do You Get the CSG For?
- 7 Conclusion
What is the Child Support Grant?
The Child Support Grant (CSG) is a cash payment provided by the South African government to the primary caregivers of eligible children. The CSG was introduced in 1998 to help reduce child poverty and support children’s rights. Currently, the CSG amount is R500 per month per eligible child.
The CSG aims to help caregivers provide for a child’s basic needs. This includes food, clothing, shelter, basic healthcare, and social services. While R500 per month may not seem like much, it can make a significant difference for families living in poverty. The grant enables caregivers to buy necessities for the child that they may not otherwise be able to afford.
Who Qualifies for the Child Support Grant in 2023?
To qualify for the CSG in 2023, you must meet the following requirements:
You must be the primary caregiver of the child
The CSG is paid to the primary caregiver of the child. This is the person who has primary responsibility for the daily care and needs of the child. This is typically a parent, grandparent, or sibling (if over 16 years old) caring for an orphaned child.
If you are not the primary caregiver, you will not qualify for the grant even if the child lives with you. The grant is intended to support whoever is providing most of the child’s care.
The child must be under 18 years old
The CSG is only payable for children under 18 years old. You can apply for a newborn baby as soon as they are born.
Once the child turns 18, they will no longer be eligible for the CSG. However, they may qualify for other social grants for youth empowerment based on eligibility criteria.
You must pass the means test
To qualify for the CSG, your household income must fall below a certain threshold. This is known as the “means test”.
In 2023, you can earn up to R52,800 per year if you are single or R105,600 per year if you are married. These income thresholds are combined for both parents/caregivers. If your total household income exceeds the threshold, you will not qualify for the grant.
The means test ensures the grant supports lower-income households who need it most. If your income decreases, however, you can reapply to qualify.
You must be a South African citizen, permanent resident, or refugee
Only South African citizens, permanent residents, and refugees can receive social grants like the CSG. If you have a temporary residence permit, you will not qualify. Both the caregiver and child must have the required citizenship or residency status.
How to Apply for the Child Support Grant
If you meet all the eligibility criteria, you can apply for the CSG at your nearest SASSA office. Here are the steps to apply:
- Gather the required documents – You will need your South African ID book or card, the child’s birth certificate, and proof of income such as payslips.
- Complete the application form – Request a CSG application form at your SASSA office or download it online. Fill it out with your details and the child’s information.
- Submit the application at SASSA – Return the completed form with all supporting documents to your nearest SASSA office. An agent will process the application and advise if any further documents are needed.
- Attend an interview if required – A SASSA agent may call you for an interview to confirm your eligibility. Bring along any other requested documents.
- Await the outcome – If approved, SASSA will inform you via SMS or letter. You can then collect your SASSA card from the office to access grant payments.
To avoid delays, ensure all information provided is accurate and you submit certified copies of all required documents. Call the SASSA helpline if you have any questions about the application process.
When Are Payments Made?
If approved for the CSG, you will receive your first payment in the month following your application. Thereafter, payments are made on the 1st of each month.
The money is deposited into your SASSA card account which you can access at retail outlets, ATMs, or pay points. Your card is essentially a bank card that SASSA loads the grant amount into monthly.
Make sure to notify SASSA promptly if your circumstances change (e.g. income increase, change of address, new primary caregiver) so they can adjust or suspend payments if necessary. You need to reapply for the CSG every year that you remain eligible.
Additional CSG Allowances
In some situations, the standard CSG amount may be increased:
- Double CSG for a child with a disability – If your child has a permanent, severe disability, you can apply for an additional R500 per month. So you will receive R1,000 in total each month. Medical proof of disability will be required.
- Foster child top-up – If you are the foster parent of a child through the court system, you can apply for an additional R250 per month per child. So you will get the R500 CSG plus a R250 top-up, totaling R750.
- Multiple children – The CSG is paid per eligible child. If you care for two children under 18 years old, you will receive R500 for each child, so R1,000 total. For three children, you receive R1,500 per month etc.
How Long Do You Get the CSG For?
The CSG is paid until the child turns 18 years old, as long as you remain eligible. Payments will stop in the month after the child’s 18th birthday.
For children with disabilities who receive the double CSG, payments may continue up to age 21 depending on the assessment of their disability status.
If you are caring for multiple children, each child will age out at 18 years old. For example, if you have a 5 year old and a 17 year old child, the 17 year old will only be eligible for another year until they turn 18. The 5 year old can continue receiving the CSG every month until they reach 18.
The Child Support Grant provides crucial financial assistance for raising children in need. If you are the primary caregiver of a child under 18 years old and meet the income threshold, you may qualify for R500 monthly. Understanding the CSG eligibility criteria and application process is key to accessing this essential support. Check if you qualify and apply through your nearest SASSA office to ease the financial pressures of providing for your child.
Hello, I’m Dumisani Joubert, a passionate writer and advocate based in South Africa. With a deep commitment to providing accessible information, my website serves as a reliable resource for all things related to SASSA grants, offering valuable insights and guidance to empower individuals and communities.