Find Professionals

Select one or more of the following
Search for:

Specific focus
Type of organisation

How to apply for a Child Support Grant

If you are the person responsible for looking after a child – in other words, you are the child's primary caregiver – you could qualify for receiving a monthly payment from the government called a Child Support Grant.

A primary caregiver can be a parent, grandparent, or anyone who is mainly responsible for looking after the child. However, you do not qualify for this grant if:

  • you are being paid to look after the child,
  • you are not the child's primary caregiver,
  • someone is already receiving a grant for the specific child in question, and/or
  • you represent an institution which takes care of the child.

If you are not the parent of the child, then you have to get the consent of the child's parent, guardian or custodian to apply for the grant.

You and the child must both be South African citizens. You must also both be living in South Africa when you apply. You cannot get this grant for more than 10 children.

Only people whose financial situation is below a certain level qualify for the grant. The test to decide whether you qualify is called a means test. The means test at the moment says that you can get the grant if:

  • you are single and earn R2 500.00 per month, or
  • you are married and earn a combined salary of or R5 000.00 per month.

The amount changes every year, but in 2010 the child support grant is R250.00 a month. All children qualify for the grant.

You can apply for the child support grant by filling in an application form at your nearest District Welfare office or counter service point of a District Office. You do not need to pay anything to make the application.

Your application form will be completed in the presence of an officer of SASSA (South African Social Security Agency). When your application is completed you will be given a receipt. The receipt must be kept as proof of your application. You will also need to show certain documents and provide some information, including:

  • Your South African identity document (ID), which must be bar-coded.
  • The child's birth certificate, which must have an ID number.
  • Your salary slip, bank statements for three months, or pension slips, and any other proof of income.
  • If you are unemployed, your Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) card ('blue book') or a discharge certificate from your previous employer.
  • If you are not the child's parent or guardian, a written note of permission from the parent or guardian that you should take care of the child.
  • If you are not the child's parent or guardian, information about how you have tried to get the parents to pay maintenance.
  • Information that shows that you are the child's primary caregiver.

If you cannot go to make the application yourself, a friend or family member can bring a letter from you and a doctor's note saying why you can't visit the office yourself. A home visit may then be arranged

When you make the application, you should say how you would like the money to be paid. The money can be paid out in cash on specific days at a pay point, or you can get the money paid electronically into your bank account. Remember that normal bank charges apply to any money going in and out of your bank account. You can decide to change the payment method at any time by filling in a form at a Welfare office, but the change will only happen a month later.

It will take about 30 working days for your application to be processed and checked and either approved or declined. If your application is refused, you will get a letter explaining why it has been refused and how you can appeal.

If it is approved, you will start getting payments within three months. These payments will be backdated to the day you applied for the grant. You can find out what has happened to your application and when you can expect payment by telephoning the toll-free South African Social Security Agency telephone number 0800 601 011.

Payments will stop if you die, if the child dies, when the child becomes too old, if someone else starts looking after the child, or if your circumstances change in any other way so that you don't qualify for the grant anymore. Your grant will be reviewed from time to time to check this. You must also inform the Department of any changes in your or your child's circumstances.

General enquiries

  • National Department of Social Development
  • South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)
  • Contact the toll-free help line 0800 601 011 for information on:
    • pay-out dates,
    • qualifying rules for all government grants,
    • district office addresses and contact numbers,
    • for help with what has happened to your application, and
    • how you can report any fraud or corruption.