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COVID Grant

COVID Grant

Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown 

COVID Grant:

Applications for the R350 SASSA Social relief of distress grants are now open. For information please visit https://www.gov.za/coronavirus/socialgrants

About applying for social relief of distress

Social relief of distress is temporary provision of assistance intended for persons in such a dire material need that they are unable to meet their families’ most basic needs.

This could be due to any of the following factors:

  • you need help while you wait for your children’s grants to be processed
  • a crisis or disaster has occurred (e.g. your house has burnt down)
  • you do not qualify for a grant, and you are in a desperate situation
  • you are unable to work for a period of less than six month because you are medically unfit
  • you are unable to get maintenance from the other parent of your child or children
  • the breadwinner in the family has died
  • the breadwinner has been sent to prison for a short time (less than six months)
  • you have been affected by a disaster, but the area or community in which you live has not been declared a disaster area.

What do you get?

The Social Relief of Distress may be in the form of a food parcel or a voucher to buy food. Some provinces give this assistance in the form of cash. Social Relief of Distress is given for a short time only – usually for up to three months, which may be extended for another three months.

What you should do

  1. Apply for social relief of distress at your nearest South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) office.
  2. Submit your application with the following documents:
    • your 13-digit bar-coded identity document and your children’s birth certificates.
    • if your identity document and/or a birth certificate are not available:
      • an affidavit commissioned by a Justice of the Peace. The affidavit must contain a clause which indicates that provision of incorrect or inaccurate information will result in prosecution in terms of Section 21 of the Social Assistance Act, 2004.
      • a sworn statement by a reputable person who knows the applicant and the child. This may be from a councillor, traditional leader, social worker or minister of religion.
      • proof that an application for a birth certificate or identity document has been lodged with the Department of Home Affairs.
      • where applicable, a temporary identity document issued by the Department of Home Affairs.
      • a baptismal certificate.
      • a road to health clinic card.
      • a school report.
    • please note: No application can be processed without the sworn statement/affidavit.
  3. If you do not have an identity document and birth certificates, an affidavit from your local police station, chief, councillor or religious leader may be enough proof.
  4. Show proof that you:
    • have applied for a grant
    • have had an emergency (e.g. provide a police report that your house burnt down)
    • have tried to get maintenance
    • have no other support
    • are married, divorced, or single
    • have no income
    • have a short-term medical disability.

How long does it take

  • Your application will be processed immediately.
  • Once your application is submitted, it will be assessed for credibility and your genuine need for the service.
  • Even if you do not have all the documents, you will get your first month’s food parcel, voucher or cash.
  • Remember to take all the documents to the officer before the second month’s payment is due. If you do not, you may not get your second and third month’s food parcel, voucher or cash.
  • If there is no change in your circumstances after you have received the grant for three months, you may apply to have the grant extended for another three months.

How much does it cost

The service is free.

Forms to complete

The application form is not available online, but you can get it at your nearest SASSA office.

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How to apply for a social grant

Social grant applications are administered by the South African Social Security Agency  (SASSA).

The grants are:

Older person’s grant (old age pension)

You can get a grant to see you through your old age. An older person’s grant is paid to people who are 60 years or older. This grant used to be called the old age pension.

How do you know if you qualify?

You must:

  • be a South African citizen, permanent resident or refugee
  • live in South Africa
  • not receive any other social grant for yourself
  • not be cared for in a state institution
  • not earn more than R86 280  if you are single or R172 560 if married.
  • not have assets worth more than 1 227 600 if you are single or R2 455 200 if you are married.

How much will you get?

The maximum amount that you will get is R1 890 per month. If you are older than 75 years, you will get R1 910.

How will you be paid?

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will pay the grant to you through one of the following methods:

  • cash at a specific pay point on a particular day
  • electronic deposit into your bank or Postbank account (the bank may charge you for the service)
  • institutions (e.g. old age home).

Note: If you are unable to collect the money yourself, you can appoint a procurator at the SASSA office, or give someone power of attorney to collect the grant on your behalf.

When may your grant be reviewed?

SASSA can decide if your grant must be reviewed. Your income as declared when you apply for the grant will form the basis for this decision. You will be notified three months in advance of the date when the review will take place or the date on which the life certificate (proof that you are still alive) is due. If you receive your money through the bank, an institution or procurator, you are required to fill in a life certificate at the SASSA offices every year.

When may your grant be suspended?

The following may result in the suspension of your grant:

  • when your circumstances change
  • the outcome of a review
  • if you fail to co-operate when your grant is reviewed
  • when you commit fraud or misrepresent yourself
  • if there was a mistake when your grant was approved.

When will your grant lapse?

The grant will lapse when you:

  • pass away
  • are admitted to a state institution
  • do not claim for three consecutive months
  • are absent from the country.

Child support grant

If you are needy, you can get a grant to help you raise the child you look after.

How do you know if you qualify?

You must:

  • Be the child’s primary caregiver (e.g. parent, grandparent or a child over 16 heading a family). Note: If you are not the child’s parent, you must provide proof that you are the child’s primary caregiver through an affidavit from a police official, 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.
  • Not earn more than R52 800 per year if you are single. If you are married, your combined income should not be above R105 600 per year.

The child must:

  • be under the age of 18 years
  • not be cared for in a state institution
  • live with the primary caregiver who is not paid to look after the child.

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.

How much will you get?

You will get R460 a month per child.

How will you be paid?

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will pay the grant to you through one of the following methods:

  • cash at a specific pay point on a particular day
  • electronic deposit into your bank or Postbank account (the bank may  charge you for the service)
  • an institution acting as administrator of the grant.

Note: If you are unable to collect the money yourself, you can appoint a procurator at the SASSA office, or give someone power of attorney to collect the grant on your behalf.

When may the child’s grant be reviewed?

SASSA can decide if the child’s grant must be reviewed. Your income as declared when you apply for the grant will form the basis for this decision. You will be notified three months in advance of the date on which the review will take place or the date on which the life certificate (proof that you are still alive) is due. If you receive your money through the bank, an institution or procurator, you are required to fill in a life certificate for the child at the SASSA offices every year.

When may the child’s grant be suspended?

The following may result in the suspension of the child’s grant:

  • a change in your circumstances
  • the outcome of a review
  • if you fail to co-operate when the child’s grant is reviewed
  • when you commit fraud or misrepresent the child
  • if there was a mistake when the child’s grant was approved
  • if the child is no longer in your care.

When will the child’s grant lapse?

The grant will lapse:

  • if the child passes away
  • if the child is admitted to a state institution
  • if the caregiver doesn’t claim it for three consecutive months
  • if the child is absent from the country
  • at the end of the month in which the child turns 18.

Care dependency grant

Get a grant to take care of a child who has a severe disability and is in need of full-time and special care.

The care dependency grant covers disabled children from birth until they turn 18.

How do you know if you qualify?

You must:

  • be a parent, primary caregiver or a foster parent appointed by the court
  • be a South African citizen or permanent resident
  • not earn more than R223 200 a year  if you are single. Your combined income should not be above R446 400  a year if you are married.

Note: This income limit does not apply to foster parents.

The child must:

  • be younger than 18 years
  • not be cared for permanently in a state institution
  • have a severe disability and need full-time and special care.

Both you and the child must live in South Africa.

Note: A state medical officer must assess the child before the grant will be approved.

How much will you get?

You will get R1 890 per month.

How will you be paid?

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will pay the grant to you through one of the following methods:

  • cash at a specific pay point on a particular day
  • electronic deposit into your bank or Postbank account (the bank may charge you for the service)
  • an institution acting as administrator of the grant (e.g. welfare organisations).

Note: If you are unable to collect the money yourself, you can appoint a procurator at the SASSA office, or give someone power of attorney to collect the grant on your behalf.

When may the child’s grant be reviewed?

SASSA can decide if your grant must be reviewed. Your income as declared when you apply for the grant will form the basis for this decision. You will be notified three months in advance of the date when the review will take place or the date on which the life certificate (document to prove that you are still alive) is due. If you receive your money through the bank, an institution or procurator, you are required to fill in a life certificate at the SASSA offices every year.

When may the child’s grant be suspended?

The following may result in the suspension of the grant:

  • when the child’s circumstances change
  • the outcome of a review
  • if you fail to co-operate when the child’s grant is reviewed
  • when you commit fraud or misrepresent the child
  • if there was a mistake when the child’s grant was approved.

When will your grant lapse?

The grant will lapse when the:

  • child passes away
  • child is admitted to a state institution
  • beneficiary who is the caregiver does not claim the grant for three consecutive months
  • child is absent from the country
  • child turns 19.

Grant in aid (if you live on a social grant but need someone to take care of you)

If you are living on a social grant but can’t look after yourself, you can get an additional grant to pay the person who takes full-time care of you.

How do you know if you qualify?

You must:

  • already get a disability grant, war veteran’s grant or grant for older persons
  • not be able to look after yourself owing to your physical or mental disability, and therefore need full-time care from someone else
  • not be cared for in an institution that receives a subsidy from the government for your care or housing.

How much will you get?

You will get R460 per month.

How will you be paid?

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will pay the grant to you through one of the following methods:

  • cash at a specific pay point on a particular day
  • electronic deposit into your bank or Postbank account (the bank may charge you for the service)
  • an institution acting as administrator of the grant (e.g. welfare organisation).

The grant will be paid together with your social grant.

Note: If you are unable to collect the money yourself, you can appoint a procurator at the SASSA office, or give someone power of attorney to collect the grant on your behalf.

When may your grant be reviewed?

Your grant may be reviewed when the social grant to which it is attached is reviewed.

War veteran’s grant

If you are a former soldier who fought in the Second World War (1939-1945) or the Korean War (1950-1953) and are unable to support yourself, you can apply for a war veteran’s grant.

How do you know if you qualify?

You must:

  • be a South African citizen or permanent resident
  • live in South Africa
  • be 60 years of age or older or be disabled
  • have fought in the Second World War or the Korean War
  • not receive any other social grant for yourself
  • not be cared for in a state institution
  • not earn more than R 86 280 if you are single or R172 560 if married
  • not have assets worth more than R 1 227 600 if you are single or R 2 455 200 if you are married.

Note: If you live in the house that you or your spouse own, the value is not taken into account for the purpose of the means test.

How much will you get?

You will get R 1 910 per month.

How will you be paid?

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will pay the grant to you through one of the following methods:

  • cash at a specific pay point on a particular day
  • electronic deposit into your bank or Postbank account (the bank may charge you for the service)
  • an institution acting as administrator of the grant e.g. a welfare organisation.

Please note: If you are unable to collect the money yourself, you can appoint a procurator at the SASSA office, or give someone power of attorney to collect the grant on your behalf.

When may your grant be reviewed?

SASSA can decide if your grant must be reviewed. Your income as declared when you apply for the grant will form the basis this decision. You will be notified three months in advance of the date on which the review will take place or the date on which the life certificate (a document to prove that you are still alive) is due. If you receive your money through the bank, an institution or procurator, you are required to fill in a life certificate at the SASSA offices every year.

When may your grant be suspended?

The following may result in the suspension of your grant:

  • when your circumstances change
  • the outcome of a review
  • if you fail to co-operate when your grant is reviewed
  • when you commit fraud or misrepresent yourself
  • if there was a mistake when your grant was approved.

When will your grant lapse?

The grant will lapse in the case of:

  • death
  • admission to a state institution
  • if the grant is not claimed for three consecutive months
  • when you are absent from the country.

Please note: If you are admitted to an institution that has a contract with the state to care for you, the social grant is reduced to 25% of the maximum amount of the grant. This will start from the fourth month following your admission to that institution. The reduced grant is re-instated immediately from the date you are discharged from the institution.

Foster child grant

Get a grant to take care of your foster child. A foster child is a child who has been placed in your custody by a court as a result of being:

  • orphaned
  • abandoned
  • at risk
  • abused
  • neglected.

How do you know if you qualify?

To qualify:

  • you must be a South African citizen, permanent resident or refugee
  • you and the child must live in South Africa
  • the foster child must be legally placed in your care and the child must remain in your care
  • the child must be younger than 18.

How much will you get?

You will get R1 050 per month per child.

How will you be paid?

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will pay the grant to you through one of the following methods:

  • cash at a specific pay point on a particular day
  • electronic deposit into your bank or Postbank account (the bank may charge you for the service)
  • an institution acting as the administrator of the grant (e.g. a welfare organisation).

Note: If you are unable to collect the money yourself, you can appoint a procurator at the SASSA office, or give someone power of attorney to collect the grant on your behalf.

When may your grant be reviewed?

The grant will be reviewed on expiry of the court order. Currently this is every two years. You will be advised three months in advance of the need to review the grant.

If you receive your money through the bank, an institution or procurator, you are required to fill in a life certificate (a document to prove that you are still alive) at a SASSA office every year.

When may your grant be suspended?

The following may result in the suspension of your grant:

  • a change in your circumstances
  • the outcome of a review
  • if you fail to co-operate when your grant is reviewed
  • when you commit fraud or misrepresent yourself
  • if there was a mistake when your grant was approved.

When will your grant lapse?

The grant will lapse:

  • in the case of death of the child or the last living foster parent
  • in the case of admission of the child to a state institution
  • if the grant is not claimed for three consecutive months
  • when you are absent from the country
  • if the child is no longer in your foster care
  • if you are not a refugee any more.

Disability grant

If you have a physical or mental disability which makes you unfit to work for a period of longer than six months, you can apply for a disability grant.

You get a permanent disability grant if your disability will continue for more than a year and a temporary disability grant if your disability will last for a continuous period of not less than six months and not more than 12 months. A permanent disability grant does not mean you will receive the grant for life, but that it will continue for longer than 12 months.

How do you know if you qualify?

To qualify, you must:

  • be a South African citizen or permanent resident or refugee and living in South Africa at the time of application
  • be between 18 and 59 years old
  • not be cared for in a state institution
  • have a 13-digit, bar-coded identity document (ID)
  • not earn more than R86 280 if you are single or R172 560 if married.
  • not have assets worth more than R1 227 600 if you are single or R2 455 200 if you are married
  • undergo a medical examination where a doctor appointed by the state will assess the degree of your disability
  • bring along any previous medical records and reports when you make the application and when the assessment is done.

The doctor will complete a medical report and will forward the report to South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).

The report is valid for three months from the date you are assessed.

Note: If you are under 18 and need permanent care due to your disability, your primary caregiver can apply for a Care Dependency Grant. If you don’t have an ID, you will be required to complete an affidavit and provide proof of having applied for the document from the Department of Home Affairs. If you have not applied for an ID, you must do so within three months of applying for the grant.

How much will you get?

The maximum is R1 890 per month.

How will you be paid?

A grant will be paid to you through one of the following methods:

  • cash at a specific pay point on a particular day
  • electronic deposit into your bank account, including Postbank (the bank may charge you for the service)
  • an institution not funded by the State – e.g. home for people with disabilities.

When may your grant be suspended?

The following may result in the suspension of your grant:

  • when your circumstances change
  • the outcome of a review
  • if you fail to co-operate when your grant is reviewed
  • when you commit fraud or misrepresent yourself
  • if there was a mistake when your grant was approved.

When may your grant lapse?

The grant will lapse when you:

  • pass away
  • are admitted to a state institution
  • do not claim for three consecutive months
  • are absent from the country.

Please note: If you are admitted to an institution that has a contract with the state to care for you, the grant is reduced to 25% of the maximum amount of the  grant. That will be done with effect from the fourth month following your admission to that institution. The reduced grant is re-instated immediately from the date you are discharged from the institution.

– All information provided on this article was taken from the official South African Government website: https://www.gov.za/faq/services/how-do-i-apply-social-grant

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Disability Grant

If you have a physical or mental disability which makes you unfit to work for a period of longer than six months, you can apply for a disability grant.

You get a permanent disability grant if your disability will continue for more than a year and a temporary disability grant if your disability will last for a continuous period of not less than six months and not more than 12 months. A permanent disability grant does not mean you will receive the grant for life, but that it will continue for longer than 12 months.

How do you know if you qualify?

To qualify, you must:

  • be a South African citizen or permanent resident or refugee and living in South Africa at the time of application
  • be between 18 and 59 years old
  • not be cared for in a state institution
  • have a 13-digit, bar-coded identity document (ID)
  • not earn more than R86 280 if you are single or R172 560 if married.
  • not have assets worth more than R1 227 600 if you are single or R2 455 200 if you are married
  • undergo a medical examination where a doctor appointed by the state will assess the degree of your disability
  • bring along any previous medical records and reports when you make the application and when the assessment is done.

The doctor will complete a medical report and will forward the report to South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).

The report is valid for three months from the date you are assessed.

Note: If you are under 18 and need permanent care due to your disability, your primary caregiver can apply for a Care Dependency Grant. If you don’t have an ID, you will be required to complete an affidavit and provide proof of having applied for the document from the Department of Home Affairs. If you have not applied for an ID, you must do so within three months of applying for the grant.

How much will you get?

The maximum is R1 890 per month.

How will you be paid?

A grant will be paid to you through one of the following methods:

  • cash at a specific pay point on a particular day
  • electronic deposit into your bank account, including Postbank (the bank may charge you for the service)
  • an institution not funded by the State – e.g. home for people with disabilities.

When may your grant be suspended?

The following may result in the suspension of your grant:

  • when your circumstances change
  • the outcome of a review
  • if you fail to co-operate when your grant is reviewed
  • when you commit fraud or misrepresent yourself
  • if there was a mistake when your grant was approved.

When may your grant lapse?

The grant will lapse when you:

  • pass away
  • are admitted to a state institution
  • do not claim for three consecutive months
  • are absent from the country.

Please note: If you are admitted to an institution that has a contract with the state to care for you, the grant is reduced to 25% of the maximum amount of the  grant. That will be done with effect from the fourth month following your admission to that institution. The reduced grant is re-instated immediately from the date you are discharged from the institution.

More disability grant information

What you should do

  1. Complete a disability grant application form at your nearest South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) office in the presence of a SASSA officer.
  2. Submit the following:
    • Your 13-digit bar-coded identity document (ID). If you don’t have an ID:
      • You must complete an affidavit on a standard SASSA format in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths who is not a SASSA official.
      • You must bring a sworn statement signed by a reputable person (like a councillor, traditional leader, social worker, minister of religion or school principal) who can verify your name and age.
      • The SASSA official will take your fingerprints.
      • You will be referred to the Department of Home Affairs to apply for the ID while your application is processed. If you don’t get an ID, your grant will be suspended.
    • A medical report and functional assessment report confirming your disability.
    • Proof of marital status (if applicable).
    • Proof of residence.
    • Proof of income or dividends (if any).
    • Proof of assets, including the municipal value of your property.
    • Proof of private pension (if any).
    • Your bank statements for the past three months.
    • Refugee status permit and 13-digit refugee ID.
    • Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) document (‘blue book’) or discharge certificate from your previous employer if you were employed.
    • A copy of the will and the first and final liquidation and distribution accounts, if your spouse died within the last five years.
  3. After submitting your application you will be given a receipt to keep as proof of application.

What if your application is not approved?

  • The social security office will inform you in writing whether or not your application was successful.
  • If your grant is not approved, the social security office will state the reasons why your application was unsuccessful. You can then appeal to the Minister of Social Development in writing, explaining why you disagree.
  • Appeal within 90 days of receiving notification about the outcome of your application.

How long does it take

  • It may take up to three months to process your application.
  • If your grant is approved, you will be paid from the day you applied.

How much does it cost

The service is free.

Forms to complete

Application forms are not available online, but you can get them from your nearest (SASSA) office.

Who to contact

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Foster Child Grant

Get a grant to take care of your foster child. A foster child is a child who has been placed in your custody by a court as a result of being:

  • orphaned
  • abandoned
  • at risk
  • abused
  • neglected.

How do you know if you qualify?

To qualify:

  • you must be a South African citizen, permanent resident or refugee
  • you and the child must live in South Africa
  • the foster child must be legally placed in your care and the child must remain in your care
  • the child must be younger than 18.

How much will you get?

You will get R1 050 per month per child.

How will you be paid?

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will pay the grant to you through one of the following methods:

  • cash at a specific pay point on a particular day
  • electronic deposit into your bank or Postbank account (the bank may charge you for the service)
  • an institution acting as the administrator of the grant (e.g. a welfare organisation).

Note: If you are unable to collect the money yourself, you can appoint a procurator at the SASSA office, or give someone power of attorney to collect the grant on your behalf.

When may your grant be reviewed?

The grant will be reviewed on expiry of the court order. Currently this is every two years. You will be advised three months in advance of the need to review the grant.

If you receive your money through the bank, an institution or procurator, you are required to fill in a life certificate (a document to prove that you are still alive) at a SASSA office every year.

When may your grant be suspended?

The following may result in the suspension of your grant:

  • a change in your circumstances
  • the outcome of a review
  • if you fail to co-operate when your grant is reviewed
  • when you commit fraud or misrepresent yourself
  • if there was a mistake when your grant was approved.

When will your grant lapse?

The grant will lapse:

  • in the case of death of the child or the last living foster parent
  • in the case of admission of the child to a state institution
  • if the grant is not claimed for three consecutive months
  • when you are absent from the country
  • if the child is no longer in your foster care
  • if you are not a refugee any more.

What you should do

  1. Go to the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) office nearest to where you live and bring the following:
    • Your 13 digit-bar-coded identity document (ID) and the birth certificate for the child.
    • If you are a refugee, your status permit and refugee ID.
    • If you don’t have your ID or the child’s birth certificate:
      • Complete an affidavit on a standard SASSA format in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths who is not a SASSA official.
      • Bring a sworn statement signed by a reputable person (like a councillor, traditional leader, social worker, minister of religion or school principal) who knows you and the child.
      • The SASSA official will take your fingerprints. You will be referred to the Department of Home Affairs to apply for the ID even as your application is processed. If you don’t get an ID, your grant will be suspended.
      • Submit proof that you have applied for an ID and/or birth certificate at the Department of Home Affairs.
      • Submit a temporary ID issued by the Department of Home Affairs (if applicable).
      • Present a baptismal certificate if available.
      • Submit a road to health clinic card if available
      • if the child is at school, the child’s school certificate.
    • Birth certificate/s of the child/ children, or their identity documents from their country of origin
    • Court order that placed the child in your care
    • Proof of your marital status.
  2. Complete the application form in the presence of the SASSA officer (note that only you as the applicant or a SASSA official can complete the application form).
  3. You will be given a receipt. Keep it as proof that you applied.

What if your application is not approved?

If your application is not approved, SASSA will inform you in writing why your application was unsuccessful.

If you disagree with the decision, you can appeal 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.

How long does it take

  • It may take up to three months to process your application.
  • If your application is approved, you will be paid from the date the court placed the child in your care.

How much does it cost

The service is free.

Forms to complete

The application form is not available online, but you can get it at your nearest SASSA office.

Who to contact

South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)

Taken from: https://www.gov.za/services/child-care-social-benefits/foster-child-grant

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