Chapter 7 - Social Welfare
Both parents have a duty to support the child. If the parent of a child is still alive and has money, and their whereabouts are known, the primary caregiver can get maintenance from the parent. If the parents refuse to pay, this can be taken to the Maintenance Court at the Magistrate's Court. The maintenance officers will help the applicant to get money from the parent who is not providing support.
But if the parents have no money to support the child then the primary care-giver can apply for a Child Support Grant. A primary care-giver is any person who takes responsibility for the daily needs of the child and who may or may not be related to the child.
The Child Support Grant 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 17 or born after 31 December 1993. On 1 January 2012 the grant will be extended to primary caregivers with children under the age of 18.
They may apply for the CSG if they qualify as per the means test.
The amount of the grant from 1st April 2011 is R270 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, whether either of the parents is in prison or not, or whether the husband or wife receives another state grant.
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 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:
A primary care-giver cannot apply for a grant if:
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 married person’s joint income with his/her spouse should not be more than R62 400 per year or R5 200 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:
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. There is a right of appeal against this decision.
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:
A Foster Care Grant is a grant intended to provide for the basic needs of foster children who have been placed in the care of foster parents by a Children’s Court. The Foster Care Grant is paid to foster parents for children between the ages of 0 and 18 years. An extension order for foster care can be given until the age of 21 years if the child is still at secondary school.
Usually a grant is for 2 years but a social worker can extend the grant depending on the circumstances.
A foster parent is responsible for ensuring that the child is fed, clothed, healthy, attending school and that the foster grant is used to benefit the child. SASSA officers must always be allowed to have access to the child.
The amount paid for a foster care grant from 1st April 2011 is R740 per month.
For up-to-date information on grant amounts which change every year, see the following websites: www.sassa.gov or blacksash.org.za
Who can apply for a Foster Care Grant?
In order to apply for a Foster Care Grant, the foster parent and the foster child must:
There is no means test to qualify for a Foster Care Grant.
How to apply for a Foster Care Grant
The process for applying for a Foster Care Grant is the same as for all other grants. However note that the child must have been placed in foster care by order of the court before the foster care grant can be applied for.
The following documents are required for the application:
The situation of the child who is placed in need of care is reviewed from time to time. A social work review may take into account, whether the foster child:
When does the Foster Care Grant stop?
A Foster Care Grant will stop:
The beneficiaries must inform SASSA of any changes in the foster parent/s’ or foster child/ren's circumstances.
If a child is severely disabled, the foster parent can get a Care Dependency Grant as well as a Foster Child Grant.
Note: The Children’s Amendment Act deals with foster care.
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