Get to know what the South African Social Security Agency is responsible for

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is a government entity responsible for distributing social grants to more than 16 million South Africans. Who is eligible for social security?

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The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) intends to provide social security services to South African’s needs by providing access to grants issued by the South African Government.

There are a range of grants available to different members of society. The social relief of distress grants are open and available to those affected by the COVID19 pandemic as well as others in the following situations (applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident).

It is intended for:

  • An applicant awaiting payment of an approved social grant.
  • An applicant has been affected by a disaster as defined in the Disaster Management Act or the Fund Raising Act, 1978.
  • Those who are in a desperate situation and do not qualify for a grant.
  • Those who are medically unfit and unable to work for a period of less than six months.
  • A parent who is unable to get maintenance from the other parent of their child.
  • When the breadwinner of the family has died. (The family has three months to lodge an application)
  • When the breadwinner of the family has been sent to prison, a psychiatric hospital, state home for older persons, treatment centre for substance abuse or child youth care centre, for less than six months.
  • The area you live in has not been declared a disaster zone, but you have personally been affected by a disaster.

The process

Applying for a grant is a free service which cannot be done online, only at your nearest SASSA office. You will need the following documents to submit your application:

  • 13-digit bar-coded identity document and your children’s birth certificates
    or if your ID document or birth certificate is not available you will need an affidavit.
  • The Justice of Peace must commission an affidavit with a clause stating that incorrect information will result in prosecution. No application will be processed without this.
  • A reputable person like a councillor, traditional leader or priest must provide a sworn statement.
  • Proof that an application for a birth certificate or identity document has been applied for at the Department of Home Affairs.
  • A baptism certificate.
  • A road to health clinic card.

You will need an affidavit from your local police station, councillor or religious leader if you do not have an identity document and birth certificates to show proof that:

  • You have applied for a grant.
  • There has been an emergency.
  • You have tried to get maintenance from the other parent.
  • You have no other support.
  • Your status: married, divorced or single.
  • You have no income.
  • You have no short-term medical disability.

How long will you wait for your grant?

Your application will be processed as soon as possible after submission. During this process, it will be assessed for credibility to determine your need for assistance.

Other Grants Available

Child Support Grant

The Child Support Grant is for children not cared for in a state institution. The child must be under 18 for the caregiver to be paid out. The grant pays out R450p/m per child.

Older Person’s Grant

The Older Person’s Grant is paid to those who are 60 or older. If you are above 75 you will receive R1 880p/m otherwise you will receive R1 860p/m.

Disability Grant

The Disability Grant is paid to those who are physically or mentally disabled and unfit to work. It pays out to the maximum of R1 860p/m.


Those living on a social grant but need to pay someone to take care of them, can apply for a Grant-in-Aid grant that pays out R450p/m.

Care Dependency Grant

A Care Dependency Grant is a grant to take care of a severely disabled child in need of
full-time care. The amount is R1 860p/m.

War Veteran’s Grant

The War Veteran’s Grant is for former soldiers who fought in the Korean War (1950-1953); they are entitled to R1 880p/m.

Foster Child Grant

For foster parents who look after foster children placed in their care. The Foster Child Grant pays out R1 040p/m per child.

Remember that applying for a grant that you are not entitled to, or do not need, is a criminal offence!

With Legal&Tax you're not alone

Do you need help to determine what social grant you qualify for? Legal&Tax can help you. Contact us for more information.


The content of this article was correct at the time of publishing, but the legislation or underlying information forming the basis of this article may have changed. You should always speak to a qualified advisor before making any decisions.

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