SASSA Foster Child Grant – Criteria, How to Apply & Benefits

SASSA Foster Child Grant – Criteria, How to Apply & Benefits

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) Foster Child Grant is a crucial financial assistance program designed to support foster parents in caring for children who have been entrusted to their guardianship by the court. This grant aims to alleviate the financial burden on foster parents, enabling them to meet the essential needs of the foster child, including food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and education.

The primary purpose of the Foster Child Grant is to provide a safety net for children facing challenging circumstances such as being orphaned, abandoned, abused, neglected, or at risk. By offering financial aid, SASSA aims to ensure that these vulnerable children receive the care and support they need during their formative years.

The grant is directed towards foster parents who have taken on the responsibility of caring for a child as mandated by a court order. This initiative is crucial for creating a stable and nurturing environment for foster children, fostering their well-being and development.

SASSA Foster Child Grant Eligibility Criteria

Before embarking on the application process, it’s essential to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria set by SASSA. Here are the key points to consider:

Citizenship and Residency: To qualify for the grant, you must be a South African citizen, a recognized refugee, or have permanent residency status. Both you and the foster child should be residing in South Africa.

Foster Parent and Court Order:

  • You must be the foster parent of the child, and the child must continue to be in your care.
  • The placement of the foster child under your care must be a result of a court order due to reasons such as being orphaned, abandoned, abused, neglected, or at risk.

Age Criteria: The foster child must be below the age of 18 to be eligible for the grant.

Means Test Requirements: The foster child must meet the requirements of the means test, ensuring that the grant is directed to children facing financial hardships.

SASSA Foster Child Grant Required Documents

Ensuring that you have the right documents is crucial for a smooth application process. Here’s a list of required documents:

Identity Documents:

  • Your original 13-digit bar-coded ID (Identity Document).
  • Your status permit and refugee ID if you are a refugee.
  • Birth certificate of the child with a valid ID number.

Documentation for Foster Parents without IDs or Birth Certificates:

  • If you don’t have an ID or the child’s birth certificate, fill out the SASSA standard affidavit form.
  • A validated declaration attested by a reputable person (community counselor, traditional leader, licensed social worker, recognized religious leader, or school principal) who can verify you and the child.
  • Documentation from the Department of Home Affairs confirming the initiation of an application for an ID and/or birth certificate.
  • A temporary identity document card is provided by the Department of Home Affairs if applicable.
  • Baptismal certificate if accessible.
  • School certificate if available.
  • Card from the Road to Health Clinic if accessible.
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Court Order and Marital Status Documentation:

  • The court order officially designates you as the child’s legal foster parent.
  • Documentation verifying your marital status (marriage certificate, divorce decree, death certificate, or affidavit/sworn statement if applicable).

Child’s Earnings Documentation: Provide any documents that reveal the child’s earnings, such as a maintenance payment order if available.

Ensuring you have these documents in order will streamline the application process.

Foster Child Grant Means Test

The means test is a critical aspect of the SASSA Foster Child Grant application process. Its primary purpose is to determine the income of the foster child, ensuring that the grant is allocated to those facing genuine financial hardships. It’s important to note that the income of foster parents is not considered in this test.

The means test criteria state that if the annual income of the foster child is less than twice the annual foster child grant amount, they qualify for the grant. This meticulous evaluation aims to direct financial aid to those who need it the most, preventing misuse of resources.

Understanding and meeting the means test requirements are pivotal for foster parents looking to secure the SASSA Foster Child Grant for the children under their care.

Grant Amount & Application Cost

The SASSA Foster Child Grant strives to provide substantial financial support to foster parents, ensuring the well-being of the foster child. As of the latest update in January 2024, the grant amount stands at R1,130 per month per child. This amount undergoes adjustment every six months on April 1 and October 1 to ensure its adequacy in meeting the evolving needs of foster children.

Anticipated Increase: Moreover, there is a promising development on the horizon. From April 1, 2024, the grant is expected to increase by an additional R10 per child per month. This adjustment reflects SASSA’s commitment to keeping pace with the changing economic landscape and ensuring that foster parents receive sufficient support.

Application Cost: One noteworthy aspect for prospective applicants is that applying for the SASSA Foster Child Grant is entirely free of cost. There are no service fees associated with the application process. This commitment to accessibility ensures that financial constraints do not hinder eligible foster parents from seeking assistance.

How to Apply for SASSA Foster Child Grant?

Embarking on the application journey for the SASSA Foster Child Grant involves a series of steps to ensure a smooth and successful process. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to apply:

  1. Obtain a Court Order: Begin by securing a court order that validates your legal position as the foster parent of the child. This crucial document can be obtained from the social worker of the Department of Social Development. Schedule an appointment to initiate this process.
  2. Visit Nearest SASSA Office: With the court order in hand, proceed to the nearest SASSA office branch. Here, you’ll be required to fill out the application form. Alternatively, you can choose to apply online by following the instructions on the SASSA services website.
  3. Application Assistance: If you are unable to apply in person due to age, illness, or disability, designate a trusted family member or friend to apply on your behalf. Complete the Power of Attorney form, attested by a Commissioner of Oaths, and ensure the appointed person has a doctor’s note explaining the inability to visit the SASSA office.
  4. SASSA Officer Assistance: Application forms are available at SASSA offices and should be completed in the presence of a SASSA officer. If needed, the officer will assist in filling out the form and conduct an interview, either with you or your appointed representative.
  5. Dated Stamp Receipt: Upon completion of the application and interview, you will receive a dated stamp receipt. This receipt, with the SASSA officer’s name who assisted you, serves as proof of application. Even if the application is not approved, retaining this receipt is crucial.
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Ensuring that the application process is followed meticulously is vital for a successful grant application.

SASSA Foster Child Grant Processing Time

After submitting your application for the SASSA Foster Child Grant, it typically takes about three months for the agency to process the application. The commencement of grant payments occurs after the approval of your application. Therefore, once the application is processed and approved, you will receive all payments retroactively from the date you submitted your application.

In the event of application rejection, SASSA will send a letter detailing the reasons for non-approval. This transparent communication ensures that applicants are informed about the decision and can take appropriate steps if needed.

SASSA Foster Child Grant Status Check

Keeping tabs on the status of your grant application is crucial for staying informed about its progress. SASSA provides multiple avenues for checking the status of your Foster Child Grant:

1. SASSA Website: Utilize the official SASSA website to check the status of your grant application. Visit the website and follow the designated steps to access the relevant information.
2. Moya APP Using Data-Free Method: For a convenient and data-free method, use the Moya app. This user-friendly application offers a seamless way to check the status of your grant application.
3. SMS to SASSA Number 082-046-8553: A quick and direct method is to send an SMS to the SASSA number 082-046-8553. This provides a straightforward way to receive updates on your grant application status.
4. SASSA WhatsApp 082-046-8553: Leverage the convenience of WhatsApp by contacting SASSA at 082-046-8553. This platform allows for easy communication and status updates on your Foster Child Grant application.
5. Contact SASSA Toll-Free No. 0800-601011: For personalized assistance, reach out to SASSA through the toll-free number 0800-601011. This direct contact method ensures that you receive accurate and up-to-date information.

Regularly checking the status through these methods ensures that you stay informed about the progress of your SASSA Foster Child Grant application.

How to Appeal for SASSA Foster Child Grant

If, for any reason, your Foster Child Grant application is declined, you have the right to appeal the decision. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to appeal for the SASSA Foster Child Grant:

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1. Reconsideration Request: If your grant application is declined, request SASSA to reconsider and provide any additional supporting information.
2. Formal Appeal to Ministry: If reconsideration is denied, file a formal appeal with the Ministry of Social Development within 90 days of the initial application.
3. Ministry Review: The Ministry will review your appeal, and if successful, they can overturn SASSA’s decision, leading to the resumption of grant payments.
4. Written Explanation: In case of denial, the Ministry will provide a written explanation for transparency.

Understanding the appeal process and taking timely action is crucial for foster parents seeking to rectify a declined Foster Child Grant application.

SASSA Foster Child Grant Suspension Reasons

While the SASSA Foster Child Grant is a vital support system, there are circumstances that may lead to the suspension of the grant. Here are the key reasons for grant suspension:

1. Changes in Child’s Circumstances: If there are significant changes in the foster child’s circumstances, such as improvement or stabilization, the grant may be suspended.
2. Providing False Information or Fraud: Grant suspension may occur if false information is provided during the application process or if fraudulent activities are detected.
3. Non-Cooperation During Review: Failure to cooperate during the grant review process may result in suspension. It’s crucial to actively participate in any required reviews.
4. Outcome of the Review: If the outcome of the grant review is unfavorable, the grant may be suspended.
5. Grant Approved by Mistake: In cases where the grant was approved in error, suspension may occur until the issue is rectified.

Lapsing of Foster Child Grant

The Foster Child Grant may lapse under the following conditions:

1. Child Turns 18: The grant ends when the foster child turns 18, except if they are still in secondary or high school, where it may continue until age 21.
2. Death of Child or Foster Parent: Grant lapses in the event of the child’s or last living foster parent’s demise.
3. Child Admitted to State Institution: Grant expires if the foster child is admitted to a state institution.
4. End of Foster Care: Grant lapses when the foster care arrangement concludes.
5. Lapsed Refugee Status: If the foster parent’s refugee status lapses, it may lead to grant expiration.
6. Non-Collection for Three Months: The grant may lapse if not collected for three consecutive months, but reapplication is possible within this timeframe.
7. Extended Stay Abroad: Grant may lapse if the foster parent is out of the country for more than 90 days without notice.

Understanding these conditions is crucial for foster parents to navigate the grant’s lifespan.

Conclusion

The SASSA Foster Child Grant is a vital support system for foster parents, providing financial assistance to address the needs of foster children facing challenging circumstances. Eligibility criteria include citizenship, residency, and court-ordered foster care. The application process is accessible and free of cost.

The grant, currently R1,130 per month per child, undergoes bi-annual adjustments to meet evolving needs. Processing takes around three months, with payments retroactively initiated upon approval. Foster parents can check the status through various methods.

In case of denial, foster parents can appeal to the Ministry of Social Development. Grant suspension may occur due to changes in the child’s circumstances, fraud, non-cooperation, or unfavorable reviews.

For inquiries, contact SASSA through the toll-free call center at 0800 60 10 11 or the SASSA head office at 012 400 2322. Email queries to [email protected].

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