SASSA Means Test (2024) – Asset Income Threshold Explained

SASSA Means Test Explained

In the ever-evolving landscape of social assistance programs, the SASSA Means Test stands as a critical tool for determining eligibility. The SASSA Means Test has long been a cornerstone of South Africa’s welfare system, and in 2024, significant changes to the asset income threshold are set to come into effect.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of the SASSA Means Test and explore how the new asset income threshold will shape the landscape of social assistance in South Africa. From eligibility criteria to practical implications, this article aims to provide a clear understanding of what lies ahead for beneficiaries and advocates alike.

SASSA Means Test Explained

At the heart of the application process lies the SASSA Means Test—a meticulous examination of an applicant’s financial landscape, scrutinizing income, assets, and other financial factors. This discerning evaluation ensures that only those facing genuine financial hardships are eligible for the grant. Should an applicant’s income or assets exceed the prescribed threshold, their eligibility for the grant is negated.

SASSA Means Test

Grant-Specific Means Test Criteria

Different types of grants under the SASSA umbrella come with distinct means test criteria tailored to evaluate financial eligibility. For instance, grants for older persons, individuals with disabilities, and war veterans operate on a sliding scale. The quantum of the grant diminishes as private income increases.

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For married individuals, assets and income are collectively calculated with their spouse, regardless of whether the marriage falls within the community or out of community property. Unmarried individuals, on the other hand, are evaluated based solely on their own assets and income.

Income and Asset Thresholds

To comprehend the SASSA Means Test thoroughly, one must familiarize themselves with the maximum income and asset thresholds applicable from April 1, 2023. It’s crucial to note that these values may undergo revision on either April 1 or October 1 each year.

Income Thresholds for Various SASSA Grants

The income thresholds for different SASSA grant types vary, ensuring a nuanced assessment of financial need. The following maximum income thresholds apply:

1. Old Age, Disability, Grant-in-Aid, & War Veterans Grant
  • A single person’s monthly income should not exceed R8,070 (R96,840 annually).
  • Married couples should not have a combined income surpassing R193,680 per year (R16,140 per month).
2. Child Support Grant
  • The monthly income for a single person (primary caregiver) should not exceed R5,000 (R60,000 per year).
  • Married applicants (the child’s primary caregiver) and their spouse should not surpass a combined income of R120,000 per year (R10,000 per month).
3. Care Dependency Grant
  • The monthly income for a single person (parent or primary caregiver) should not exceed R20,800 (R249,600 per year).
  • Married applicants (parents or primary caregivers) and their spouse(s) should not surpass a combined income of R499,200 per year (R41,600 per month).
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4. Foster Child Grant
  • A means test is not required by SASSA for the Foster Child Grant.
5. SRD (Social Relief of Distress) Grant
  • SRD (Social Relief of Distress) Grant specifies that the monthly income should not exceed R624 (R7488 per month).

Asset Thresholds for Various SASSA Grants

Asset thresholds play a crucial role in the means test, delineating the maximum value of assets an applicant can possess. From April 1, 2023, the following asset thresholds apply:

1. Old Age, Disability, Grant-in-Aid, and War Veterans Grant:
  • A single person should not own assets valued at more than R1,372,800.
  • The combined assets of a married person and their spouse should not exceed R2,745,600.
2. Child Support, Care Dependency, Foster Child Grant, and SRD Grant:
  • These grants fall under the category of need-based grants and do not require a means test for assets.

Income in SASSA Means Test

The SASSA Means Test considers various sources of income, including:

  • Employment income
  • Income from business or farming activities
  • Rental income from owned property
  • Private pension grants
  • Financial assistance from friends or relatives
  • Maintenance payments for children from ex-spouses
  • Compensation from sources like UIF, RAF, or COIDA.

Assets in SASSA Means Test

The SASSA means test scrutinizes the following as assets:

  • Money in bank accounts, considering both the applicant’s and their spouse’s accounts if married.
  • Property or land owned by the applicant and/or their spouse, excluding the primary residence.
  • Value of investments, such as shares or other financial instruments.
  • Annuities, except for those yet to retire from a fund.
  • Annuities for retirees are considered assets in the means test.
  • Outstanding debts like bonds and loans.
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Deductions in Income Calculation

When determining income for the SASSA Means Test, certain deductions are allowed. These include:

  • UIF payments
  • Medical aid expenses
  • Income tax payments
  • Contributions to retirement plans, such as annuities or pension funds.

Monthly SASSA Grant Payments

To provide clarity on the financial assistance offered, let’s explore the monthly payment amounts for various SASSA grants, effective from October 1, 2023:

  1. Older Persons Grant (under 75 years): R2,090 per month
  2. Older Persons Grant (equal to or older than 75 years): R2,110 per month
  3. Disability Grant: R2,090 per month
  4. War Veterans Grant: R2,110 per month
  5. Foster Child Grant: R1,130 per month
  6. Care Dependency Grant: R2,090 per month
  7. Child Support Grant: R510 per month (750 with top-up amount)
  8. Grant Aid: R510 per month
  9. SRD Grant: R350 per month

Final Thoughts

In summary, the SASSA means test serves as a crucial mechanism to identify individuals grappling with financial difficulties, ensuring that immediate support reaches those in need.

The test meticulously assesses assets and income, validating financial eligibility for various social grants. Each grant type comes with unique means test criteria, a prerequisite for qualification.

For any queries related to SASSA grant applications and eligibility criteria, direct communication with SASSA is encouraged.

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