Answer to a question from a reader

Can I apply for grants for my children if I have lost my job?

The short answer

Yes, you can certainly apply for the Child Support Grant, as it exists to help support children when their parent is in need.

The whole question

I am a single mother of four children and living with my boyfriend. I lost my job a while back and I now have no income. I am my children's sole provider. Can I apply for a child grant for my children until I get another job?

I have no proof of payment or Income. Can I apply without it and just give a written letter saying I have no proof of income because I have no current income?
My boyfriend has been contributing, but not much and there is a lot my kids need.

The long answer

Thank you for your email asking about applying for the Child Support Grant for your children, and what documents you need when you apply.

Yes, you can certainly apply for the Child Support Grant, as it exists to help support children when their parent is in need.

You should go to your nearest SASSA office to make the application, and you will need to fill out the forms in the presence of the SASSA officials. The Child Support Grant is a means-tested grant and they need to be satisfied that your income as a single parent is less than R4,000 a month.

If you have been formally employed, you will need to show them your Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) card or receipt, or discharge from employment letter. If you are still receiving UIF payments, that will be taken into account as income when they assess you in the means test, and you might receive less than the maximum amount of the grant which is currently R420 per child.

If you receive maintenance payments from the children’s father, that too will be taken into account as income. They will also ask for evidence that you have applied for maintenance from the children’s father, and have failed to get it.

You will need your ID and the children’s birth certificates, and you will be required to make an affidavit about your income if you have no proof of income. Usually you would have to supply three months’ recent consecutive bank statements. SASSA provides affidavit forms and there are commissioners of oaths at their offices, so you should be able to make the affidavit there.

You will be given a receipt after you have made the grant application and you must hold onto it as proof of your application. It will take about 30 days to process your application and either approve it or refuse it. If it is refused they will give you a letter saying why it has been refused, and explain how you can appeal the decision.

If it is approved, it can take up to three months for SASSA to start paying out, but they will pay arrears from the date of your application. You can also apply for a Social Relief of Distress Grant while you wait for your Child Support Grant to be processed. This is paid out monthly for a maximum of three months and they will deduct it from your arrears payment when they start paying out the Child Support Grant.

You can check what has happened to your application and when they will start payments at this SASSA toll-free number: 0800 601 011


Answered on May 12, 2019, 9:01 a.m.

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Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.