SASSA Foster Child Grant – A Complete Guide to Application, Eligibility, Payments, and Reviews

Reviewed by Thabo Mashaba
Fact Check by Pumi Dlamini

Taking care of and raising a foster child is not easy. On the one hand, they are deprived of their parents, and if you take on the responsibility to make their life better, then managing their food, shelter, education, and other expenses all at once becomes extremely difficult after a while.

In such situations, SASSA has taken on this responsibility to provide relief to both the foster child and foster parents. After analyzing the valid legal documentation, SASSA provides financial assistance to the foster parents for the complete care of a child under 18 years old.

If you have questions like what the SASSA foster child grant is, how to apply for it, where to collect the money, and more, you can find the answers in the article below.

Who Qualifies For Foster Care Grant – Eligibility Criteria

Specific rules decide who can get monthly SASSA funds to assist with raising a foster child. Make sure you meet these criteria before applying:

Eligibility Criteria for SASSA Foster Child Grant

Citizenship

You must be a South African citizen, permanent resident, or recognized refugee. Both you and the foster child must currently live in South Africa.

Foster Parent Status

You need a legal foster care court order proving the child was placed into your care due to the following:

  • Being orphaned
  • Abandonment
  • Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Being at risk

Age of Child

The foster child must be under 18 years old. Payments can continue until 21 IF still attending school.

Financial Situation

The child must pass the means test focused on their income level. Your income as the foster parent does not matter. Meeting all the above criteria qualifies you to apply for this helpful monthly grant through SASSA to support raising the foster child.

Understanding the SASSA Means Test

SASSA does a “means test to get the foster child grant.” This checks if the foster child meets certain financial requirements. The means test looks only at the income of the foster child. It does NOT consider the foster parents’ earnings or money.

Here’s how it works:

SASSA checks that the foster child earns less than twice the yearly grant amount in one year. For example, the grant pays R1,130 per month. So, in one year, the child cannot earn over R27,120 (twice the annual total grant).

This ensures only financially disadvantaged children get assistance. If a foster child works part-time and earns too much yearly income, they would fail the means test.

Every type of SASSA grant does a means test. But each one uses different income rules. The foster child means test focuses strictly on what the foster kid makes. Foster parents’ salaries don’t matter.

Passing the means test proves the child needs the extra support. This qualifies them for monthly foster care funds to cover personal expenses.

Documents Needed to Apply for Foster Care Grant

When you apply to get monthly money from SASSA to help care for a foster child, you must take some important papers. SASSA stands for South Africa Social Security Agency. Here are the documents you must bring:

Documents Required When Applying for the Foster Care Grant

Child Paperwork

Birth certificate for the child. A SASSA worker can help you fill out a sworn statement if you don’t have it.

Your Identity

  • Your green South African ID book. A SASSA worker can help you fill out a sworn statement if you don’t have it.
  • If you are a refugee, your status permit and refugee ID.
    Spouse Identity
  • If married, your spouse’s green South African ID book. A SASSA worker can help you fill out a sworn statement if you don’t have it.
  • Also, bring proof of your marriage or divorce or that your spouse died. Or a sworn statement if none of those apply.
    Foster Care Court Order
    The court order says you are the foster parent for the child. This shows you have a legal responsibility to care for the child.

How to Apply for the SASSA Foster Child Money

You first need a court paper to get the foster child money from SASSA each month. This paper says you are the legal foster parent.

After getting the court paper, make an appointment to meet a social worker. The social worker works for the Department of Social Development.

Once you have the foster parent court paper, visit your closest SASSA office. Bring the court paper with you.

At the SASSA office, fill out an SASSA foster care grant application form to ask for the foster child’s money. You can fill out the form yourself. If you need help, the SASSA officer will help you.

You can also apply for the foster care grant online application instead of going into the office. Simply visit the SASSA website and follow the instructions provided there for applying online.

If you are old, sick, or disabled, someone else can apply for you. First, fill out a Power of Attorney form. This permits someone else. Have them take this form and a doctor’s note to the SASSA office when they apply.

After you finish the application, the SASSA officer will interview you. They will tell you if you can get the foster child money.

Before you leave, get a dated receipt. This is the name of the SASSA officer who helped you. Keep this paper for your records. Even if you don’t qualify, keep the receipt to prove you applied.

How Long It Takes to Get Approval

After you apply for the foster child money from SASSA, you may need to wait up to 3 months.

It takes time for SASSA to review all applications and decide if people qualify for the money. They need to check all the information that people provide.

During this waiting period, continue to care for the foster child as normal.

If your application is approved after three months, you will get money back to the date you first applied. So you will receive a larger first payment.

In case your application is rejected, SASSA will mail you a letter. This letter will explain why you did not qualify for the foster child grant money.

The waiting period can be difficult. But you need patience. Apply as early as possible once you become an official foster parent. This gives SASSA more time to process your case.

How to Check Your Application Status

After you apply for the SASSA foster child grant, you will want to check the status. There are a few easy ways to check your application status:

How to Check Your Application Status

Online

  • If you want to check your foster child grant status instantly, have your ID and reference number ready to enter in the tool at https://onlinesassastatuscheck.co.za/
  • Go to the SASSA website and click “Check Application Status”. Log in, and you can see your status.
  • Download the Moya app on your phone. This app lets you check with no internet data needed. Have a loot at Moya App SASSA 350 Status Check

SMS/WhatsApp

Phone

  • Call the SASSA toll-free number at 0800-601-011. Push option 2 for a status check.

In Person

  • Visit your local SASSA office. Ask an agent to check the status in their system and provide you with an update. 

After approval, you should continue routinely checking the status to see upcoming payment dates and amounts. Checking the status is free and easy to do through various methods. Be sure to track the progress of your foster care grant application.

What To Do If Your Application is Rejected

Having your application denied can be discouraging. But do not lose hope! There are still things you can try to get approved.

SASSA R350 Grant Appeal deadline

Search For Mistakes

Call SASSA at 0800 601 011. Ask if there were any technical errors with your application. Small issues in their system sometimes make it wrongly look like you do not qualify. Resolve any errors you can.

File an Appeal Case

You have 90 days from the initial submission date to appeal the decision. Your appeal goes to the National Department of Social Development Ministry. This means requesting that SASSA thoroughly review your eligibility again.

Follow these actions:

Step 1: Access the SASSA appeals portal online

Step 2: Submit your ID number and registered phone number

Step 3: Input the PIN code texted to start the appeal

Step 4: Select which month to appeal the denial decision

Step 5: Clarify why you deserve the monthly foster care grant

Step 6: Finalize by pressing the “Submit Appeal” button

The Ministry thoroughly looks at your qualifications for the foster child grant. If they decide SASSA was mistaken in rejecting you, the Ministry will override their call. This gets you approved for monthly payments!

However, if the Ministry also refuses to grant you the SASSA foster care money, you will receive a letter. This letter explains in detail why you do not meet eligibility factors.

How Much Foster Care Grant Amount?

As of October 1st, 2023, the SASSA foster care grant pays R1,130 monthly for every foster child. This rate changes two times per year. The amount may increase slightly on April 1st and October 1st each year to meet children’s needs. Starting April 1st, 2024, expect the monthly rate to go up by another R10 per child.

How You Get Paid the SASSA Foster Child Money

Once SASSA approves you, the monthly foster child grant starts coming. You choose how to receive this money.
SASSA pays the grant in these three ways:

  • Bank Account – The money goes right into your account around the same month’s dates. But banks may take out fees.
  • Cash Pick-Up – Take the cash at certain shops like Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Spar, etc. SASSA partners with these stores.
  • Organizations – If you live somewhere like an old age home, grants can come through them. 

If you want the foster child money paid to your bank, you need to give SASSA:

  • ID document
  • Your account and branch numbers
  • Bank statements from the last three months

You can switch where the payments go anytime. Fill out the form at the SASSA office. But it takes a month to change. If you can’t collect it yourself because you are elderly or sick, name someone you trust to pick it up.

How to Check Your Foster Child Grant Balance

You’ll want to check the balance once you start getting the foster child grant money. This shows how much is still left to use each month. There are a few easy ways to check your sassa balance:

Mobile Phone

  • Dial 1203210# or 12069277#. It’s free.
  • WhatsApp SASSA at 082 046 8553

ATM

Insert your SASSA card at any ATM. Normal fees may apply.

Call SASSA

  • Phone toll-free at 0800 601 011
  • Select the balance option when prompted.

Checking often helps you plan your budget wisely. Maybe you want to save some money for an emergency. Or make sure you have enough for the child’s school fees.

What Happens During SASSA Reviews

Every two years, SASSA checks on foster child grants. They want to make sure the child still gets the money. And that your situation is the same. These reviews help the system work fairly.

What goes on during a review? SASSA looks at records to confirm the child is still with you. They also check if your income level has not gone up. You must send in “life certificates” each year for people paid into a bank account. This shows recipients are still living.

A few months before the review date, SASSA sends a letter. It says when and where to meet them. If you are bedridden, an officer might visit your home instead.

The review process can feel inconvenient. But it helps the SASSA budget for these grants. It makes sure only families who truly need help keep getting it. Stay organized in case they need any paperwork. Then, the review will go smoothly.

In the end, some extra work protects this important help for children. The grant makes a big difference for so many. Careful reviews help it last for more families in the future.

Why the Foster Grant May Stop?

Sometimes, SASSA has to suspend foster child grant payments. This means temporarily stopping the monthly money. Here are some reasons why:

  • The foster child’s situation changes, like leaving your care.
  • You gave false information on your application.
  • You missed your review appointment or didn’t provide the needed papers.
  • The review finds you no longer qualify.
  • SASSA made a mistake approving your grant.

If your grant gets suspended, act quickly. Call SASSA to understand why. Gather any documents they request. Attend appointments to sort out the problem. If it was an error and you still qualify, payments will restart.

Restoration of the Grant

If you think SASSA was wrong to stop your grant, you can apply for reconsideration. You have 90 days from when the payments stopped to file an appeal. Your appeal goes to the Ministry of Social Development at the national department level. Explain in your appeal why you still deserve the foster child support. If they agree that SASSA made a mistake, your monthly grant funds will restart again. Don’t give up if you qualify – appeal the suspension.

Online Way To Apply For SASSA Reconsideration

Reasons for Lapsing of the Foster Child Grant

Some situations cause the monthly SASSA foster child grant to lapse. This means the payments stop completely. Make sure you understand why grants lapse so you can avoid it:

  • The child turns 18 years old. Payments continue until age 21 if the student is still attending school and not earning income.
  • The foster child or last living foster parent passes away.
  • The foster child enters a government institution. Payments stop after the first day of the 7th month.
  • The foster care arrangement ends for any reason.
  • A refugee foster parent’s status expires.
  • You fail to collect the money for three months in a row. You can reapply but may need to open a new case.
  • Traveling outside South Africa for more than 90 days without notifying SASSA.

When a lapse happens, act quickly. Contact SASSA to understand the next steps. Provide any documents needed to requalify if possible. Unfortunately, allowing your grant to lapse makes receiving future social assistance more difficult.

Responsibilities of the Beneficiaries

Getting ongoing foster child funds from SASSA comes with responsibilities, too. Make sure you comply with all requirements to avoid payment issues.

Stay Updated

  • Promptly inform SASSA if the foster child’s situation changes.
  • Notify them if your personal finances, employment, marital status, or contact information changes.

Provide Accurate Information

  • Always give correct details on any paperwork and in conversations.
  • Fraud, false reports, or lies can lead to grant suspension.

Meeting responsibilities keep your grant active. Important updates may be missed if SASSA doesn’t have your current details. For example, review notices could go to an old address. Stay proactive with communication so you don’t miss deadlines that risk your grant.

Conclusion

The SASSA foster child grant provides crucial financial assistance to deserving families. This money funds a vulnerable child’s basic needs. As recipients, we must hold up our end of the deal through transparent communication with SASSA case workers.

Meeting requirements around reviews and reporting changes lets us access this monthly support consistently. Staying organized and proactive keeps the grant working for our child. This funding fills a gap when foster parents lack adequate resources alone. Let’s follow the rules so SASSA can help those in need.

CONTACT SASSA

Still, have unanswered questions about the foster care grant even after reading this guide? Want to confirm you understand a specific requirement? Don’t hesitate to directly contact SASSA’s helpful staff:

  • Call the toll-free customer support line at 0800 60 10 11 to speak to an agent
  • Phone SASSA’s head office number at 012 400 2322
  • Email an inquiry to the grant specialist team at [email protected]
  • Search online for contact details of your closest regional SASSA office

Speaking directly with an informed SASSA representative ensures you get accurate, up-to-date information tailored to your unique situation. Instead of relying on website text alone, connecting with real people allows you to ask follow-up questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

It usually takes three months to process your application and receive grant payments if approved. Check the status regularly during this time.

You’ll need the child’s birth certificate, foster care court order, your ID document, spouse’s ID document, proof of spousal relationship, and refugee documents, if applicable.

You can check your status and balance by phone, SMS, online, or mobile app. See the SASSA website for the different options. Monitoring this info helps manage the funds.

If you still qualify and were suspended erroneously, submit an appeal within 90 days explaining why you deserve reinstatement. Provide all documents SASSA requests in case of issues.

SASSA conducts a review every two years when your foster care court order expires. Prepare your documents ahead of time to show continuing eligibility.

Promptly inform SASSA anytime you move or your contact info changes. Phone them or visit your nearest SASSA office to provide updated details so you don’t miss critical info.

Jabulani Zondo

Jabulani Zondo, with more than 7 years of research and writing experience, serves as the Head of Research. He joined our team in 2017 and has since led a team of 12 researchers and writers dedicated to offering precise and comprehensive insights into SASSA grants. Jabulani’s meticulous attention to detail and his commitment to aiding others in understanding the grant process have proven indispensable. He meticulously reviews all content to guarantee that readers access the latest and most valuable information. Under his guidance, our research team maintains its reputation as a leader in SASSA grant analysis and reporting.