Guardians of orphaned children urged to seek extra funds through SASSA
Even in the best of times caring for an orphaned child who is eligible for a Child Support Grant as a relative can be costly.
Now, relatives or guardians of orphaned children can apply for a 50% top-up to the grant to ease the financial pressure.
The Department of Social Development urges relatives taking care of orphaned children to apply for a top-up grant through the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).
The basic child support grant is R480, but successful applicants can get an additional amount of R240, bringing the total amount to R720 per month. The child support grant is currently being received by more than 13 million children in South Africa.
“This is not a new grant but rather builds on the existing child support grant system in a form of a ‘top-up’ amount,” says the department.
This provision will lessen the number of children taken to foster care homes. Relatives caring for orphaned children can get the grant quickly by going directly to SASSA without first needing a social worker’s investigation, report and a court order.
The top-up intervention came into effect when the department gazetted the proclamation of the Social Assistance Amendment Act on 30 May 2022 to benefit orphans and vulnerable children.
“The child support grant top-up lessens the burden on social workers dealing with high foster care cases by reducing the number of new applications and two-yearly extensions,” says the department.
This will also free up social workers to provide responsive child protection and care services to all children in need of care and protection.
The top-up intervention is also meant for orphaned children living in child-headed households. The extra money should be used to provide for the children’s basic needs.
To receive this benefit, applicants will be required to prove that a child is an orphan by providing certified copies of the death certificates of the child’s parent(s).
“Where the death certificate of one of the parents of the child cannot be obtained by the applicant, a certified copy of the death certificate of one parent and an affidavit by the applicant attesting to the unknown status of the child’s other parent,” says the department.
To apply, you can visit the nearest SASSA office. For more information, you can email GrantsEnquiries@sassa.gov.za or call SASSA Services on 0800601011 or 0124002322