If you are taking care of a foster child in any corner of the world, then you are solely on your own most of the time. However, that is not the case for South African citizens.
The government has taken the initiative of the Sassa foster child grant, which provides monetary assistance to those families who are taking care of foster children. Therefore, there is a way for them to ease their financial struggle. But an important thing here is the foster child grant application process is being done smoothly.
In case of any hitch in the process, financial assistance will not be received. Therefore, if you are planning on applying for this grant, read the article below to find out the application process, and reasons behind suspension to steer clear from them. The additional information will make sure your application process goes by without any problems.
Sassa Foster Child Care Grant
Sassa is an abbreviation of the South African Social Security Agency. They provide the citizens of the country with monetary aid in the form of different grants. The Foster Child Grant (FCG) is one of them.
This grant provides financial help to the struggling caretakers of foster children. If the application process goes smoothly, and the Department accepts the request, the family receives R1120 per month per child.
Who is Eligible For It?
The Department does not grant money to each and every person who applies for it. There is a very strict eligibility criteria. When a person meets every single requirement of the criteria, only then do they receive the amount of foster child grant.
The first requirement of this grant is that the child must be under the age of 18. This is the legal age of adulthood in South Africa; therefore, if the foster kid is over the age of 18, then the applicant will not receive financial aid.
The applicant, which is the foster parent or caregiver of the child as well as the child, needs to be a citizen of South Africa. This is the second requirement for the grant. They can be registered citizens of the country, foreigners with permanent residence here, or refugees.
Another important requirement is that the applicant must be the legal foster parent or caretaker of the child. This leads us to another request for the foster child grant which is that the guardian must be given custody of the child through court.
Documents Required for the Grant
If you have read all of the above-stated eligibility requirements, then you can start to gather your documents for application. However, if you do not meet each and every one of the requirements, then you can not qualify and your foster child grant application will not be accepted.
The first document that Sassa requires with the application is proof of identity. The applicant must submit their identity card issued to them by the government of South Africa, or the passport of the country, proving their identity.
If they are married, then they need to present their spouse’s identity card as well. Moreover, they also need to attach the marriage certificate, divorce documents, or the death certificate of their spouse, in case of any of these.
After this, the applicant needs to submit the child’s birth certificate, proving their age. However, if the foster parent does not possess the birth certificate, then they can ask the help of a Sassa officer for a signed affidavit. In case of an unmarried relationship of the guardian, a signed affidavit is required.
In addition to that, the most important document is the court order. The applicant must attach the court order in which it is stated that they are the guardian of the child and have full custody of him.
Foster Child Application Process In Detail
The application process for the foster child grant can be done through two methods. The applicant can do the process physically through the office, or online through the website of Sassa. However, before the application, you need to make sure that you have copies of all of your required documents.
Online application is a very simple procedure. You need to visit the website of Sassa on your mobile phone or laptop. Then log in with your details, if you are a registered user.
However, if a person is not registered with Sassa online, then they need to go through the registration process before the application for the grant. This will require them to click on ‘register’, and then fill out the form that appears on the screen. Make sure to add all the required information correctly; otherwise, the registration process will fail.
After the person adds their phone number, along with other details, the Department sends out a One-Time Password or OTP on their mobile number present on the form. This is a mandatory step as it does the confirmation of identity. Add the OTP that you receive on your phone to the registration form.
Once the registration process is complete, you can sign in to your account on the website with a username and password. Locate the option of ‘Apply for a grant’ on the homepage of Sassa. After you find the option, click on it.
A dropbox will appear on the screen with all the grants that Sassa is currently offering. From the list, select the foster child grant. The application form for this grant will open on the screen.
You need to fill out the entire form. It is critical for you to make sure that there is no error in the application form as it will cause a delay or rejection of the application for the grant. Once the application form has been filled out accurately, you need to upload all the required documents.
An important thing to keep in mind here is that every document should be uploaded in PDF format. After this, simply submit the application, and the process for the grant will begin.
If you are old-school and do not want to apply for the grant online, you have a second option of physical application. Simply visit any branch of Sassa that is nearest to you. Then ask them for the foster child grant application form.
Once you receive the form, you have to fill it out with all the details that are mentioned. It is critical that you must fill out the application form in the presence of a Sassa officer. In case of any issue, you can ask the officer for help and they will guide you.
After you have filled out the entire form accurately, attach all the required documents with it. Make sure that you attach every document and not skip any as it will cause a delay in the process of your application for the grant.
Once this step is done, submit your application to the Sassa officer. They will provide you with a receipt that will have the officer’s name and the date of submission. You must keep this receipt secure as it will be your proof of application in case of any issues.
After you submit the application for the grant, the Department reviews it. They check all the documents to find out whether you are eligible or not.
The processing period takes 1 to 3 months at most. When the Department approves the application, the foster parent or caregiver receives R1020 per month for their foster child. If they have two foster children, then they will receive R2040.
However, if your application is not accepted, the Department will provide you with a reason behind the rejection. You have the option of appeal which is basically, asking the officers who reviewed your case to reassess their decision in the light of all the documents provided with the appeal.
Just because a Sassa foster child grant application is accepted once and the applicant receives money for a few months does not entail that it is permanent. Sassa can suspend the grant for many reasons.
The first major cause behind the suspension of the grant is that the person violated the terms or rules of the grant. Moreover, any fraud committed by the person such as fake documents can also result in the grant getting suspended by the government. Failure to cooperate with the grant review team can also become the cause for suspension of the foster child grant.
Furthermore, if the Department approved the grant by mistake, they can suspend it immediately. Another cause behind suspension is if the applicant does not claim the grant for 3 months in a row. In such a case, Sassa will suspend the grant immediately after the third month.
Another major cause is the change in the circumstances of the financial situation of the foster parent. If their annual earning surpasses the maximum limit of Sassa, then their grant will be suspended.
In case of suspension due to any of the reasons stated above, the applicant has a 90-day window to restore their grant. They can apply for restoration only within 90 days of their suspension order. After this period, the Department will not restore the grant.
Grant lapse is much more permanent than suspension, and can not be restored. The foster child grant lapses mainly due to the child turning 18. The month the child turns 18 will be the last month the guardian will receive their foster child grant from the government.
Moreover, if the child dies, or the last living foster parent or caretaker of the child dies, then the grant will lapse in both situations. Another major reason is the removal of the child from the care of the guardian. If the foster parent loses custody of the child, the grant will lapse.
Furthermore, if the child gets admitted into an institute that is funded by the state, it will also become the cause of grant lapse. Lastly, if the child leaves their school or the foster parent removes them from the school, the grant will lapse due to it. Once a grant lapses, it can not be restored.
After the government allots the grant money to the applicant, they keep reviewing the case over the years. This is called grant review and it is done to make sure whether the applicant continues to remain eligible for the grant or not.
It is important for the applicant or foster parent to cooperate with the review team. Reviews for foster child grants are conducted when the court order expires which is after 2 years of its issue date. Sassa informs the applicants 3 months before the review.
They also notify them about the timing and the place of the review. If the applicant cooperates and the review goes smoothly, they receive a receipt of compliance and their grant also remains in motion.
What do you need to apply for a foster child grant in South Africa?
To apply for the foster child grant in South Africa, you need the court order stating you are the foster parent of the child. Moreover, you also need proof of identity, and the birth certificate of the child among other documents.
How do I check my Sassa child grant online?
In order to check the child grant online, you can visit the website of Sassa on your device. Add your identity or reference number there, and it will let you know the latest status of your grant.
How much is the foster child grant in South Africa in 2023?
The foster child grant in South Africa pays R1020 to the foster parent per child, each month. For two foster kids, the guardian will receive R2040.
Sassa has offered many grants to the financially struggling citizens of South Africa. But the applicant must go through the proper procedure for the request to be approved.
The article above states every minute detail about the foster child grant application process. Therefore, you will be able to submit your application without any errors.