What Is The SASSA Means Test For All Grant Types

Navigating the SASSA Means Test is a financial assessment tool used by South Africa’s Social Security Agency (SASSA) to determine your eligibility for various social grants.

Consider it as a guardian, tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that only those who truly require financial aid are granted assistance. It scrutinizes your income and assets, examining every nook and cranny of your financial circumstances.

What Is the SASSA Means Test

The test’s aim isn’t to make your life difficult but to make sure that limited resources are allocated fairly.

What is the SASSA Means Test

At its core, the test is a mechanism used by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to determine who qualifies for government social grants. It’s a calculation based on your monthly income threshold and assets you own. In essence, it’s used to discern if you’re financially vulnerable and in dire need of government assistance.

The process involves checking your income and assets against predefined thresholds. You’ll provide information about your earnings, property, and other assets. They’ll also consider your age, disability status, and number of dependents.

If your income and assets fall below these thresholds, congratulations! You’ve passed the test. If not, you’re considered financially secure enough not to require aid. It’s SASSA’s way of prioritizing those who need help the most.

Now, the concern is in your mind ‘But I’m struggling, isn’t that enough? However, SASSA has to manage limited resources. They need hard facts to justify their decisions.

Eligibility Criteria for SASSA Grants (All SASSA grant Types)

1. Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant:

Social Relief of Distress
  • Citizenship/Residency: South African citizen, permanent resident, refugee, asylum seeker, or special permit holder.
  • Age: 18 to 59 years old.
  • Unemployment: Currently jobless and do not receive any unemployment benefits.
  • Income: Monthly income not exceeding R350 (as of October 2023).
  • Means Test: Pass the SASSA means test which evaluates household income and assets.
  • No other grants: Not receiving any other AID.

2. Child Support Grant (CSG):

Child Support Grant (CSG)
  • Child: South African citizen or permanent resident under 18 years old.
  • Caregiver: South African citizen, permanent resident, or refugee caring for the child.
  • Income: Household income falling below the prescribed threshold (around R52,800 for single households and R105,600 for married households as of October 2023).
  • Relationship: The caregiver must be the child’s biological parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, legal guardian, or person heading the household where the child resides.

3. Older Persons Grant (OPG):

Older Persons Grant
  • Citizenship/Residency: South African citizen or permanent resident.
  • Age: 60 years old or older.
  • Income: Monthly income not exceeding R1,890 (as of October 2023).
  • Means Test: Pass the SASSA means test.
  • Not institutionalized: Not residing in a state-funded institution.

4. Disability Grant (DG):

Disability Grant
  • Citizenship/Residency: South African citizen or permanent resident.
  • Disability: Severe disability preventing gainful employment, confirmed by medical assessment.
  • Income: Monthly income not exceeding R1,890 (as of October 2023).
  • Means Test: Pass the SASSA means test.
  • Not institutionalized: Not residing in a state-funded institution.

5. Care Dependency Grant (CDG):

Care Dependency Grant
  • Citizenship/Residency: Applicant and child must be South African citizens
  • Child: Under 18 years old and the child must have serious disabilityrequiring constant care and supervision.
  • Caregiver: Applicant must be the primary caregiver for the child, residing with them.
  • Income: Household income falling below the prescribed threshold (around R52,800 for single households and R105,600 for married households as of October 2023).

6. South African War Veteran’s Grant:

South African War Veteran's Grant
  • Citizenship/Residency: Be a South African citizen or permanent resident.
  • Age or Disability: Be at least 60 years old. Have a permanent disability.
  • Income and Assets must meet the means test, demonstrating an income within the prescribed limit set by the Department of Military Veterans.

How the Means Test Is Conducted

First, SASSA conducts an income assessment. They evaluate your total monthly income and any assets you may have. If your income or assets exceed the defined limit, you won’t qualify for a grant.

Next, they look into your living conditions. They’re interested in your access to necessities like food, shelter, and healthcare. If you’re struggling to meet these needs, it adds weight to your application.

Lastly, there’s a review of your dependents. If you’re solely responsible for children or elderly family members, it might increase your chances of qualifying.

Documentation Required for the Test

Firstly, you’ll need a valid proof of identity. This could be your South African ID document. If you’re an asylum seeker, you’ll need to present your Section 22 permit.

Documentation Required for the Test

Secondly, you must provide proof of income, assets, and expenses. This could be payslips, bank statements, or a letter from your employer. If you’re unemployed or self-employed, you might need to provide an affidavit explaining your financial situation.

Additionally, if you’re applying for a disability grant, you’ll need a medical report confirming your disability status. For a foster child grant, a court order showing foster care status is required.

Lastly, remember to provide proof of marital status and residence. A marriage certificate, divorce decree, or lease agreement can suffice here.

Income Threshold for All SASSA Grants

These thresholds aren’t just arbitrary figures; they’re carefully calculated based on the cost of living and are designed to ensure that financial aid goes to those who need it most.

  • For the old age grant, you’re eligible if your yearly income is below R81,000, or if it’s below R162,000 for couples.
  • As for the disability grant, the income threshold is the same as that of the old age grant.
  • For the child support grant, the income cap is R48,000 per annum for single caregivers and R96,000 for couples. The foster child grant doesn’t have an income test.
  • The care dependency grant is available if you’re a single caregiver earning less than R240,000 yearly, or a caregiver in a couple that earns less than R480,000 annually.
  • Lastly, the war veteran’s grant requires an annual income of less than R81,000 for individuals or less than R162,000 for couples.

What is Considered an income in the SASSA Means Test?

Income, in the context of the SASSA, means test, is any money you earn or receive regularly.

  • This includes your salary from employment, pension, interest from investments, and rental income.
  • If you’re self-employed, the net income from your business is also considered.
  • Even financial support from family members or friends counts as income.
  • For instance, grants from the government, such as child support, disability, or foster care grants, aren’t included in the means test.
  • Likewise, money received from selling personal belongings or assets doesn’t count as income.
  • The SASSA means test is based on the total income of your household, not just your income.
  • That means the incomes of everyone living in your household are added together. So, if you’re living with a spouse, their income will also be considered.

What Costs Are Deducted When Calculating Your Revenue?

In calculating your revenue for the SASSA Means Test, certain costs can be deducted, which will lower your overall income assessment. These deductions are generally expenses that you’re obligated to pay and can’t avoid, like taxes, insurance premiums, and loan repayments.

What Costs Are Deducted When Calculating Your Revenue

Firstly, tax payments are considered. The amount you pay in taxes is subtracted from your total earnings. This includes income tax, property tax, and other local and state taxes you’re required to pay.

Next, insurance premiums can also be deducted. If you’re paying for health, life, or other types of insurance, these costs are taken into account.

Lastly, loan repayments count as well. Whether it’s a mortgage, car loan, or student loan, these repayments are taken into account when calculating your revenue.

How Much Does A SASSA Grant Pay?

  • For instance, the Older Persons Grant pays up to R1,860 per month. If you’re over 75, you’ll get an additional R20 totaling R1,880.
  • If you’re a caregiver, the Child Support Grant offers up to R460 per child per month, while the Foster Child Grant provides up to R1,040 per child per month.
  • For individuals with severe disabilities, SASSA pays a Disability Grant of up to R1,860 per month.
  • Moreover, there’s the Care Dependency Grant that amounts to R1,860 per month for parents or caregivers of children with severe disabilities.
  • The War Veterans Grant, for those who served in the war, is R1,880 per month.
  • Lastly, the social relief distress grant pays you R350 per month. If you’ve already applied for the Sassa grants then check your Sassa Status.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Penalties or Consequences for Providing False Information During the Means Test?

Yes, you might face for giving false information. You’re committing fraud, which could lead to fines or imprisonment.

Can I Apply for Multiple SASSA Grants at the Same Time?

Yes, you can apply for multiple SASSA grants simultaneously. However, eligibility for each grant is determined separately.

Can the SASSA Means Test Results Be Appealed if I Am Denied a Grant?

Yes, you can appeal if you’re denied a SASSA grant due to the means test results. You have the right to challenge the decision, but it’s important to provide new or additional information supporting your appeal.


In essence, the SASSA means test determines whether you’re eligible for a SASSA grant, taking into account your income and assets. It’s crucial to supply accurate information and necessary documentation for the test.

Remember, certain costs can reduce your income figure. The grant amount you may be eligible for is determined by the outcomes of the means test. So, understanding this process is key to accessing the financial support you may need.

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