SASSA Means Test Calculator: The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) provides social assistance and welfare grants to eligible low-income individuals and families in South Africa. Several types of grants are available, including the Child Support Grant, Older Person’s Grant, Disability Grant, Foster Child Grant and others.
A key component in qualifying for these SASSA grants is passing the SASSA means test calculator, which looks at an applicant’s income and assets to determine eligibility. Each year, SASSA reviews and updates the means test qualifying thresholds and limits.
This guide explains everything you need to know about the 2023 SASSA means test requirements, including the latest thresholds for income, assets and other criteria needed to qualify for social assistance, and unofficial SASSA Means Test Calculator.
An Introduction to SASSA Means Test Calculator
The SASSA means test is a review of an applicant’s financial means to determine if they qualify for social grant support. SASSA uses means testing to ensure grants are targeted to individuals and households living in actual poverty in South Africa.
Some of the factors looked at in the means test may include:
- Income from wages, salaries, profits from business
- Assets such as cash savings, investments, property ownership
- Receiving support from other sources
- Number of dependents
If an applicant’s total means is lower than the threshold, they satisfy the means test requirements and may qualify for SASSA grants subject to meeting all other criteria. Each grant type – Child Support, Old Age, Foster Care etc – has its own established thresholds.
The means test thresholds are revised by SASSA annually based on inflation, cost of living adjustments and other welfare policies. The income and asset limits for qualifying are usually increased slightly year-over-year.
SASSA Grant Types Available
There are several grant types available from SASSA subject to qualifying based on the means test along with other eligibility rules. These include:
- Child Support Grant (CSG) – Provides support for qualifying children under 18 years old
- Older Person’s Grant – For citizens 60 years and older who meet requirements
- Disability Grant – For qualifying persons with disability unable to work
- Foster Child Grant
- Care Dependency Grant
- War Veteran’s Grant
Each grant type has its own policy regarding the means test. For example, the Older Person’s Grant has higher allowable income than the Child Support Grant before disqualification.
2023 SASSA Means Test Thresholds
For 2023, SASSA has updated the income and asset thresholds and limits across grant types. Here are the current means test requirements for applicants to meet for popular grant categories:
Child Support Grant Means Test
- Single Primary Caregiver
- Maximum Income Threshold: R6 720 per month
- Maximum Asset Limit: R1 368 000
- Joint Primary Caregivers
- Maximum Income Threshold: R13 440 per month
- Maximum Asset Limit: R2 736 000
Older Person’s Grant Means Test
- Single Applicant
- Maximum Income Threshold: R10 930 per month
- Maximum Asset Limit: R1 720 800
- Married Applicant
- Maximum Income Threshold: R21 860 per month
- Maximum Asset Limit: R3 441 600
The income threshold represents the maximum gross income that a single applicant or married couple can receive per month and still qualify. This includes all wages, profits, and other earnings.
The asset limit refers to the total market value of all assets owned by an applicant such as property, investments, cash savings and others. The property threshold is for the primary residence only.
How Income and Assets are Calculated
When applying the SASSA means test, here is how income and assets are calculated:
- Wages and salaries
- Profits from business, rental properties or investments
- Pensions and annuities
- Support payments from others
- Interest on accounts
Assets include full current market value of:
- Primary residence property
- Additional homes, properties and land
- Bank account balances
- Retirement savings and investments
- Livestock and equipment
- Non-primary vehicles and trailers
Specific exclusions do apply in some cases when counting assets. Overall, SASSA aims to get a complete picture of an applicant’s financial means to make a fair decision.
How to Apply for a SASSA Grant
If you meet the eligibility and means test requirements outlined above, you can apply for SASSA social grants by:
- Gathering required documents (ID, proof of income/assets etc.)
- Visiting your nearest SASSA office
- Completing application form and means test interview
- Awaiting outcome and decision
Approval timeframes range from 60 days up to several months in some cases before grants are issued. Applicants will receive communication on the status of their means test results and overall application and can also proactively follow up directly with SASSA representatives.
Appeals Process if Application Declined
If your SASSA grant application is declined based on not meeting income, asset, or other eligibility thresholds, you can request an appeal or re-evaluation if you believe there are grounds to overturn the decision.
As part of the appeal, you may need to:
- Request means test recalculation if errors found
- Submit additional documents
- Attend appeal interview meeting
Given long wait times for appeals in some cases, be sure to follow up proactively if possible or seek assistance from a social worker or legal aid resource. Providing clear information can help resolve the appeal faster.
- SASSA provides social grants to South Africans but requires passing a means test
- Each grant type has defined income and asset thresholds annually
- Understand how income and assets are calculated
- Gather documents and complete the application process
- If denied, understand options to request an appeal
Review the latest thresholds and policy announcements from SASSA to make sure your application addresses all requirements. Seek assistance if needed to navigate the documentation and approval process.
By meeting all eligibility criteria and SASSA means testing rules, social grants provide support each month to purchase basics like food, clothing, shelter transportation and more. The supplemental income can be a lifeline for low-income families in South Africa facing short-term or long-term challenging circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there an online SASSA means test calculator I can use to check eligibility?
No, SASSA does not currently provide an official online means test calculator. The only way to complete the required means testing is through an in-person application interview at your local SASSA office. However, an unofficial Calculator is developed by https://online-sassa-status-check.co.za/ available for the guidance purpose only.
Can I estimate in advance whether I might qualify before applying?
Without an official means test calculation from SASSA, you can review the published income and asset thresholds for the grant type you are interested in to get a reasonable estimate of potential eligibility. But the actual means test calculation will be required.
Does SASSA do the means test calculation automatically during the application process?
Yes, as part of your in-person application, a SASSA agent will complete the means test calculation with you by inputting your provided income, asset and other eligibility information to determine qualification.
If I am denied, can I request to see the specific means test calculation?
Yes, as part of the SASSA appeals process if your application is rejected, you can request the detailed income and asset calculation used to make the decision. This may help identify any disputes over the specific figures used.
Where can I find more details on how the SASSA means test formulas and calculations work?
The detailed formulas and points system used for the means test are an internal SASSA policy matter. However, SASSA representatives can provide additional clarification during the application and appeals process on how calculations are done case-by-case.
What are the income limits for the child support grant in 2023?
The maximum income threshold for a single primary caregiver to qualify for the Child Support Grant is R6,720 per month. For joint caregivers, the limit is R13,440 per month.
Do government pensions count as income on the SASSA means test?
Yes, government pensions are considered part of total income when applying the SASSA means test thresholds. All sources of monthly income need to be accounted for.
What if I earn money sometimes but not every month – does that income still count?
Irregular income does still factor into the total income calculation used on the SASSA means test. Even if you only earn income sporadically, an average monthly income amount is used when checking qualification.
If I have a car, does that make me ineligible by the asset limit?
No, your primary vehicle used for essential transportation does not count as an asset for the SASSA means test asset limit. Only additional, non-essential vehicles would contribute to the total asset threshold.
Can I check the status of my SASSA application online or receive updates by email?
Unfortunately, at this time, online application tracking is not available. You need to follow up in-person at your nearest SASSA office to check the status and receive updates. Bring any required documents and information.
What is the average turnaround time currently to process new SASSA grant applications?
Due to application volumes, it can take on average between 60 to 90 days for new SASSA grant applications to be processed currently. Priority is given to vulnerable groups like the elderly so wait times can vary case by case.