How SASSA Means Test work? Key Eligibility And Income Limit For The Grants


The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) administers various social grants to support vulnerable individuals and families. To determine eligibility for these grants, SASSA uses a means test. This article provides a detailed explanation of how the SASSA means test works, including its purpose, the criteria involved, and the application process.

Understanding the SASSA Means Test

What is a SASSA Means Test ?

A SASSA Means Test is a method used to evaluate the financial situation of individuals or families to determine their eligibility for social grants. It assesses income, assets, and overall financial resources to ensure that assistance is provided to those who need it most.

Purpose of the SASSA Means Test

The primary goal of the SASSA Means Test is to ensure that social grants are allocated to individuals and families who genuinely require financial assistance. By evaluating the financial status of applicants, SASSA can distribute resources more effectively and fairly.

Criteria for the SASSA Means Test

Income Assessment

Income assessment involves evaluating all sources of income, including:

  • Salaries and Wages: Earnings from employment.
  • Pensions: Retirement income.
  • Investment Income: Returns from investments such as dividends and interest.
  • Rental Income: Earnings from property rentals.
  • Other Grants: Income from other social grants.

Asset Assessment

Assets are evaluated to determine the total value of an applicant’s possessions, including:

  • Property: Ownership of residential and commercial properties.
  • Vehicles: Cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles.
  • Investments: Stocks, bonds, and other financial assets.
  • Savings: Money held in bank accounts.

Thresholds and Limits

SASSA sets specific income and asset thresholds that applicants must meet to qualify for grants. These thresholds vary based on the type of grant and the applicant’s circumstances, such as whether they are single or married.

Applying for the SASSA Means Test

Application Process

The application process for a means test involves several steps:

  1. Gather Necessary Documentation: Collect all required documents, including identification, proof of income, and asset statements.
  2. Complete the Application Form: Fill out the SASSA means test application form accurately.
  3. Submit the Application: Submit the completed form and supporting documents to the nearest SASSA office.

Required Documentation

Applicants must provide various documents to support their application, including:

  • ID Document: A valid South African ID or birth certificate.
  • Proof of Income: Payslips, pension statements, or bank statements.
  • Proof of Assets: Property deeds, vehicle registration documents, and investment certificates.
  • Bank Statements: Recent bank statements showing financial transactions.

Types of Grants and SASSA Means Test Requirements

Old Age Pension

To qualify for the Old Age Pension, applicants must:

  • Be 60 years or older.
  • Pass the means test by meeting the income and asset thresholds.

Disability Grant

Eligibility for the Disability Grant requires:

  • A medical assessment confirming disability.
  • Meeting the income and asset criteria through the means test.

Child Support Grant

For the Child Support Grant, caregivers must:

  • Prove their financial need through the means test.
  • Ensure the child is under 18 years old and resides in South Africa.

Foster Child Grant

To qualify for the Foster Child Grant:

  • Provide a court order confirming foster care status.
  • Pass the means test based on the caregiver’s financial situation.

Impact of the SASSA Means Test on Eligibility

Positive Outcomes

The means test helps ensure that social grants are distributed to those in genuine need, promoting fairness and equity. It also helps SASSA manage resources efficiently, ensuring long-term sustainability of the social grant system.


Some applicants may find the means test process complex and burdensome. Accurate documentation and transparent criteria are crucial to minimizing these challenges and ensuring that deserving individuals receive the support they need.


Understanding how the SASSA means test works is essential for applicants seeking social grants. By comprehensively assessing income and assets, SASSA ensures that financial assistance reaches those who need it most. Familiarizing oneself with the criteria and application process can help streamline the experience and increase the likelihood of successful grant approval.

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