SASSA Means Test Rules Explained

SASSA Means Test Rules for [2024] | Your Eligibility Explained

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By Anele Zulu

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) runs a means test to determine an applicant’s eligibility for social grants. The means test evaluates one’s income, assets, and overall financial standing to ensure that only economically disadvantaged individuals receive assistance. Each grant type has specific thresholds that applicants must fall under to qualify.

What is the SASSA Means Test?

The SASSA means test is a financial assessment that decides whether an applicant qualifies for social assistance. It calculates the applicant’s:

  • Income – Salary, pension, investments, business revenue, etc.
  • Assets – Cash, property, investments, insurance policies, etc.
  • Other financial factors – Outstanding debts, number of dependents, etc.

Applicants must fall below the stipulated income and asset thresholds for their respective grant. If their finances exceed the threshold, they are ineligible. For married applicants, SASSA evaluates both partners’ finances collectively.

The means test thresholds are updated on 1st April and 1st October annually.

SASSA Grant Income Thresholds

Old Age, Disability, Grant-in-Aid, and War Veterans Grant

  • Single persons: R8,070 per month (R96,840 per year)
  • Married couples: R16,140 per month (R193,680 per year)

Disability Grant

  • Single persons: R8,070 per month (R96,840 per year)
  • Married couples: R16,140 per month (R193,680 per year)

Child Support Grant

  • Single caregivers: R5,000 per month (R60,000 per year)
  • Married caregivers: R10,000 per month (R120,000 per year)

SASSA Grant Asset Thresholds

Old Age & Disability Grant

  • Single persons: R1,372,800
  • Married couples: R2,745,600

Child Support and Care Dependency Grants only check income.

What Counts as Income for the SASSA Means Test?

SASSA considers various sources of regular earnings as “income” when determining grant eligibility, including:

  • Retirement fund payouts
  • Profits from running a business or farm
  • Financial support received from family/friends
  • Rental income from property
  • Child maintenance payments
  • Salaries and wages
  • Payments from UIF, RAF, or COIDA

Allowable deductions that can lower assessed income:

  • Medical aid contributions
  • Tax payments
  • Pension fund contributions

What Counts as an Asset under the SASSA Means Test?

SASSA tallies different possessions to quantify an applicant’s overall “Assets”. This includes:

  • Bank account balances held individually or jointly with a spouse
  • Property, land, or real estate owned besides a primary residential home
  • The monetary value of investments like shares, unit trusts, etc.
  • Retirement annuity payouts (only for retired persons)
  • Outstanding loans and debts

Additional considerations:

  • Primary homes have special exemption provisions for pensioners
  • Unmarried applicants have assets counted individually
  • Married applicants have combined assets with spouse considered

Latest Social Grant Amounts in South Africa as of October 2023

Below is the table of Latest Social Grant as of October 2023, and they might increase in April, 2024.

Grant TypeMonthly Payout
Older Persons Grant (under 75 years)R2,090
Older Persons Grant (over 75 years)R2,110
Disability GrantR2,090
War Veterans GrantR2,110
Foster Child GrantR1,130
Care Dependency GrantR2,090
Child Support GrantR510 (R750 with top-up)
SRD GrantR350


The SASSA means test determines who requires state support. By checking one’s income, assets, and debts, it can identify households struggling financially. Each grant has thresholds tailored to its target recipients. Assessments occur biannually on 1 April and 1 October.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the SASSA Means Test?

The means test calculates income, assets, and finances to determine grant eligibility. Applicants must be below set thresholds.

Q: Who must take the SASSA Means Test?

All grant applicants except Foster Child grants. Married couples have combined finances assessed.

Q: What Sources are Counted as income?

Salaries, pension payments, rental income, child maintenance support, business revenue and certain compensation payouts.

Q: What assets does SASSA Consider for the Test?

Bank balances, property values (except primary home), investments like shares, retirement annuities if retired and outstanding debts.

Q: How often do the Means Test Thresholds change?

The income and asset limits get updated and published every 1st of April and October each year.

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