Answer to a question from a reader

My son turned 18 and his grant stopped, but he is still at school. Is there a grant we can apply for while he is at school?

The short answer

Unfortunately, although government said in 2015 that they were considering extending the grant for people still at school, this did not happen.

The whole question

My son turned 18 last year and his child grant has subsequently stopped. He is however still a scholar and I am unemployed.

Is there not a policy that covers school going children 18 years and older?

The long answer

Thank you for your email asking whether there is a policy to cover your son whose child grant has stopped since he turned 18, given that he is still at school and you are unemployed.

Unfortunately, although government said in 2015 that they were considering extending the grant for 18 to 21-year-olds still at school, this did not happen. Currently in 2019, the child grant stops when the child turns 18.

The only other kind of grant which you may possibly be able to access for a maximum period of three months is the Social Relief of Distress grant. This is generally only given to people needing temporary assistance. I have cut and pasted below, from an article by Groundup, the categories of people that qualify for this grant, and have highlighted the ones that may possibly apply to your situation:

  • You need help while you wait for your children’s grants to be processed

  • A crisis or disaster has occurred (e.g. your house has burnt down)

  • You do not qualify for a grant, and you are in a desperate situation

  • You are disabled for a period of less than six months and therefore not eligible for a disability grant

  • You are unable to get maintenance from the other parent of your child or children

  • The breadwinner in the family has died

  • The breadwinner has been sent to prison for a short time (less than six months)

  • You have been affected by a disaster, but the area or community in which you live has not been declared a disaster area.

You could ask SASSA if you can apply for a Social relief of distress grant at this number:

SASSA Hotline 0800 601 011

Email address:

You could also phone SASSA at 021 469 0200 at their regional offices in the Golden Acre, Adderley Street, Cape Town.

Wishing you all the best.

Answered on Sept. 9, 2019, 10:24 a.m.

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