social security disability benefits for kids with autism in south africa

My child has autism – what benefits do I qualify for in South Africa?

Unlike other countries having a child with a disability in South Africa does not automatically qualify you for social security disability benefits. These benefits are given in countries such as the USA or UK. These are usually monthly benefits paid to families when children are under the age of 18 years of age.

With Autism in South Africa, things are different. You have two ways of claiming for help from our government and these are:

Firstly, you can claim for: The SASSA Permanent Disability Grant

To qualify for this grant – visit your closes SASSA office for forms and details. But note that the following criteria applies:

  • Only South African citizens can claim for a permanent disability grant meaning the applicant has to have a 13-digit, bar-coded id number.
  • Only people aged 18 – 59 years will qualify for a permanent disability grant.
  • Applicants that live in state institutions will not be considered for the grant.
  • Applicant will need to undergo medical examination where a doctor appointment by the state will assess the degree of disability.
  • If the person with autism is under the age of 18 and they need permanent care due to their disability, then the primary care given will apply for a “Care Dependency Grant” from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).

The second options are as follows: The Confirmation of Diagnosis of Disability (ITR-DD) tax credit

If you, your spouse of dependent has a disability or autism spectrum disorder, you could be entitled to claim certain qualifying medical expenses in the form of an additional medical expenses tax credit.

The qualifying disability can be done because of a lasting sensory, communication, intellectual or mental impairment. “Lasting” means longer than 1 year. The disability will need to be formally diagnosed by a registered medial practitioner specifically trained to diagnose the applicable disability.

You can ask your tax practitioner about the ITR-DD form that SARS requires you to complete. You can also download a copy of this form off the SARS website.

If you visit the SARS website or search for “list of qualifying physical impairment or disability expenditures in terms of section 19(1)(d) of the Income Tax Act, no 58 of 1962 you will find more information on this.

Ilse Kilian-Ross

Ilse Kilian-Ross is the owner of Amazing K, a registered ECD and Partial Care Facility in Johannesburg. Amazing K is a private adhd school, autism school and therapy centre for children from age 2 - 6 years where learners receive the best of both the schooling and therapy world. The autism school offers Individualized Education Programs, Speech- and Augmentive Alternative Communication (AAC) therapy as well as a full and adapted Academic Curriculum.