INFORMATION | SOUTH AFRICA 

Frequently asked questions about social grants

For people who receive a grant or need to receive one

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Many people posted questions about social grants in the comments section of our “Everything you need to know about social grants” article. Based on these queries we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and responses.

Am I eligible for a social grant?

Read our article Everything you need to know about social grants for more information on eligibility criteria for each grant.

Does SASSA provide loans?

No, SASSA does not provide loans to beneficiaries. Please report any person offering you a SASSA loan to SASSA. It is illegal for any money lender to take your SASSA card as a guarantee for a loan.

How do I apply?

Visit your local SASSA office with the required documents to make your application.

My application for a grant has been denied. What do I do?

You may apply to SASSA for a reconsideration within 90 days of your grant application being refused. If this is unsuccessful you can also launch an appeal to the Independent Tribunal for Social Assistance Appeals.

What is a grant review?

It is your responsibility to update SASSA on any changes in your health or income status or the death of a beneficiary. SASSA conducts regular reviews of the income and health status of beneficiaries to check that they are still eligible for a grant. SASSA should give you 90 days notice of this review, during which time you must present the relevant information to SASSA. If SASSA finds that your are no longer eligible for a grant or you do not present them with the required documents, you will be given 90 days notice that your grant will be suspended. You can apply for a reconsideration if you do not agree that your grant should be cancelled.

I have lost my card, what do I do?

If you have lost or damaged your SASSA card, you can visit your local branch office to receive a new card. You should be issued one immediately.

What conditions qualify for a disability grant?

Disability grants are available to people with physical, mental, psychiatric, intellectual and sensory disabilities. In order to qualify for a disability grant you must have a diagnosed medical condition that reduces your ability to function in your everyday life and obtain work. Just being diagnosed with a condition such as hypertension, diabetes or HIV does not mean you will automatically qualify for the grant. We recommend that you chat to your doctor about whether you are likely to qualify before booking an appointment for an assessment.

When you visit the doctor for your assessment you must bring all your referral letters and medical records with you. You cannot apply on the basis of medical complaints that you have not already spoken to your usual doctor about and that are not recorded in your file.

Here is a list of conditions that do not qualify for the disability grant:

  • If you are HIV positive but are healthy and stable on your medication
  • High blood pressure, well-controlled diabetes or asthma
  • Aches and pains in your back, limbs, joints or the rest of your body or chronic tiredness that is not associated with a medical diagnosis.
  • Mild to moderate wasting of your arms and legs that does not stop you from moving around
  • Gout, osteoathritis or rheumatoid athritis that is well controlled and that does not stop you from doing your daily tasks
  • Old healed fractures or injuries that do not stop you from doing your daily tasks

If I move to another province, do I need to re-apply for my grant or can I have it transferred?

You don’t need to transfer your grant or re-apply, but you do need to inform your local SASSA office of your change of address immediately.

I have a serious problem with my SASSA grant and I have struggled to get help or information from SASSA. What do I do now?

Call the SASSA Hotline on 0800 60 10 11. It is free from a landline. If you are unable to get help here and you feel you may need paralegal advice, the Black Sash offers free paralegal advice. Black Sash will listen to your story and advise you on your rights and what to do. Their advice hotline number is 072 66 33 739. You can SMS them or even send them a “please call me” if you have no airtime.

How do I arrange for a home visit for a person who is too sick or disabled to be assessed for a disability grant in person?

If you cannot go to the SASSA office yourself, a SASSA official can come to your home. To arrange this you need a letter from the person and the doctor saying why they need a home assessment. If you need someone to act for you permanently, you can appoint a ‘procurator’ who must sign a form agreeing to do this honourably.

How do I cancel the grant of a deceased beneficiary? 

The Home Affairs population register is linked to SASSA’s SOCPEN database, so when a death is registered SASSA will be automatically notified and will cancel the grant. If this does not happen after one month, you can visit your local SASSA office to cancel it. Otherwise, if the money is not withdrawn for three consecutive months the grant will automatically be cancelled and the money will be returned to SASSA. 

I am the main caregiver of a child but the money is being paid to the mother or another person who is not living with and is not using the money to support the child. What do I do?

If you speak to the person and they are unwilling to support the child with the money paid to them by SASSA then you must report this person to SASSA. Call the fraud hotline to report this person: 0800 60 10 11.

For more general information on social grants read: Everything you need to know about social grants.

Topics:  Society

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