Answer to a question from a reader

Why was my brother’s application for an older person’s grant declined?

The short answer

Here's why SASSA declined his applicaiton

The whole question

My brother's application for an older person's grant was declined in 2016 after he was offered a voluntary package from a company where he had worked for 40 years. He left the company in 2014 when he was 59 years old. He was told that his application was declined because his wife still works and she works for a government hospital as a nurse. What should he do?

The long answer

The older person’s grant, like the other social grants, is administered by Sassa under the Social Assistance Act of 2004. In terms of this Act, a person’s income and assets have to fall below a certain cut-off point in order for them to qualify for the grant. This is called a means test.

In 2016, the cut-off point or ceiling for the combined income of a married couple was R138 000 a year. Sassa states that your brother does not qualify for the older person’s grant because his income combined with his wife’s income was more than R138 000 a year (R11 500 a month).

The 2016 document from Sassa also said that if your brother didn’t accept that Sassa’s decision was correct, he could make a written application to Sassa asking them to reconsider their decision in terms of Section 18(1) of the Act. He would have to explain in his letter why he thought Sassa’s decision was not correct, and the letter would have to be sent to Sassa within 90 days of Sassa refusing the application.    

In April 2020, the combined income of a married couple cannot be more than R156 240 (R13 020 per month) to qualify for an older person’s grant

Answered on May 29, 2020, 11:01 a.m.

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