Answer to a question from a reader

Can SASSA reclaim grant money now that I earn more than the qualifying amount?

The short answer

SASSA can demand repayment for the period that your income exceeded the qualifying amount.

The whole question

My wife applied for a SASSA grant for our second child but was unsuccessful because my salary is over the qualifying amount. Now, SASSA has stopped paying for my first child and is demanding their money back. What are my rights?

The long answer

I’m afraid that SASSA is within its rights to demand that the money be repaid for the period that your income was over the qualifying amount. The rule is that a grant beneficiary must inform SASSA when their income increases beyond the qualifying amount. If SASSA has now established through your application for your second child that you are no longer eligible for the grant, it can demand that you repay the monies you received in error.

If you think this is unfair, you can appeal against SASSA's decision through writing a letter to the Minister of Social Development and submitting it to your local SASSA office which they must submit to the Independent Tribunal for Social Assistance Appeals (ITSAA). But this is usually a long drawn out process because there is a backlog of appeals.

Perhaps the best thing would be to get some advice from a paralegal organisation like The Black Sash, which has a lot of experience with social grant problems. You can contact them here:

Street Address: Black Sash National Office, Elta House, 3 Caledonian Road, Mowbray.

Tel: +27 21 686 6952

Black Sash helpline: 072 6633 739

Answered on Dec. 1, 2020, 1 p.m.

See more questions and answers

Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.