What does SASSA consider an asset when it does the mean test assessment to see if you are eligible for a social grant?

The short answer

The most recent information we have been able to find comes from a February 2019 article by candidate attorney Carol-Anne Wheeler in News24.

The whole question

What does SASSA consider an asset when it does the mean test assessment to see if you are eligible for a social grant?

I know that SASSA considers the current value of certain investments as an asset and others are not considered an asset. I need to understand how this decision is made. I have been unable to obtain clarity from SASSA.

The long answer

Thank you for your email asking how SASSA values assets.

We too have been unable to access the information required from SASSA. The most recent information we have been able to find comes from a February 2019 article by candidate attorney Carol-Anne Wheeler in News24.

We quote:

“In terms of the current thresholds, a single person should not have assets totaling more than R1 056 000, and should not earn more than R73 800 per year or R6 150 per month.

A married person’s joint assets with his/her spouse should not total more than R2 112 000 and their joint income should not be more than R147 600 per year or R12 300 per month.

The value of the house that a person lives in is not taken into account, regardless of who it belongs to.

It makes no difference if the applicant is married in community of property or out of community of property.

The income of a spouse is taken into account whether you are married in or out of community of property.”

From a 2015 article in Personal Finance, Marius Cornelissen advises that

“Your assets can be:

* The value of any properties that you or your spouse own (excluding the property in which you live);

* Cash held in a bank account; and

* Investments such as shares or unit trust funds.

With regard to retirement funds, the following criteria are applied:

* A person who has not retired from the fund: The annuity is not taken into consideration when a person’s assets are calculated. However, Sassa will ask what the fund value is and when the member intends to retire from the fund.

* A person who has retired from the fund: An annuity received from a retirement fund is taken into account when calculating income.

... Sassa will typically use your combined income net of tax and allowable deductions, such as contributions to a medical scheme, to calculate your grant. It is important to notify them of any changes to your income and deductions, because these will affect the size of the grant paid to you.”

I hope this is helpful.

Wishing you all the best.

Answered on May 30, 2019, 12:31 p.m.

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