The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has urged social grant beneficiaries to make other arrangements with financial service providers to pay their premiums.
This follows the amendments of the regulations of the Social Assistance Act of 2004, where some social grant beneficiaries will have to make other arrangements regarding the payment of funeral insurance premiums.
The amendmens of the regulations was a necessary and responsible step taken by SASSA and the Department of Social Development in order to protect vulnerable beneficiaries against dishonest financial service providers.
“The law allows for only a maximum of 10 percent of the grant value to be deducted and requires that SASSA should be informed whenever a beneficiary enters into a contract with a funeral insurance service provider.” “In some cases, SASSA is not involved and this results in unauthorised deductions which come as a surprise to the beneficiary when the next payment cycle comes. This happens when beneficiaries are approached and made to sign agreements that are not explained to them,” said Diseko.
Ten percent of R1 500 (old age grant) equals to R150 per month.
Following the complaints, Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini appointed an advisory committee which recommended a dispute resolution mechanism.
“SASSA developed this mechanism, which helps beneficiaries to report such unauthorised deductions which are investigated and resolved to a large extent.
Beneficiaries with direct deductions for a funeral insurance/scheme from child grants will be discontinued in December 2016.
Direct deductions for a funeral insurance/scheme on any social grant awarded for a period of less than 12 months (temporary disability grants) will be discontinued in December 2016.
“If you are receiving a grant for older persons, war veterans or a permanent disability grant and would like to have the premiums for your funeral policy/scheme deducted directly from your grant, please visit the nearest SASSA office to give permission, in writing and in person, for these deductions to go through.
“This applies to old and new funeral policies. If you are unable to visit the SASSA office, contact SASSA on 0800 60 10 11 or 012 400 2322 to make other arrangements such as home visits for frail people,” Diseko urged beneficiaries.
Regarding other types of social grants, Diseko said only one deduction will be allowed provided the value of such a grant does not exceed 10 percent of the value of the grant.
For more information call: 0800 60 10 11
or 012 400 2322