Oct 2019 1st Edition

Social grants provide a lifeline to millions

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

A monthly payment from government provides a crucial safety net to South Africa’s most vulnerable people.

To ensure that South Africa’s most vulnerable citizens are protected, government pays over 17 million social grants each month.

A social grant refers to state funding paid to South Africans who struggle to make it on their own. The administration of the social grants is handled by state-owned entity the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), which was created to deliver social security services to offset poverty.

There are several social grants available, based on the needs of applicants. These are the older person’s grant, also known as the old age pension; child support grant; care dependency grant; grant-in-aid for people who live on a social grant but also need someone to take care of them; war veteran’s grant; foster child grant; and disability grant.

Disability grant

The grant received by people living with a disability is R1 780. Applicants must meet certain criteria to qualify.

If you have a physical or mental disability which makes you unfit to work for a period of six months or longer, you can apply for a disability grant.

When applying, you need to fill out a disability grant application form at your nearest SASSA office in the presence of a SASSA officer.

In addition, you must complete an affidavit on a standard SASSA form in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths who is not a SASSA official.

The state also requires a sworn statement signed by a reputable person who can verify an applicant’s name and age.

Also provide proof of assets – including the municipal value of any property owned by you, proof of private pension, an Unemployment Insurance Fund document, discharge certificate from your previous employer if you were employed, and, if your spouse has died within the past five years, a copy of the will and the first and final liquidation and distribution accounts.

If you are a refugee, you must provide a refugee status permit and 13-digit refugee ID.

In addition, to qualify you must:

  • Be a South African citizen or permanent resident or refugee and living in South Africa at the time of application.
  • Be between 18 and 59 years old.
  • Not be cared for in a state institution
  • Have a South African ID book
  • Not earn more than R78 120 annually if you are single or R156 240 if married.
  • Not have assets worth more than R1 115 400 if you are single or R2 230 800 if you are married.
  • Undergo a medical examination where a doctor appointed by the state will assess the degree of your disability.
  • Bring along any previous medical records and reports when you make the application and when the assessment is done.

Older personís grant (old age pension)

This grant is designed to help the elderly. An older person’s grant is paid to people who are 60 years or older.

Recipient must:

  • Not earn over R78 120 if you are single or R156 240 if married, and
  • Not have assets worth over R1 115 400 if you are single or R2 230 800 if you are married.
  • Recipients get R1 780 per month and those who are older than 75 years receive R1 800.
  • SASSA pays the grant to recipients through cash on specific days at particular pay points. It also pays via an electronic deposit into a bank or Postbank account or institutions such as old age homes. 

This information was supplied by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)

For more about social grants, contact Sassa at 012 400 2000 or go to www.sassa.gov.za.

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