Social security in South Africa

Social security in South Africa

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From pensions to family allowance benefits, here's a guide to the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is the national agency in charge of administering applications, approvals and payments of social grants in the country. It was created in April 2005 to replace the previous system which was regulated provincially instead of nationally. SASSA is a section 3A public entity and focused institution responsible to ensure that government pays the right grant, to the right person, at a location which is most convenient to that person.

The adoption of the South African Social Security Agency Act, 2004 and the amendment of the Social Assistance Act, 2004, by National Parliament assures the following with regard to payment of social security benefits:

  • Payment of social grants anywhere in the country regardless of where the social grant beneficiary reside;
  • Applying for a grant at any city or province in the country;
  • Reduction of waiting period to receive your grant from 3 months to 14 working days;
  • Establishment of paypoints at every 50 km radius.


Types of grants and their qualifying requirements

Grant for older persons
The applicant:

  • Must be a South African citizen / permanent resident
  • Must be resident in South Africa;
  • If a male, must be 60 years or older;
  • If a female, must be 60 years or older;
  • and spouse must comply with the means test;
  • Must not be maintained or cared for in a State Institution;  
  • Must not be in receipt of another social grant for him or herself.

NB:  All South African Males aged 61 and 62 years will qualify for Grant for Older Person from April 2009;
Males aged 60 years will qualify for Grant for Older Persons from April 2010; provided they meet the above criteria
 
Disability grant
The applicant:

  • Must be a South African citizen / permanent resident or refugee;
  • Must be resident in South Africa;
  • Must be 18 to 59 years of age if a female and 18 to 62 years of age if a male;
  • Must submit a medical / assessment report confirming disability;
  • Medical assessment must not be older than 3 months at date of application;
  • and spouse must meet the requirements of the means test;
  • Must not be maintained or cared for in a State Institution;
  • Must not be in receipt of another social grant in respect of him or herself.


War veteran's grant
The applicant:

  • Must be a South African citizen / permanent resident
  • Must be resident in South Africa;  
  • Must be 60 years and over or must be disabled;
  • Must have fought in the Second World War or the Korean War;  
  • and spouse must meet the requirements of the means test;  
  • Must not be maintained or cared for in a State Institution; and
  • Must not be in receipt of another Social grant in respect of himself or herself.

 
Child grants

Foster child grant

  • The applicant and child must be resident in South Africa;  
  • Court order indicating foster care status;
  • The foster parent must be a South African citizen, permanent resident or refugee;
  • Child must remain in the care of the foster parent(s).

 
Care dependency grant

  • The applicant must be a South African citizen or permanent resident;   
  • The applicant and child must be resident in South Africa;    
  • Age of child must be under 18 years;
  • Must submit a medical / assessment report confirming permanent, severe  disability;
  • Applicant and spouse must meet the requirements of the means test (except  for foster parents);
  • The care-dependent child/children must not be permanently cared for in a State Institution.

 

Note: The income of foster parents will not be taken into consideration.  

Child support grant

  • the primary care giver must be a South African citizen or permanent resident;
  • both the applicant and the child must reside in South Africa;
  • applicant must be the primary care giver of the child/ children concerned;
  • the child/children must be under the age of 15 years;
  • the applicant and spouse must meet the requirements of the means test;
  • cannot apply for more than six non biological children;
  • Child can not be cared for in state institution.

 
Grant-in-aid

  • The applicant must be in receipt of a grant for Older Persons;
  • Disability grant or a War Veteran's grant, and require full- time attendance by another person;
  • Owing to his/her physical or mental disabilities;
  • Must not be cared for in an institution that receives subsidy from the State for the care/housing of such beneficiary.


Proof of identity
Applicants who do not have 13 digit bar coded Identity Book, or birth certificate for children involved in the application can still apply for a grant. Please obtain information from your nearest SASSA office on the alternative documents which are accepted for grant applications.

Where do you apply for a grant?

  • You apply at SASSA Offices nearest to where you live, click here for a list of service centres;
  • If you are too old or sick to travel to SASSA Offices to apply for a grant, then a family member or friend can apply on your behalf;
  • Your application form will be completed in the presence of an officer from SASSA;
  • When your application is completed you will be given a receipt;
  • Keep this receipt - it is your only proof of application;
  • You do not have to pay any money to apply;
  • If your application is not approved, you must be informed in writing as to why your application was unsuccessful;
  • You have the right to appeal to the Minister for Social Development in writing, explaining why you disagree with the decision. This appeal must be lodged within 90 days of notification of the outcome of your application. 

 


www.sassa.gov.za / Expatica
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