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What you need to know when applying for a SASSA grant

Learn more about the requirements to apply for an Older Person’s Grant (Old Age Pension).

Social grants are administered by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).

Grants available include:

  • Child Support Grant,
  • Older Person’s Grant,
  • Disability Grant,
  • Grant-in-Aid,
  • Care Dependency Grant,
  • War Veteran’s Grant and
  • Foster Child Grant.

Applicants for social grants must be South African citizens, permanent residents or refugees and currently living in South Africa.

Except for the Foster Child Grant and the Grant in Aid, social grants in South Africa are currently ‘means tested’. The means test is the process of assessing the value of your assets and income. You will only be eligible for a grant if your income and assets fall below a certain threshold. This threshold is different for all the grants and will depend on whether or not you are married. The amount you receive for your Old Age Grant and the Disability Grant is also determined by the means test and you may not necessarily receive the maximum amount offered by SASSA.

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If you do some work or have another source of income but still really need social assistance, you can still apply for a grant. You must declare all your income and assets to SASSA. If you receive the disability grant, old-age grant or war veterans grant, your monthly money will be reduced according to how much money you earn.

If you are admitted to a state institution for an extended period of time, the value of your Old Age Grant, Disability Grant or War Veteran’s Grant will be reduced to 25 per cent of its value from the fourth month following your admission until you are discharged.

Older Person’s Grant (Old Age Pension)

The maximum value of the Older Person’s Grant is R1,600 per month. If you are over the age of 75 you will receive an additional R20 per month.

You can apply for this grant if you are 60 years or older. You cannot be a recipient of other grants, and you must not be under the care of a state institution.

In order to qualify for the grant you need to meet the requirements of the means test. If you are single, your income cannot be more than R73,800 per year (R6,150 per month) and your assets cannot be worth more than R1,056,000. If you are married your combined income cannot exceed R147,600 (R12,300 per month) and combined assets can be no more than R2,112,000.

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The applicant:

  • must be a South African citizen, permanent resident or refugee;
  • must be resident in South Africa;
  • 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;
  • must submit a 13 digit bar coded identity document.

How to apply

You should apply at the SASSA office nearest to where you live. If you are too old or too sick to apply for the grant at the office, you may have a friend or family member apply on your behalf. You can also arrange for a home visit, although you may wait a while for this.

The application forms must be completed in the presence of a SASSA officer. When you hand in your application you will be given a receipt as proof of application. The application is free. You will receive written notification if your application is denied. You have the right to ask for reconsideration and you can also lodge an appeal within 90 days.

Applicants must provide proof of identity. If you do not have a 13-digit bar-coded Identity Book or birth certificate for children, you may provide alternative documentation as proof of identity. Contact your nearest SASSA office to find out which alternative documents are accepted.

Other documents required for application: If married, provide ID of your spouse and proof of spousal relationship (marriage certificate, divorce order, a sworn statement, or spouse’s death certificate). Sworn statement or affidavit stating the income and assets of yourself and your spouse. Supporting documents to prove your income and assets. You must also provide proof of the income of dependent children.

The application process takes up to 90 days and your first payment will include back-pay for the time you wait to receive the grant. This is calculated from the first day of application.

Note: When affidavits are required, SASSA will provide the affidavits to be completed.

Your SASSA card

If your grant application is successful you will receive a SASSA card and a bank account where your money will be deposited each month. This card is associated with MasterCard and can be used as a debit card and you can either use it to make purchases, check your balance or withdraw cash at till points wherever MasterCard is accepted without incurring any transaction costs. You can also withdraw money with your card at ATMs, but you will be charged transaction charges. You and other people can also deposit money into this account.

SASSA Hotline 0800 601 011. For other information regarding social grants, visit the SASSA website www.sassa.gov.za.


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