For those who served South Africa as a member of their military forces, both SASSA and the Department of Military Veterans offer social services to help you. One of the best-known of these is the SASSA War Veterans Grant. If you believe you may be eligible for this grant, here is what you should know.
Who Qualifies for the SASSA War Veterans Grant
SASSA requires you to have fought in World War 2 or the Korean War as part of the SANDF to qualify for the SASSA War Veterans Grant. You will have had to have had an honorable discharge, or be officially retired, from the armed forces. You must be 60 years old or disabled to apply. You will, of course, need to be a South African citizen resident in the Republic. You cannot receive another social grant or be cared for in a state institution. In certain cases, widowed spouses or dependent children of the serving veteran can also apply for the grant- but only if the veteran themselves has passed away. Otherwise, it must go to them.
People will erroneously claim that membership of Umkhonto weSizwe or any other liberation army active in South Africa can also claim the war veteran’s grant. While these persons are often considered war veterans for other purposes, they are not mentioned for eligibility for this particular grant. You can, however, clarify this with SASSA themselves if you wish.
How to Apply for the SASSA War Veterans Grant?
Applying for the SASSA War Veterans Grant is very similar to other SASSA applications. You must take your barcoded green ID to your nearest SASSA office. Here, a SASSA official will help you with the application process as well as interview you regarding your eligibility for the grant. A means test will be performed, and if you are eligible, your application will then be processed. Keep your receipt as proof of application.
If you do not possess a South African ID, you will need a SASSA-formatted affidavit from a Commissioner of Oaths as to why. You will also need a sworn statement from an upstanding community figure (religious minister, school teacher, social worker, traditional leader, and similar) as to your name and age. You will also need proof of application for an ID to Home Affairs, and the temporary ID they issue if possible. For certain individuals, SASSA may assist with this.
You will need the following supporting documents:
- Proof of your war service
- For disabled veterans under 60, a medical report stating you cannot work
- Proof of marital status, whether married, single, widowed, or divorced
- 3 months pay slips if you or a spouse is employed
- If you have retired from normal employment after your service, your UIF blue book or discharge certificate
- 3 months bank account statements
- Information on other income (dividends, investments, rentals etc) you make for the means test. Include owned assets (like houses) in this.
If you cannot travel due to age or sickness, someone can do this for you, but will require a medical note from a doctor as to your circumstances.
How Much Money Do You Get as a Veteran?
The SASSA War Veterans Grant will give you R2,100 per month for as long as you are eligible to receive the grant. It can be terminated if your circumstances change, if you die, or if a mistake or fraudulent activity is detected.
What Benefits Do War Veterans Get?
In addition to eligibility for the SASSA War Veterans Grant, South African veterans can apply for some other services.
War veterans may qualify for housing assistance through SASSA. This includes financial assistance for home repairs or renovations, as well as access to low-cost housing options.
War veterans can also receive free or subsidized medical care through the Department of Military Veterans. War veterans could be eligible for financial assistance to pursue education and training programs to improve their job prospects and overall well-being as well.
Lastly, SASSA provides funeral benefits to the families of deceased war veterans. This includes financial assistance to cover funeral costs and other related expenses.
Again, it is worth mentioning that some of these services are only available to veterans of the Korean War and World War 2, and other services to the SANDF. However, some other services include members of Umkhonto weSizwe and other liberation movements under the veteran banner. It is always worth clarifying this before your application.
How Many Years Does it Take to Become a War Veteran?
To be classified as a war veteran in South Africa, you need to have served in the South African National Defence Force and have exited with an honorable discharge or normal retirement after your military career. There is no set time of service to be classified as a veteran- it is simply tied to your military service. As stated above, some services will accept verifiable membership of an anti-Apartheid liberation movement for veteran status, but this does not apply through all governmental channels.
In thanks for your service, the South African Government has many services available to war veterans, and it is always worth considering these if you need assistance with social grants.
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