SASSA offers a wealth of social services to needy populations in South Africa. For those who are not covered by private pensions and who have no means of support during old age, the SASSA Older Persons Grant can be a critical means to stay housed, fed, and safe. Here’s everything you need to know about the grant application process.
Requirements for SASSA Older Persons Grant
Here are the requirements to be eligible for the SASSA Older Persons Grant, once called the SASSA Old Age Pension:
- Applicants must be 60 years and older.
- You must be a South African citizen or permanent resident of South Africa
- You must have lived in the country for at least 15 years before the application date.
- You must have a bank account in your name for grant payments
- You cannot be receiving other social grants, or be cared for by a state institution.
As with all SASSA grants, applicants must pass a means test. This takes into account their income, assets, and expenses and is done to ensure the applicant is financially needy enough to qualify for the grant. This means you cannot earn more than R86 280 annually if you are single, rising to R172 560 for married couples. You also cannot own assets worth more than R1 227 600 if you are single or R2 455 200 for married couples.
Applying for SASSA Older Persons Grant
To apply for the SASSA Older Persons Grant, you need to take your original ID to a SASSA Office where you live. Should you not have your ID, you will need the following:
- An affidavit in the SASSA format, witnessed by a Commissioner of Oaths, about why you don’t have one
- A sworn statement by a community figure (minister of religion, traditional leader, ward councilor, or school principal) verifying your age and name.
- You will be fingerprinted at the SASSA office, and an ID application made for you.
You will complete an application form under the watch of a SASSA officer, who will also interview you regarding your eligibility. When done, keep your receipt as proof of your application.
Should you be sick or too old to easily travel, a family or friend can make the application. They will need a doctor’s note on your behalf explaining why you cannot be present.
Documents Required to Apply for SASSA Older Persons
Alongside the application process we describe above, you will need copies of the following documents:
- Documents proving your marital status
- Proof of residence, income, and assets like property
- Proof regarding private pensions you have
- 3 months bank statements
- For previously employed peoples, your UIF membership proof or discharge certificate from last employment
- Widows and widowers whose partner passed in the last 5 years need a copy of the will and distribution accounts
How Much is the SASSA Old Age Grant?
The means test will also affect how much you receive from the SASSA Old Age Grant. The maximum amount will be R2,080 per month in 2023. Those older than 75 can qualify for up to R2,100 a month.
How is SASSA’s Old Age Grant Payment Calculated?
The SASSA Old Age Grant payment is calculated based on your means test. Here’s a summary of how it is conducted:
- SASSA will consider all forms of income, including private or other pensions, continuing salaries, rental income, and any other income you receive. If the applicant’s income is above a certain threshold, they may not qualify for the Old Age Grant at all.
- SASSA will, however, also consider all expenses, including rent, utilities, medical expenses, and other necessary costs of living. Your expenses are deducted from your income to determine your disposable income.
- SASSA will also take into account any assets owned, such as property, investments, and savings. If these assets are above a certain threshold, they can affect your ability to qualify.
The disposable income figure is then analyzed and compared to SASSA’s means test thresholds. If your disposable income is below the means test, you may qualify for the Old Age Grant. This will also affect the amount you receive and can be adjusted for inflation annually. Remember that the amount is non-taxable!
Benefits of the Old Age Pension
Pensions like the SASSA Older Persons Grant provide financial support to older people who may not have other sources of income. The monthly payment helps to cover basic living expenses like food, shelter, and healthcare. In turn, this helps to improve the quality of life for older people, giving them greater security and stability in their later years. This also helps reduce poverty among older people who are particularly vulnerable due to age, health, and limited earning opportunities.
SASSA Old Age Grant Payment Date
The SASSA Old Age Grant payment date shifts monthly, but will always be the first day in the three-day SASSA payment cycle, and usually mid-week in the first week of the month. So pay attention to this month’s dates, and plan to receive it between the 1st and 8th of each month, usually on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
SASSA Old Age Grant Status
To check the status of your SASSA Old Age Grant application, you can contact the SASSA toll-free helpline on 0800 60 10 11 or visit your nearest SASSA office. You will need to provide your ID number to track the application. SASSA applications can take weeks to months to process, so follow up regularly and be patient.
If your application is approved, you will receive a notification letter from SASSA with the amount of the grant you’ll receive. The grant is usually paid out on a monthly basis, and you should receive the first payment within a few days of being approved. If your application has been rejected, you will also receive a notification letter explaining why. In some cases, you can appeal the decision.
Now you know how to ensure your SASSA Older Persons Grant Application is a smooth and simple process- good luck!
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