What Happens If You Don’t Claim Your SASSA Grant?

By Tevait Feanle •  Updated: 04/19/24 •  4 min read

For those who receive a SASSA grant, it is common to worry about what will happen if you don’t withdraw it on the day it is paid. Sometimes life gets in the way, and you may be unable to collect your SASSA grant until a later date. Today we will look in-depth at what happens in these circumstances.

What Happens If You Don’t Claim Your Sassa Grant?

If you receive a SASSA grant but do not claim the full amount immediately, the funds will remain in your account until you withdraw them. However, there is a time limit of 90 days, or 3 months, before the grant will be considered lapsed. After it is suspended, you only have that 3-month window to apply to have it reinstated, or the grant will be considered canceled and the money reclaimed by the government for use in other social programs.

It is recommended that you claim your SASSA grant as soon as possible after being approved to avoid any issues.

Does SASSA Money Expire If Not Withdrawn?

Provided there is some activity on the card, or in your bank account, SASSA cards and SASSA payments made into your bank account do not expire. The money remains in the recipient’s account until it is withdrawn, regardless of how long it has been there. The only case where the funds may ‘expire’ is in cases where none of the grant money is claimed or touched at all. This can lead to your account being suspended. You will have 3 months to reinstate the grant, or it will be canceled altogether in these circumstances, and the money will be used to fund other needy people.

Can You Leave Money In Your SASSA Card?

You can leave money on your SASSA card provided there is some spending movement on the card. If funds are left for longer than three months, however, they may be considered lapsed and removed from the card. It is recommended that you withdraw the money regularly and keep it safe in a bank account to prevent the risk of loss or theft. 

SASSA actually encourages you not to withdraw all your funds at once and rather do so incrementally through the month. This is because criminals will often target SASSA recipients on the SASSA payday, knowing that many people withdraw everything at once. It is better to be discrete and withdraw as needed rather than in a lump sum.

How Do I Know If I Have an Uncollected SRD Grant?

As the SRD Grant is a temporary grant, it works slightly differently from other SASSA grants. If you have applied for the SASSA SRD grant (the ‘R350’ grant) and you are unsure whether you have an uncollected payment, you can check your payment status at a SASSA office, on the SASSA website or app, or by calling their toll-free number at 0800 60 10 11. You will need to provide your ID number to access your payment information. If you have missed a payment, it will appear as an outstanding payment on your account. It is important to collect your payments regularly to avoid having them canceled or returned to the National Treasury.

How Long Can You Keep Money In SASSA Card?

While there is theoretically no time limit on how long you can keep money in a SASSA card, if there is no movement or amounts are not spent for 3 months, the grant itself may lapse. You can have these reinstated and get access to back payments you were due, but only within a 3-month period. After this, SASSA may cancel the grant altogether, and you will need to reapply from scratch. For this reason, we recommend a withdrawal to your bank account for the funds you receive if you do not use the total amount. Keeping cash at home is not safe and makes you a crime risk.

SASSA do their best to give all recipients reasonable access to their grant money. However, it is critical that recipients realize that grants will lapse after 3 months with no use, and once the account is suspended, you must quickly take steps to address the issue, or you could forfeit your money and have the grant canceled. While it is safer and sensible not to withdraw all your money at one time, make sure that you are regularly accessing your SASSA money and taking control of your financial future. 

In South Africa, the need for social security is high, and governmental funds are limited, so you cannot reasonably expect them to leave ‘unclaimed’ and ‘unwanted’ money accruing to you if you are not actively using the support the SASSA grant offers you. However, if you temporarily cannot access your SASSA money, you do have a considerable period of time before it lapses, so do not panic. 

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