In today’s article, I will discuss how you can apply for the Sassa old-age pension fund, which is managed by the South African government. The South African Government established this voluntary pension scheme in 1995. Most South Africans qualify for this grant, which is supposed to pay for their monthly living expenses. Here is more information about benefits.
Benefits under this program provide people between 60 and 65 years old with a monthly income that covers food, clothing, and medical expenses.
How and Where to Apply for SASSA Pension Grant
A family member or friend can apply on your behalf for an Old Age Pension, provided you provide them with a written note or doctor’s note that you are unable to visit the SASSA office in your area. You will be interviewed by a SASSA officer during the application process, who will determine whether or not you qualify. A SASSA officer can assist you with filling out the application form, but only you or the officer can complete it.
After completing the application form, you will receive a receipt stamped with the date, which serves as proof of your application. It is free to apply for a pension grant. If your application is accepted, you will receive a written notification, but if it is rejected, you will also receive a letter explaining the reasoning. In the case of a rejection, if you disagree with the decision, you have the right to request reconsideration, and if that fails, you can appeal in writing to the Minister of Social Development within 90 days of being notified.
Older Person’s Grant – Information about South Africa’s Social Assistance Program
There is an increase in the number of old people and a gradual increase in retirement age. Many older people have nowhere to live, no plans for old age, no help from their children, and no plans for their old age.
Requirements for Eligibility – Qualifications for the Old Age Pension with Sassa
The Sassa Old Age Grant Eligibility Requirements are as follows:
- Grants are intended for people who cannot work anymore.
- A South African citizen, permanent resident, or refugee must apply.
- The applicant must be a resident of South Africa.
- An applicant cannot be a beneficiary of another social assistance program.
- The applicant cannot be in a state institution, such as a prison, rehabilitation center, or old-age home.
- The applicant’s spouse must also meet the means test requirements.
What Does the Means Test Entail
A person’s Means Test plays a crucial role in determining if he or she is eligible for the SASSA older person grant. SASSA strives to ensure that only deserving and eligible applicants receive financial assistance and grants. The verification process includes monetary thresholds and strict limitations to achieve this.
The amount of private income an individual receives determines their eligibility for the older person’s grant. Those who are older, war veterans, or disabled are eligible to receive SASSA grants on a sliding scale. An individual can receive a smaller grant if their private income is higher.
You and your spouse must not earn more than a certain annual income to qualify for the grant. If you do not meet these requirements, you will not be eligible for the old age grant.
The asset threshold for single individuals is R1227 600, and earnings should not exceed R86280.
Couples who are married are subject to a higher asset threshold of R2 455 200, and their combined earnings should not exceed R172 560.
What Are the Required Documents for Applying for SASSA Pension?
To apply for the SASSA Pension Grant, you must provide the following documents:
- Identity document
- The affidavit should be completed in front of a Commissioner of Oaths who is not a SASSA official, along with a sworn statement signed by a well-known individual. The SASSA takes your fingerprint and refers you to the Department of Home Affairs to apply for an ID. Failure to do so may result in your application being rejected.
- ID document of your spouse (if married)
- Documents proving marital status, such as a sworn statement or affidavit, divorce order, marriage certificate, or death certificate of the spouse
- Residential proof
- Proof of income (including your spouse’s income if married)
- You must prove your assets, including any property you own (including your spouse’s assets if you are married).
- Dependent child proof of income (if applicable)
- Proof of private pension (if applicable)
- 3-month bank statement
- Your Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) or discharge certificate from your previous employer is required
- The death certificate copy, the deceased’s will, and the first and final liquidation and distribution accounts (if applicable and within the past five years)
Your pension grant application may be rejected if you fail to provide any of these required documents.
There are various methods available to receive your payment:
- By selecting a specific pay point, you can receive your payment in cash.
- Your payment can also be received through a bank or Postbank account, but the bank may charge you a fee.
- You may be able to receive your payment directly from your residence, such as an old age home.
Alternatively, you may appoint someone to collect your payment on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. Old Age Pension recipients should be aware that normal bank charges may apply during any money transfer. The welfare office can help you change your payment method by providing you with a form. Payment method changes will take effect one month after they are made.
Causes for Grant Suspension
Reasons for Suspending Your Old Age Grant:
- Financial difficulties that impact your grant
- Inability to cooperate with Sassa during the application review process
- Inaccurate or misrepresented information or documents
- Errors during the approval process of documents
- Grant income that has not been collected for more than three months
- Absence from the Republic for more than 90 days or death
- Whenever there is a change in a beneficiary’s financial situation or other circumstances, beneficiaries are responsible for informing Sassa; failure to do so could result in consequences for fraud or illegal activities.
Note: If the application is submitted within 90 days of the suspension, the grant may be reinstated.
Grant Lapsing Rules
If you die, leave the country, or leave the Republic, your grant will expire. You will also lose your grant if you are admitted to any state institution, like a prison, rehabilitation center, or old age home. The grant will be reduced to 25% while in an institution due to a contract between the institution and the government. You will continue to receive a reduced grant until you are discharged from the institution. After a period of four months following your admission to the institution, the grant will begin to expire.
Sassa Pension Increase 2023
Enoch Godongwana, Minister of Finance, announced in his Budget Speech for 2022 that the Sassa grant would be increased higher than inflation in 2023. The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) provides financial assistance to over 48% of the population. According to the 2022 Budget, the number of beneficiaries will increase by about 1.5% in the coming days after reviewing the National Treasury.
Thus, the number of grant recipients will increase from 18.4 million in 2021/2022 to 19.2 million in 2024/25. Those 10.5 million beneficiaries of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) R350 grant are not included in this number.
Old-Age Grant for Beneficiaries under 75
In April, the old-age grant for beneficiaries under 75 years old will increase to R1,985, and in October to R1,990, an increase of 5.3% over the original amount.
Old-Age Grant for Beneficiaries over 75:
In April, the old-age grant for pensioners over 75 will increase from R1,910 to R2,005, and then to R2,010 in October, representing a 5.2% increase.
How to Apply for Sassa Old Age Pension
There is no way to apply for an old age pension online for the old age grant. Sassa’s old age pension application form can be obtained from any Sassa office, but it is not available online.
Sassa’s Old-Age Pension Amount in 2023
In case you are 75 years old or older, the Sassa will pay a maximum average of R1,780 per month. It is possible for the grant amount to change every year during the national budget speech.
Processing Time for Application
Three months is the average time it takes to process an application. Upon approval of your grant, the grant will be issued to you as of the date on which it was applied.