Having recently received the 2015 Asset and Income Threshold figures directly from SASSA, You’ve Earned It was prompted to check out the facts, when it comes to this much-talked-about topic – the Grant for Older Persons.
Number of recipients in South Africa
In August 2014, 16.3 million people are recipients of social grants, 3 million of whom are receiving Grants for Older Persons.
Who qualifies for a Grant for Older Persons?
• be South African citizens, permanent residents or refugees;
• be resident in South Africa;
• be 60 years old plus;
• comply with the means test (applicant and spouse); see 2015 Asset and Income Threshold figures (link to document on YEI);
• not be maintained or cared for in a State Institution;
• not be in receipt of another social grant for him or herself;
• submit a 13 digit bar coded identity document.
How to apply for a Grant for Older Persons
You need to apply at your nearest SASSA office. If you are not well enough to apply in person, you are able to send someone to apply on your behalf, or you may request a home visit. You need to complete an application form in the presence of a SASSA official, who will submit the application for you.
The application process takes up to 90 days.
If your grant is approved, you will get paid from the date of application.
If your grant application is not successful, you will be informed in writing. You are permitted to request that SASSA reconsiders the outcome, and finally you are able to appeal to the Minister of Social Development.
The “means” test
SASSA evaluates the income and assets of the person applying for social assistance to determine whether the person’s means are below a stipulated amount. The means test is a method of determining whether or not a person is eligible for a social grant as social grants are meant for those who have insufficient means to support themselves.
Both income and assets of both the applicant and his/her spouse are taken into account. Assets include the value of property owned, except where that property is occupied by the applicant and his/her spouse. The total value of the assets cannot exceed the amounts as indicated in the 2015 SASSA Asset and Income Threshold document for a single applicant or married applicants. If an applicant has assets which exceed these values, no social grant will be paid, regardless of the income.
If the value of these assets is below these limits, then the income is taken into account. The annual income of a single applicant cannot exceed the amount as indicated in the 2015 SASSA Asset and Income Threshold document, while the annual limit for the income of a married applicant is as indicated in the 2015 SASSA Asset and Income Threshold document. It must be noted that social grants for adults are paid on a sliding scale – the more income an applicant has, the less he/she will receive for the grant.
The SASSA card
The value of the Older Person’s Grant is R1 428 per person (as of April 2015). If you are aged 75+, you will receive an additional R21 per month (also as of April 2015).
You will receive your grant through a SASSA card. If you wish to use alternative methods of payment such as: Banks, including Postbank, or Institutions, you must contact your nearest SASSA office.
If you are unable to collect the grant yourself, you may nominate a procurator to collect it on your behalf.
We understand that the Treasury is considering phasing out the means test for the old-age grant by 2016, to simplify its administration and to deal with the disincentive to save created by the current approach. However, time will tell.
SASSA has advised that it is in the best interest of the Agency as well as the client to visit the Local Offices with enquiries.
SASSA contact details:
Hotline: 0800 601 011