You’ve Earned It/YEI in collaboration with the Facebook group Pensioners Forum & Deals has engaged with SASSA on your behalf and will continue to engage with them to attempt to provide feedback to you with regards to the problems Pensioners have with applying for and receiving Social grants.
The Executive Manager of SASSA has replied that your comments are very useful and that they will determine which of your suggestions are feasible going forward.
Here are some of your comments/queries and SASSA’s replies. We hope that these will assist all of you going forward.
The YEI team are unfortunately unable to assist or comment on an individual basis but will continue to forward these onto SASSA in bulk once a month.
We have therefore decided to supply a contact form so that we are better able to collate them but stress again that we cannot assist on an individual basis.
|QUESTION OR COMMENT||SASSA's REPLY|
|Applicants should be able to change address and other personal details ie banking details, email address and contact number via the SASSA website or App.||The functionality already exist where a beneficiary can go to ‘Update My Existing Grants’. You can click ‘View Grants’ or ‘Manage Beneficiary’ taps to update personal information and also submit supporting documents of the changes for processing by SASSA. Our main website is being revamped to make access a little easier/ less confusing.
|Clear information on validity of the current card. No clear information is on the website of whether the cards will be discontinued, and, if so, when. If we have to change to bank account why can't we do this online and upload the necessary documents?||- The SASSA Gold cards are still valid and if there is the need to discontinue the card, the Agency will make an announcement. Clients are free to change their method of payment to the bank of their choices,
- Client can use ‘Update My Existing Grants’ to change banking details or method of payment as outlined in above.
|An explanation, on the website, why the old age pension is not paid on the first day of the month.||The comment is noted and shared with communications as they embark on the revamping of the website and other communication campaigns.|
|If we can do online changes/updating of personal particulars, it will save the standing for hours in long queues. Often the elderly are sent away for various reasons and then have to return and repeat the process.||The system allows the changes online and the change can only be effected if all the supporting documents have been uploaded, client can use ‘Update My Existing Grants’ to change personal details|
|One should also be able to make an appointment either telephonically or on the App. In this way the elderly do not waste hours at the SASSA offices only to find out they cannot be helped and must come back again.||We are exploring an online appointment system for certain categories of our services. We tried the telephone appointment system but it’s difficult to manage, this lead to increase in number of appointments and those who arrived in the office end up not being attended to. However, we prioritise the disabled, pregnant and elderly.|
|The applicant should be informed which documents are required when making an appointment.||The online screening functionality is currently available on our online portal for clients to establish the kind of supporting documents required based on their circumstances. They are also able to download SASSA Affidavit, Consent form for bank payment as well as disability medical referral form. The SASSA call centre also provides information to beneficiaries at 0800 201011.
We will explore further ways in making this information more readily available
|The website should be user friendly and include all information on documents required for applications. It must give full instructions on how to apply, change details etc that can be printed if needed.||The information on how to apply on the website is available already
An updated ‘how to apply video’ and the poster will be uploaded soon on the online portal to guide clients.
We note that our main website is a bit problematic, however our services website is hopefully more user friendly. The main website is currently being revamped to include all our portals.
|Is it possible to complete the online application process without having to deliver documents to a SASSA office?||Documents can only be requested at SASSA offices if the applicant was unable to upload on the system
The online system is designed in such a way that you complete the whole process without visiting the local office. However, the local office can provide the customer support to those who need it in terms of upload supporting documents, etc.
|I tried to register for the grant in December 2022.|
The first part of the process was fine but for whatever reason after getting past the documents mentioned I had to submit, it wouldn't accept my ID Number. The prompt message said supply a valid SA ID Number. I am a permanent resident and have a SA ID Number. I couldn't get beyond this point.
I sent an email to the technical team. They acknowledged they would look into the problem and suggested I register at a branch.
|The system has been linked with the Department of Home Affairs in order to validate the identity of applicants. It the system at DHA is offline, the online system is unable to validate the identity and give errors of invalid ID number.|
|Can I please suggest when requested to supply 3 months bank statements that there is a note attached informing the applicant that any deposits greater than R500 one has to include an affidavit for what those amounts were for. |
When I submitted my application in person, I was informed I had to do this. If this was mentioned beforehand on the online application it would have saved a trip. Or the person completing online having to then go and get the affidavit and submitting it later.
|The concern is noted however when you submit online, documents are being verified and if there is a need to provide additional information, the client will be notified through email|
|The questions pertaining to your municipal area and ward number, etc., are they really necessary, the address supplied with postal code should be sufficient.||- The information is necessary however some fields are not mandatory if you don’t know what is required. For the fields that are mandatory information should be provided. Furthermore, this is important for developmental initiatives for projects like linking beneficiaries to economic opportunities.|
|In the beginning of covid 19 with the shutdown our company never reopened " i went to Sassa for pension " they started me of with R480 and now i get R600 a month and they took away my long sum " i stopped working at age 67 and there should have been a considerable sum of money to be paid to me " why is it that old people get scammed like this by the government " I ask you to please put this under the spotlight...||All applications are means tested to check if applicants qualify to receive the grant except for Foster Child Grant. The grant is paid taking into consideration the value of the assets and income. If the applicant is not happy about the outcome, appeal should be requested within 90 days upon receipt of the outcomes. This has also been stated on the outcome letter issued to the applicants
If the means have changed, the client should visit the SASSA Local Office and request review of the means testing or (can request through the online channel – coming soon)
In addition, applicants are paid from the date of application. They are not paid from the age 60 if they did not apply. So clients cannot claim grant if they did not apply for it.
Lastly, you should immediately report any fraud committed to your grant for SASSA to investigate and account.
|When and how do we get new SASSA cards if ours expires according to the card. Will we still be able to withdraw our money when card is past expiry date?||The SASA cards are still valid despite the dates, you don’t need to change it unless you have been requested to do so|
|The biggest comments of all would be for their systems not to be offline for days during the grant payment runs and for their Call Centre to be answered and emails responded to||We sincerely apologize, when there are payment challenges this lead to high volume of enquiries and an increase in abandon calls and emails. Aa we are in transition from SAPO to Post Bank this has been experienced.|