The SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) says it has approved previously declined applications for the R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant after requesting for an “updated database.”
In a statement on Tuesday, SASSA said it decided to reconsider the “high numbers” of rejected applications before advising applicants to lodge appeals, which would take a much longer period.
“In early June, close to 50 percent of processed applications did not qualify in terms of the criteria. Over 70 percent of those who did not qualify were either receiving or qualifying for Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) benefits according to the database that SASSA was using to sift through the applications,” it said.
85 percent ‘actually qualified’
According to the Agency, 85 percent of the UIF cases which were thought to be fall outside the criteria actually qualified for the SRD grant. It consequently approved the applications and notified the applicants accordingly.
SASSA CEO Totsie Memela said, “Updating the UIF database has brought such a relief to us and the affected beneficiaries. The numbers will rise daily until we have paid all deserving individuals who were previously declined.”
SASSA said it has paid 2.5 million applicants so far out of the 3.2 million people who applied for the grant. It is working with the Department of Social Development to finalise appeal process modalities for applicants who feel their applications have been unfairly rejected.
“The appeals function will be added to the http://www.srd.sassa.gov.za as soon as the relevant framework has been approved,” the Agency said.
The SASSA R350 SRD grant can only be paid to those who are unemployed and not receiving any income, social grant or UIF benefits and do not qualify for UIF benefits.
Applicants must also not be receiving a stipend from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and not be resident in a government funded or subsidised institution.
How to apply for SASSA relief grant
Applications may be lodged electronically over and above any other available means. Applicants may apply using the following means:
- Sending a WhatsApp message to 082 046 8553;
- Using the following SSD or SMS line: *134*7737#
- Sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants will receive notifications of payment in the same medium they used to apply. For instance, an applicant using WhatsApp will receive the notification on the same WhatsApp number he/she used to apply for the grant. The following additional measures will apply:
- Payments will be made mainly through bank accounts of the applicants and through cash send measures through banks;
- The grant will be paid from the date of approval up to the end of October 2020, provided the qualifying criteria continue to be met;
- If applicants apply in June their payments will be from June and there will be no backpay.
- Applicants grant consent to SASSA to verify their residency, ID/permit details, sources of income and/or social security benefits. False applications could result in prosecutions.