The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) says it has taken a decision to reassess declined Covid-19 grant applications and get to the bottom of the reasons for rejection.
The announcement comes after the agency said that close to 50% of processed applications did not qualify in meeting the criteria as of early June.
Notably, over 70% of those that did not qualify were either receiving or qualifying for UIF benefits, according to the database that Sassa was using then to sift through the applications.
“The high numbers involved raised questions and Sassa decided that it would be wise to reconsider these before subjecting them to an appeal process, which comes at a cost and resultant delays, given the urgency to pay out the grant during these trying times for poor people impacted negatively by the national shutdown,” it said.
Subsequently, Sassa says it took a decision to request an updated database to reconsider the declined UIF cases instead of advising the aggrieved applicants to follow the appeals route.
“Out of this reconsideration process, it emerged that 85% of the UIF cases which were previously deemed not to be qualifying, actually qualify,” Sassa said.
The agency said that these applications have been approved and applicants are being made aware of this development individually as and when such favourable decision is reached.
“Everyone affected will receive an SMS requesting them to provide their banking details. It is important to respond to the SMS as quickly as possible and to follow the link provided.
“Approved applicants are reminded that the link cannot be shared with others, as it is linked to a specific ID number for security reasons.”
Sassa said that more than 2.5 million applicants have already been paid so far from over 3.2 million who applied for the Covid-19 grant.
The ‘Special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant’ is specifically aimed at unemployed people in South Africa who need relief during the coronavirus pandemic.
As part of the relief, an amount of R350 will be paid monthly to qualifying applications from May – October 2020.
While the application originally required proof of address for the grant application, this has now fallen away and applicants are simply required to provide their residential address.
Applicants are also required to be:
- Above the age of 18;
- Not receiving any income;
- Not receiving any social grant;
- Not receiving any unemployment insurance benefit and does not qualify to receive unemployment insurance benefits;
- Not be receiving a stipend from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme; and
- Not resident in a government funded or subsidised institution.
Prospective applicants will need to provide the following compulsory information for processing of their applications:
- Identity Number;
- Name and surname as captured in the ID (and initials);
- Gender and disability;
- Banking details – bank name and account number;
- Contact details – cell phone number;
- Residential address;
In addition to the above grant, social beneficiaries are set to receive the following additional measures:
- Child support grant beneficiaries will receive an extra R300 in May, and from June to October they will receive an additional R500 each month;
- All other grant beneficiaries will receive an extra R250 per month for the next six months;
- Sassa will implement a technology-based solution to roll out food assistance at scale through vouchers and cash transfers to ensure that help reaches those who need it faster and more efficiently.
You can find out more about the application process here.