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Growing up is something most of us can’t escape, and not everyone has enough privileges to receive benefits from their children or have retirement plans or save money for retirement benefits. In some cases, the income received after retirement from a living or life annuity is simply not enough to support a person for the rest of his life. It is very easy to emphasize exactly how they will survive with peanuts after retirement. Fortunately, there is some hope, as there are funds for the elderly through an age grant.

Who is it for?

The old-age benefit is a social security benefit provided by the government to people over the age of 60 free of charge. This grant applies to South African citizens, foreigners who have become permanent residents of South Africa, and refugees. It is only available to people who do not have any social subsidies, do not receive assistance in a public institution (rehabilitation center, prison, nursing home), do not own assets worth more than 1,227,600 rupees alone or in R2,455,200, if married and earn less than Rs 86,280 per year if one, or Rs 172,560 of joint income per year when married.

After completing all application procedures and submitting all necessary documentation, the South African Social Assistance Service (SASSA) will assess the applicant’s assets and income to determine whether they are eligible for social assistance. If the grant is not approved, it can be appealed to the National Department of Social Development.

Once the grant is approved, you will begin to receive monthly income from the date of application. The maximum income you can earn is Rs 1,985 per month, and if you are over 75, you get Rs 2,005 per month. The grant can be obtained through various channels, such as institutions (nursing homes), electronic deposit or it can be obtained in cash on a specific day at a specific place of payment. We know that sometimes aging is accompanied by a disease that restricts movement, so the good thing about this grant is that even if you can’t get it yourself, you can appoint a prosecutor at the SASSA office or a power of attorney who can collect it on your behalf.

SASSA may decide to reconsider your grant, and this depends on the assets and income you have stated when applying. Your grant may be suspended if the following conditions apply:

  • error in approving the grant
  • review result
  • refusal to cooperate when your grant is considered
  • committing fraud and misrepresentation
  • change of circumstances

Your scholarship may also expire if you enroll in a government agency, if you do not apply for it for three months in a row, if you are absent abroad and if you unfortunately die. If it so happens that you have enrolled in an institution and that institution has a contract with the state to take care of you, you can only receive 75% of the maximum grant amount, and the full grant amount is refunded immediately upon discharge.

The SASSA old-age benefit is a relief for less privileged and vulnerable families because it not only provides for the elderly, but in some cases also provides for the dependents of these elderly people. It therefore brings hope by reducing the burden on our retirees.

Sources:

https://www.gov.za/services/social-benefits-retirement-and-old-age/old-age-Pension

http://www.treasury.gov.za/documents/national%20budget/2022/default.aspx

FullBR.pdf (treasury.gov.za)

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