SASSA Old Age Grant [2024] – Everything You Need to Know About Old Age Pension

Old Age Grant (Old Age Pension) Old Age Grant (also known as Old Age Pension) is a social welfare program that provides financial assistance to the older people of South Africa who are 60 years or older, have not any source of income and can’t work anymore.

SASSA Old Age Grant - SASSA Elderly Grant

The grant is administered by SASSA (South African Social Security Agency), specifically designed for South African citizens, permanent residents and refugees. The eligibility for an old age pension is determined by a means test, which evaluates the applicant’s income, assets and other financial factors. Once the grant is approved, the applicants will begin receiving monthly payments.

Key Factors for Meeting the SASSA Old Age Grant Eligibility Criteria:

Before applying for the older person grant, you should meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You should be a South African citizen, a permanent resident or a recognized refugee.
  • You should be living in South Africa.
  • You must not be receiving any other type of social grant.
  • You must be 60 years or older.
  • You must not be living in any state station.
  • You and your spouse must comply with the means test.
  • Single applicants must ensure that their yearly earnings do not exceed R96 840 (R8 070 per month). For married individuals, the combined income of you and your spouse must not cross R193 680 annually (R16 140 monthly).
  • The total worth of your assets must not exceed R1 372 800 if you are single. If you are married, your combined assets should not be worth more than R2 745 600.

What is Means Test For The SASSA Old Age Grant?

The SASSA means test is used to evaluate the financial status including income, assets and other financial factors of the applicants, to ensure that only deserving individuals receive the grant. As of 1 April 2023, there are two main thresholds: Assets Threshold:

1. Assets Threshold:
  • A single person should not own assets worth more than R1 372 800.
  • Combined assets of a married person with their spouse should not be worth more than R2 745 600.
2. Income Threshold:
  • A single person should not earn more than R96 840 a year.
  • The combined income of a married person with their spouse must not be more than R193 680 a year.

Each grant type has different criteria for its means test to evaluate financial eligibility. 

How much is the SASSA Grant for Older Persons?

The old age grant amount varies depending on age. As of the last SASSA grants increase on April 1, 2024, individuals aged between 60 to 74 receive a monthly payment of R2,180 per person, while those aged 75 or older receive R2,200 per person..

Starting from the upcoming update on October 1, 2024, the monthly payments for the old age grant will increase by an additional R10 per person. The new amount for individuals aged between 60 and 74 will be R2,190 per person per month, while beneficiaries aged 75 or older will receive R2,210 per person per month.

How Much Does an Older Persons Grant Cost?

Applying for Old Age Grants is free of cost and there is no service fee.

Procedure to Apply for the SASSA Old Age Grant

You can apply for SASSA old age grant in your nearest SASSA office branch by filling out their application form, or if you want to apply online, read the instruction on applying online through the SASSA services website.

If you are too old and unable to visit the SASSA office yourself, you can have any trusted friend or a family member apply on your behalf. The person applying on your behalf should take a letter from you along with a doctor’s note explaining the reason why you cannot visit the SASSA office yourself. 

The application forms are available at SASSA offices and should be completed in the presence of the SASSA officer. You can fill out the application yourself. In case you find it hard to fill it out yourself, then the officer will be here to help you in completing the application form. They will also take your interview (or from your appointed person). After taking the interview they will inform you if you qualified for the grant.

After completing the application and interview, you will also receive the dated stamp receipt with the SASSA officer name who assisted you in the application. Even if you are not qualified, you need to keep this receipt as proof of application as it includes your application ID

Required Documents to Apply for Elderly Grant

You must take the following documents (original or certified copies) along with you to the SASSA office when applying for Older Persons Grant:

  • Your original 13-digit bar-coded ID (identity document). If you don’t have an ID:
  • You are required to fill out the affidavit form on the SASSA standard affidavit template, and this must be done in the presence of an Oaths Commissioner who is not affiliated with SASSA. A SASSA official will provide you with the form, or you can download the SASSA affidavit from here.
  • You are required to bring a sworn statement signed by a person with a solid reputation (such as a counselor, social worker, traditional leader, religious minister or school principal) who is capable of verifying your name and age.
  • SASSA will take your fingerprint to process your application. You will be sent to the Department of Home Affairs to request for your ID while processing your application. If you fail to get the ID, your application will be suspended by SASSA.
  • Proof of your marital status (if applicable):
  • Marriage Certificate: if you are married 
  • Divorce Decree: if the marriage has been dissolved
  • Proof of your current address
  • Proof of your stocks and dividends (if you are married, then it will also apply to your spouse) 
  • Proof of your assets, including the worth of the property you own. 
  • Proof of your personal pension (if any) 
  • Bank statement of the last 3 months.
  • In case of previous employment, you need to provide evidence of your Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) membership (also known as “Blue Book”) or a discharge certificate issued by your former employer. 
  • If your spouse has passed away within the past 5 years, you need to provide a copy of your spouse’s death certificate, along with their will, the initial and final liquidation and distribution accounts (if applicable). 

Processing Time for the Application of SASSA Older Persons Grant

It usually takes about 3 months to process applications for the older persons grant. The payments start after the approval of your application. Once the application is processed and your grant is approved, you will receive all the payments from the date you submitted your application. In case of application rejection, SASSA will send a letter with an explanation that why you’re not approved for the grant.

SASSA Old Age Grant Status Check

Once your grant application is submitted, then you’ll also need to check your SASSA status regularly to stay updated. And the best part is that it can be easily traced by using a status check to see if the application is approved, or declined or what is the current status of your application. After the approval of your old age grant application, the status should be checked frequently to be updated about upcoming payments. SASSA old age grant status check can be done through the following methods:

SASSA Website

Through SMS To SASSA Number 082-046-8553

SASSA Website

Through SASSA WhatsApp 082-046-8553

SASSA Website

Contacting on SASSA Toll-Free No. 0800-601011

What to do if your SASSA Old Age Grant Application is not Approved?

If your grant application is declined but you believe that the decision was made in error, you can request the SASSA to reconsider your application. If the reconsideration request is also denied, but you still disagree with the decision of SASSA, you have the right to appeal the decision of SASSA to the Ministry of Social Development at the National Department of Social Development. The appeal must be filed within 90 days from the day the application is submitted.

The Ministry of Social Development will review your appeal to make a decision. If the appeal board agrees with you, they will reverse SASSA’s decision and you will start receiving your grant payments. If the appeal is denied then you’ll receive a written explanation of the appeal board decision.

Understanding the SASSA Old Age Grant Payment Process

Once your old age grant is approved, you will start receiving payments from the date you applied. SASSA releases the payment schedule every month as they don’t have any fixed dates. Check the upcoming payment dates

SASSA will pay you the grant payments through the following three methods (You need to opt for one):

  • Direct deposit in your bank account or Postbank account. The banks may charge you for the service fee.
  • You can withdraw your grant payment in cash at SASSA-partnered retail outlets such as Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Boxer, Checkers, Usave and Spar. 
  • From some specific institutions (e.g. old age home, disability centers, Non-profit organizations)

If you want to receive your grant payments through a bank account, you will need to complete a Consent Form for Bank Payment of SASSA Grant and submit the following documents.

  • Proof of identity, such as an ID card, driving license or birth certificate
  • Bank account number, the account should be on your name
  • Three months bank statement, which should show your name and account number on the statement

You can update your bank account or payment method anytime by filling out a form in the welfare office. However, the payments will be received through the new payment method from the following month after the verification is completed.

If you cannot collect grants yourself due to being too old, you can nominate someone to collect payments on your behalf. 

SASSA Old Age Grant Balance Check

The SASSA balance check service allows you to check the remaining balance of your grant. By checking your balance, you can stay updated with your funds to manage your finances and make informed decisions about your grant money. After your old age pension application is approved and you start receiving grant payments, you may need to check your balance regularly by following methods:

  • By dialing the USSD code *120*3210# or *120*69277# through your cellphone
  • At any ATM (normal bank charges may be applied)
  • Via SASSA WhatsApp number 082 046 8553
  • From SASSA official website
  • ­By calling the SASSA call center toll-free number 0800 601 011

SASSA Old Age Grant Reviews

SASSA reserves the right to review your old age grant based on the income you declared during the application process. The reviews are conducted to ensure that you still meet the means test criteria of the grant and that your circumstances are not improved yet, it is also to verify if you are still alive. To make the review process easier, you should always keep your application up to date whenever your circumstances change. 

SASSA will send you a written notice before the three months of review or the deadline to submit your life certificate (proof that you are still alive). The written statement will also explain the review’s date, time and location. 

If you are receiving your grant payments through a bank, procurator, or institution, you need to submit the life certificate to the SASSA office every year. If you are bedridden, SASSA officials will visit your home to conduct the review. Once the review is completed, you will obtain a compliance receipt.

The review of refugee applicants will be conducted once their refugee status has expired.

Grant Suspension Reasons

The following reasons may lead to the old age grant suspension:

  • If your circumstances changes.
  • You provided false information or committed fraud.
  • You failed to cooperate when your grant was reviewed.
  • The result of a review.
  • If the grant was approved by mistake.

Restoration of the Grant

If you believe that your grant was suspended in error or if you have a disagreement with SASSA’s decision, you have the option to submit an appeal to the Ministry of Social Development at the National Department of Social Development within 90 days of the suspension.

Reasons for Lapsing of the Old Age Grant

Your old age grant will lapse if one of the following conditions occurs:

  • If you pass away
  • If you are unable to provide proof that you are alive when asked. Your grant will be reviewed annually to make sure that you are still alive.
  • Your grant payments are not collected for consecutive 3 months, you can apply for the grant payments to start again, but if it is more than 90 days then you’ll have to apply for a new grant. 
  • You are admitted to a fully government-funded institution such as a hospital or a jail. 
  • You are out of the country for a period of more than 90 days without any notice.
  • If your income and/or assets improved so much that you are no longer qualified for the grant in terms of means test.

Your grant amount will be reduced to 25% of your total if you are admitted to the state station for longer than four months. Your grant will be reinitiated to the maximum amount immediately upon your discharge.

Responsibilities of the Beneficiaries

As a SASSA grant holder, you also need to fulfill some responsibilities:

  • To ensure accuracy, keep SASSA updated about the changes in your personal and financial circumstances .
  • It is crucial to promptly update the SASSA regarding any changes in your physical address or contact details.
  • Always provide the correct information, as SASSA does not tolerate any fraudulent activity.

You must keep the SASSA updated in the above scenarios to avoid any interruption or suspension in your grants, as SASSA sends notices and updates to the address you submitted in the application. If your address or contact information is updated and you did not inform the SASSA, it may cause the suspension of your grants, as SASSA will not be able to contact you.

Contact SASSA

Should you have additional questions, feel free to reach out to SASSA through the following channels: