You can get a grant to see you through your old age. An older persons grant is paid to women who are 60 years or older and men who are 60 years or older. This grant used to be called the old age pension.
How do you know if you qualify?
- be a South African citizen or permanent resident
- live in South Africa
- not receive any other social grant for yourself
- not be cared for in a state institution
- not earn more than R44 880 per year or own assets worth more than R752 400 if you are single. If you are married, your combined income must not be more than R89 760 per year and you and your spouse must not have assets worth more than R1 504 800.
How much will you get?
The maximum amount that you will get from April 2011 is R1 140 per month. If you are older than 75 years, you will get R1 160.
How will you be paid?
The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will pay the grant to you through one of the following methods:
- cash at a specific pay point on a particular day
- electronic deposit into your bank or postbank account (the bank may charge you for the service)
- institutions (e.g. old age home).
Note: If you are unable to collect the money yourself, you can appoint a procurator at the SASSA office, or give someone power of attorney to collect the grant on your behalf.
When may your grant be reviewed?
SASSA can decide if your grant must be reviewed. Your income as declared when you apply for the grant will form the basis for this decision. You will be notified three months in advance of the date the review will take place or the date on which the life certificate is due. If you receive your money through the bank, an institution or procurator, you are required to fill in a life certificate at the SASSA offices every year.
When may your grant be suspended?
The following may result in the suspension of your grant:
- when your circumstances change
- the outcome of a review
- if you fail to co-operate when your grant is reviewed
- when you commit fraud or misrepresent yourself
- if there was a mistake when your grant was approved.
When will your grant lapse?
The grant will lapse when you:
- pass away
- are admitted to a state institution
- do not claim for three consecutive months
- are absent from the country.
Note: If a beneficiary is admitted to an institution that has a contract with the state to care for and maintain such beneficiary, the social grant is reduced to 25% (R285) of the maximum amount of the social grant with effect from the 4th month following the beneficiary's admission to that institution. The reduced grant is re-instated immediately from the date the beneficiary is discharged from the institution.
What you should do
Go to the South African Social Security Agency(SASSA) office nearest to where you live and bring the following:
- Your 13-digit bar-coded identity document (ID).
- If you don't have an ID:
- you must complete an affidavit on a standard SASSA format in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths who is not a SASSA official
- you must bring a sworn statement signed by a reputable person (like a councilor, traditional leader, social worker, minister of religion or school principal) who can verify your name and age
- the SASSA official will take your fingerprints. You will be referred to the Department of Home Affairs to apply for the ID even as your application is processed. If you don’t get an ID, your grant will be suspended.
- If you don't have an ID:
- proof of your marital status (if applicable)
- proof of residence
- proof of your income and/or dividends (if any)
- proof of your assets, including the value of the property you own
- proof of your private pension (if any)
- your three month bank statement
- if you were employed, Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) ('blue book') or discharge certificate from your previous employer
- if your spouse died within the last five years, a copy of the will and the first and final liquidation and distribution accounts where applicable.
Note: If you are too old or sick to travel to the office to apply, a family member or friend can apply on your behalf. The person should take a letter from you and/or a doctor's note saying why you cannot visit the office.
Complete the application form in the presence of the SASSA officer (note that only you as the applicant or a SASSA official can complete the application form). The officer will interview you and tell you if you qualify for the grant.
You will be given a receipt. Keep it as proof that you applied.
What if your application is not approved?
If your application is not approved, SASSA will inform you in writing why your application was unsuccessful. If you disagree with the decision, you can appeal to the Minister of Social Development at the National Department of Social Development. You must appeal within 90 days of being notified that your application was unsuccessful.
It may take up to three months to process your application.
If your grant is approved, you will be paid from the date on which you applied.
How much does it cost
The service is free.
Forms to complete
Application forms are not available online, but you can get it at your nearest social security (SASSA) office.