The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has provided a solution to temporary disability grants which lapsed or expired in March 2020.
The lapse resulted in some beneficiaries not being paid their grants.
“The payment file for April 2020 payments was extracted before the 21 days lockdown was announced, meaning that all temporary disability grants which were due to lapse at the end of March 2020 had already lapsed and were not generated for payment in April,” said SASSA spokesperson Sandy Godlwana.
SASSA offices have been closed since the start of the 21-day lockdown. The closure has posed a challenge for beneficiaries whose grants expired in March, and were therefore unable to re-apply at SASSA offices.
“In order to deal with this unintended consequence of the lockdown, SASSA is providing social relief of distress in the form of food parcels to beneficiaries whose disability grants expired in April 2020, as an interim measure to cushion the impact of the termination of the grant benefit.”
Godlwana said the situation will be fully remedied for those grants expiring in April because ministerial directions issued on 30 March 2020 enable continued payment of temporary disability grants throughout the lockdown period.
“This development should be able to eliminate the panic caused by recent media reports.”
- Temporary disability grants have a lifespan of 12 months and beneficiaries have to re-apply after the prescribed period.
- In 12 months, there is a possibility that a medical condition might have improved to the extent that it does not require continuation of temporary disability grant.
- Godlwana said a WhatsApp message displaying an application form with a SASSA logo, has been doing the rounds calling on the public to apply for food parcels.
“Grant beneficiaries who did not receive their grants for whatever reason will be prioritised. Preference for support will be given to citizens who are not receiving support from any other source, to ensure that the limited resources reach as many citizens as possible.
“Social relief of distress requires an application process but during the declared state of disaster, applications will be done telephonically on SASSA KwaZulu-Natal Regional Office which can be reached on 033 846 3400, [ or through the] SASSA KwaZulu-Natal Whats App number on 0716071514,” Godlwana said.
However, Godlwana warned that the forms which have been circulating on social media and other platforms will not be accepted from the public, because “applications are done telephonically and only an authorised SASSA official completes the forms.”
Provincial Joint Operations Centres and the department of social development are coordinating the issuing of food parcels at Food Distribution Centres to alleviate the impact of the lockdown
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