The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) offers several permanent social grants to individuals who are deemed deserving of the grant. These permanent grants include the Older Persons Grant, Disability Grant, Child Support grant, Foster Care Grant, Grant in Aid, War Veterans Grant, and the Care Dependency grant.
Individuals can apply for Sassa grants if they require it. Applicants will be required to provide information and documentation to support their grant application. This includes Identification Documents, marriage certificates, disability confirmation letters and others.
The Department of Social Development (DSD) revealed that from 1 April to 30 September 2022, Sassa received a total of 981 562 grant applications, of which 887 628 were approved.
However, not everyone who applies for a social grant is approved for payment. If Sassa feels an applicant is not deserving of the grant, they will reject their grant application.
In the same period from 1 April to 30 September 2022, 92 098 grant applications were rejected by Sassa. This represents approximately 9% of the total grant applications during this period.
It’s important to note that rejected grant applicants have the legal right to appeal Sassa’s decision to reject their application. They must submit these appeals to the Independent Tribunal for Social Assistance Appeals (ITSAA).
The ITSAA’s role is to decide on whether the decision of Sassa is to be confirmed, varied or set aside after consultation with a civil society member. The ITSAA has the power to consider all applications for appeal by an applicant, beneficiary or a person acting on his or her behalf.
From April to 30 September 2022, the Tribunal received a total number of 2 591 appeal applications. The majority of appeals were however received during the 2nd Quarter following the implementation of the Amendment Act.
Advocate Antoinette Brink, Appeals Officer at the DSD said the direct access now provided to individuals submitting appeals has seen the number of appeals received by the tribunal increase significantly.
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Previously, the ITSSA received an average of 150 appeals per month. Since the implementation of the Social Assistance Amendment Act, the tribunal receives 750 appeals per month.
In terms of the regulatory framework, the Tribunal must adjudicate appeals within a 90-day period from receipt thereof. This is in line with the requirements of the Promotion of Administration Justice Act (PAJA).
If the Tribunal fails to adjudicate appeals within 90 days, it creates a litigation risk.