Chapter 7 - Social Welfare
Methods of payment
When you apply for a grant you need to say how you would like the money to be paid. You can receive your grant by the following methods:
If you want to have the money paid into a bank or post office account, you must fill in a special form when you make the application.
If you want to change the method and place of payment of the grant you can make an application to the local service office.
If you cannot collect the grant yourself, you may nominate a procurator to collect it on your behalf.
When can you get the grant money?
All grants are paid monthly. But the dates and times of grant payments are different in different areas.
Your first payment can be bigger than the regular monthly payment, because the first payment is counted from the date of your application. So if you waited four months after applying, you should get four month's money in your first payment.
How do you get your grant money?
When you go to collect your grant you must take a valid identity document with you. When you receive the money, count it to check that it is right and then sign or thumb print for receipt of the money. This is proof that you have received the money. You must not sign or give your thumb print before you get the money. If something is wrong with the money you must not sign. You must complain immediately to the person who makes the payouts.
Can another person fetch an applicant's grant?
If a grant applicant is too old, sick or disabled and cannot get to the SASSA office to fetch their grant, they can sign a paper called a power of attorney to say that another person called a procurator, can fetch the grant. The SASSA office has a special power of attorney form which specifies what details to fill in order to appoint a procurator. The procurator who will collect the grant on behalf of the sick or disabled person must take the form to the grant applicant. The applicant must sign or put their thumb print on the power of attorney, in front of a Commissioner of Oaths (for example, a lawyer, church minister, police officer or bank or post office official). The procurator must do the same.
If the applicant is too old, sick or disabled to go to a Commissioner of Oaths to sign the power of attorney, they must ask at least two people (who know the applicant well) to make an affidavit. This is a sworn statement that says the applicant is still alive but he/she cannot collect their own grant because of sickness or disability. They must sign the affidavits in front of a Commissioner of Oaths.
It is also possible to request a SASSA officer to do a home visit to enable the applicant to complete and sign the Power of Attorney form in front of the official.
The SASSA officer must approve an applicant’s request to let someone else fetch the grant.
The SASSA officer can regularly ask to see the applicant, or to see some proof that he/she is still alive. The grant can be stopped if proof is not given that the applicant is still alive. However, the SASSA officer must send a notice to the applicant or give the notice to the person who collects the grant, before the month when the SASSA officer wants new proof.
When the procurator goes to collect the grant money, s/he must produce a valid identify document and an affidavit to prove that s/he has been authorised to do this.
A welfare organisation can also be appointed to collect grants on behalf of beneficiaries, for instance an old age home.
Can anyone claim access to a beneficiary’s grant money?
All your grant money must be paid to you in full. Deductions can only be made from your grant money if the law believes it is in your best interests. The only lawful deduction which can be made is for a funeral policy, if you have agreed to have this deducted from the grant. No deductions can be made for Moneylenders and creditors, who may also not enter the premises or be within 100 metres of where grants are paid. Moneylenders and creditors may also not hold your ID book, or card and you may not cede your grant to another person.
When does the grant stop or lapse?
A grant can stop for many legal reasons.
The Older Person’s Grant and War Veteran's Grant stops:
If you die, the person who holds the receipt for funeral expenses can claim your pension up to the end of the month in which you die, providing that pension was not already paid during that month. . He or she can use this money to help with the funeral and other expenses. After the person claims, this money takes about 3 months to come.
The Disability Grant stops for all the same reasons as the Older Person’s Grant, PLUS
The law also says the SASSA officer can review the disability grant -
A Disability Grant will be converted to an Older Person’s Grant when the beneficiary turns 60 years old.
A Grant-in-Aid stops for all the same reasons as the grants and if the main grant is withdrawn.
What happens when a grant is wrongly stopped?
There are times when a grant is wrongly stopped. If this happens, you should send a letter to the same office where you made the application. The letter should give:
Keep a copy of the letter and proof that the letter was sent, for example a registered mail slip.
Stopping a grant on grounds of fraud
A grant will be stopped if it is found that you provided information to SASSA that is known to be untrue to get the grant in the first place. It will also be stopped if it is discovered that you failed to inform SASSA of changes in your circumstances (for example, you start earning a big salary or you are no longer disabled) which would disqualify you from receiving the grant. Providing misleading information constitutes fraud and SASSA can claim any money that has been overpaid back from you. SASSA will send 90 days written notice of their intention to investigate. The beneficiary can respond to provide the necessary information within a further 90 days. If they do not do so, or if it is not acceptable to SASSA, then the beneficiary will be given 90 days notice of SASSA’s intention to suspend the grant. No notice of a suspension needs to be given if the grant was approved based on fraudulent information, or was approved in error.
SASSA Fraud Hotline is Tel: 0800 601011 or Fax: 0800611011
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