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Declined for the R350 grant? Here’s why and how to appeal

Applicants who are newly unemployed can apply for reconsideration

08 September 2021 - 08:00
Sassa Covid-19 grant applicants who have pending UIF payments should clear this with the department of labour. File pic.
Sassa Covid-19 grant applicants who have pending UIF payments should clear this with the department of labour. File pic.
Image: South African Gov‏ via Twitter

As the SA Social Service Agency (Sassa) rolls out the R350 social relief of distress (SDR) grants to approved beneficiaries, some are still struggling with the application process. 

Some applications are rejected if they reflect the applicant is owed a UIF payment that is pending, is a beneficiary of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) or if they are employed, except this is not true for many. 

I can’t believe you declined my application based on the internship that ended long ago. If your system is that authentic, it must be able to trace the contract period and termination date. Otherwise you are disadvantaging the most deserving people who try every day to get jobs,” wrote Twitter user @BonganiMajolall.

Phoebe Ntsomi’s first attempt with the application was unsuccessful as the Sassa system reflected she had received UIF payments which had long ended at the time of launching the application.

“My application was declined due to the fact that I received my UIF payments until last November. I applied for reconsideration this morning at 3.30am and it was successful. Sassa needs to work hand in hand with the department of labour to check all terminations of UIF,” she shared.

TimesLIVE reached out to the agency with questions raised by applicants.

Here’s why your application could be rejected and what you can do about it:

Can your application be rejected if you have a pending UIF payment?

Yes. Beneficiaries who are eligible for a UIF payment can be declined. Sassa said applicants should check with the fund if they have any pending payments and consider reapplying for the Covid-19 grant.

If you recently lost your job and your unemployment status does not reflect, can your application be rejected?

Yes. The agency said applicants who are newly unemployed but their application is denied can apply for reconsideration and Sassa will conduct a means test.

“Reconsideration applications will be further assessed by checking if there are funds of more than R595 flowing in the client’s bank account. An exception would be if the funds are from a Sassa child-related grant,” said the agency.

Can your application be rejected because you have ‘alternative income’ or are a NSFAS beneficiary?

The grant is strictly for unemployed people and caregivers who only receive the state grants for the children they look after. The agency said if the system wrongly reflects that an applicant is an NSFAS beneficiary, they can apply for reconsideration.

“The agency uses information as provided by multiple institutions including UIF, SA Revenue Service, NSFAS and banks among others to check income from alternative sources,” said Sassa.

What does ‘identity verification failed’ mean? How can you fix this to receive the grant? 

This means the applicants personal details, such as names and ID numbers, do not match what is in the home affairs database. Applicants can rectify this on the Sassa website under the tab marked “request names and surname update”.

If your application has been rejected, how do you appeal?

Appeals can be made on the SRD website.

"For declined applications, the client can submit a request for reconsideration through the website under the tab: application for reconsideration".

In the last round of applications, Sassa directed appeals to be sent to covid19srdappeals@sassa.gov.za

However, some users have complained that this option is not working for them.