South Africa

Sassa won't give you the R350 unemployment grant if you're registered with UIF

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has on Thursday explained why it's had to decline many applications for the R350 unemployment grant.

The temporary grant was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in April as part of an economic relief package to assist those in need during the coronavirus lockdown.

Applicants must be unemployed, over 18 years old, and not be receiving any other state grant.

Sassa said to date, 3.2 million applicants have been approved and 1.2 million have been paid. However, many have been declined because they are already registered on the Unemployment Insurance Fund ( UIF) or qualify to receive it.

In this case, the applicants are advised to contact the Department of Employment and Labour to either apply for UIF or follow up with their applications.

Sassa said it verified all applications by matching their data with other public and private databases to eliminate possibilities of "double-dipping", so that only deserving applicants received this financial aid.

"We are doing everything in our power to solve the matter and a dedicated email address and phone number have been made available to process complaints. Those who feel aggrieved should either call 0800 60 10 11 or email with their complaints in order to access the recourse mechanism. Our aim is to pay the right grant to the right people,” said Sassa CEO Totsie Memela.

Applicants are processed daily but the major source of delays come from the necessary verification process, which Sassa has to do with other institutions that are dependencies in the value chain.

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