SASSA clears R350 COVID-19 SRD grant processing backlog

SASSA has paid about 750,000 claims with more expected soon.

A South African Social Security Agency office in Pretoria. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has paid about 750,000 claims with more expected soon.

This follows months of appeals, verification and reconsideration processes pertaining to the R350 COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRD) applications.

The payments have been progressive in clearing the backlog due to reconsideration appeals between August and November 2021.

The SRD Grant was extended for 12 months in February but, in a statement, SASSA said: “Before the extension could be implemented, the legislative framework had to be changed, given the lifting of the COVID-19 National State of Disaster.”

The agency added that the conditions addressed concerns of staying within a R44 billion budget - without excluding those in need.

“To achieve this, we implemented a means test not only for appeals but for all applicants upfront. This requires SASSA to implement a similar process of checking income in people’s bank accounts. This was previously only done for those who have appealed. We have now implemented this for all the COVID-19 SRD Grant applications upfront.”

SASSA said this required an extensive procurement and systems development process, including partnering with some of the main banks in South Africa.

Assessments for new applications have also begun, the agency noted.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR RECIPIENTS

SASSA has appealed to clients to provide their bank account details so that it can make payments directly into their own accounts.

Recipients have been advised not to go to the South African Post Office to access the funds.

“Recipients of the COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant of R350 who had selected to receive their funds at SAPO branches are requested to visit www.srd.sassa.gov.za and select an option to collect the grant from any retail outlets such as Checkers, Usave, Shoprite, Pick ‘n Pay and Boxer.”