The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is set to undertake a review of rejected applications for the R350 COVID-19 Relief grant.

The decision to undergo a review was made, in part, due to the massive number of applications received and the high percentage of rejections.

SASSA to review R350 grant applications

SASSA are keen to avoid a costly appeals process by undertaking a review of all rejected applications.

“The South African Social Security Agency has taken a decision to relook declined COVID-19 grant applications and get to the bottom of the reasons for rejection,” a statement from SASSA reads. 

“The high numbers involved raised questions and SASSA decided that it would be wise to reconsider these before subjecting them to an appeal process, which comes at a cost and resultant delays, given the urgency to pay out the grant during these trying times for poor people impacted negatively by the national shutdown.”

Fresh data request

SASSA say that by early June close to 50% of processed applications did not qualify in terms of the criteria. 

The social security agency claim that of those rejected claims 70% of applicants were already either receiving UIF benefits or qualified to receive UIF according to data provided to them. 

SASSA have taken the decision to request an updated database to reconsider the declined UIF cases instead of advising the aggrieved applicants to follow the appeals route.

The controversial R350 Relief grant has sparked a great deal of frustration for the many who have had their applications rejected ort payments delayed.

Review to cost less than extensive appeals

SASSA say that new data has made it clear that large numbers of rejected applications could actually qualify for the R350 grant.

The organisation says that some applicants can expect an SMS with a link to share details with SASSA, who also warned against sharing links as they are tailored to individual ID numbers.

“Out of this reconsideration process it emerged that 85% of the UIF cases which were previously deemed not to be qualifying, actually qualify. 

“They have been approved and are being made aware of this development individually as and when such favourable decision is reached.  

“Everyone affected will receive an SMS requesting them to provide their banking details.  

“It is important to respond to the SMS as quickly as possible and to follow the link provided.  

“Approved applicants are reminded that the link cannot be shared with others, as it is linked to a specific ID number for security reasons.”

SASSA say more than two and a half million applicants have already been paid so far from over 3.2 million who applied for the COVID-19 grant.

 “Updating the UIF database has brought such a relief to us and the affected beneficiaries, the numbers will rise daily until we have paid all deserving individuals who were previously declined”, said Totsie Memela SASSA CEO. 

SASA finalising R350 grant appeals process

Memela added that SASSA is working with the Department of Social Development to finalise the modalities of the appeals process for applicants who still feel that their applications were rejected unfairly. 

The appeals function will be added to the www.srd.sassa.gov.za website as soon as the relevant framework has been approved.

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Presh JM Reporter

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