Many South African Social Security Agency R350 grant applicants have been left with a “pending” status and are unsure what this means for their application or what stage of the application process they are currently on. Keep reading to find out what a “pending” Sassa status means and what happens to your application once you have applied.
SASSA refers to the South African Social Security Agency, which is a government agency responsible for administering social grants to South Africa’s most vulnerable individuals who meet the eligibility criteria.
The agency was established in 2005 and is responsible for the distribution of several different types of Sassa grants such as the old age pension, disability grant, child support grant, and others. These grants are different from the R350, or SRD grant, so the eligibility criteria are different.
Introduction Of The R350 Grant
Sassa introduced the R350 Social Relief of Distress grant (SRD) at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide financial assistance and special relief to those who had lost their jobs as a result of lockdown.
The SRD grant is often referred to as the R350 grant, or the special relief grant, and has been extended by the Social Security Agency multiple times due to the number of vulnerable South Africans that rely on it to be able to meet their basic needs.
SASSA’s mandate is to provide a social security net for the vulnerable and needy members of society, particularly those who are unable to support themselves financially and have no other form of income.
What Does A “Pending” Status Mean?
Many applicants of the SASSA SRD R350 grant have said that their application for the R350 grant has been stuck on “pending”, leaving them confused about what this means for their Sassa application.
You can always do an SRD status check or a general Sassa status check.
Sassa has revealed that if you see “pending” on your application status, it means that your application has not yet been approved.
This is because Sassa is still in the process of scanning your details which they will need to verify before you can be approved as an SRD grant beneficiaries.
If your SRD application is approved, you will receive an SMS from SASSA requesting your bank details. Sassa will use these banking details to pay your money each month, so it is important that you make sure you provide the correct banking information, contact and personal details.
How Long Does It Take For An SRD Application To Be Approved?
Sassa has encouraged applicants to keep checking their SRD grant application status to see if it has been approved.
Sassa warns that it can take up to 90 days for your grant application to be approved.
Sassa R350 grant beneficiaries will be paid each month as long as they still meet the qualification criteria. Each month the application will be verified to ensure that the applicant still qualifies for that particular month.
Sassa R350 Grant Eligibility Criteria
There is a number of criteria applicants need to meet in order to qualify for the R350 grant:
- South African citizen, permanent resident, refugee, asylum seeker or special permit holder
- Between 18 and 60 years old
- Currently living in South Africa
- Unemployed and not unreasonably refusing to accept employment or educational opportunities
- Not receiving any other payment, form of income or bursary, such as one from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)
Reasons Your Application May Be Rejected
Make sure that you meet all the eligibility requirements before submitting an application, otherwise your SRD grant application will be rejected.
If your circumstances change, for example, Sassa finds that you are now receiving an income, you will no longer qualify for a social relief grant, meaning that the agency will no longer pay you. Your SRD application will also be rejected if you are receiving another grant from Sassa.
If you are UIF registered you will not be eligible to receive an SRD grant.
You may also qualify for another grant, such as the old age pension, which you should apply for instead.
What Happens If Your Application Is Approved?
Once applications are approved, SASSA will request confirmation of your bank account though a secure site. This request confirmation will also be done electronically. Any applicant has the right to request confirmation that this request is from SASSA to protect themselves against possible fraud.
The turnaround time for payments after the application has been approved is up to 7 days. SASSA has however emphasised that there is no set payment date for the grant.
Depending on which provider you bank with, R350 grant payments may take up to two days to reflect in your bank account.
If you have applied and would like to check your status, you can track your Sassa SRD status on the SRD Sassa app.
How To Receive Your Grant Money
There are several different methods you can use to access your money from Sassa:
- Via your bank account – make sure your details are correct so that you can access your funds as they become available.
- CashSend services (PostBank)
- From a retail merchant like Pick n Pay, Boxer Stores, Shoprite, Usave, Spar and Checkers
- Directly from a Sassa office
Ensure that your mobile number is correct so that you can easily receive communication from Sassa regarding your application process.
R350 Grant Application Appeals
If your pending application ends up being rejected, Sassa will give you the opportunity to appeal the decision. An appeal is a second chance to submit an application if you believe that the reason for your rejection is inaccurate or unfair.
You have the opportunity to submit an appeal for up to 90 days from the day you receive your rejection. However, Sassa advises applicants to submit an appeal in the first 30 days. There is no need to submit a new application while you wait for your current one to be processed. Avoid reapplying and submitting multiple applications as this can result in delays.
You will be notified via SMS on the outcome of your appeal.