11 March 2021 - NW170
Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development
What (a) is the total number of people living with disabilities who did not receive their SA Social Security Agency grant payouts at the Upington Post Office for January 2021 and (b) are the reasons behind these non-payments?
a) There were no approved social grant beneficiaries who were not paid at the Upington Post Office in January 2021. All beneficiaries who were entitled to the grant were paid.
b) At the end of December 2020, SASSA lapsed a total of 1 672 temporary disability grants as the period for which the grant was approved had expired; and 68 care dependency grants, where the beneficiary had turned 18 years of age during the course of 2020. These clients in the Upington area were not paid in January 2021, and need to re-apply for the grant, if their disability or medical condition still prevents them from working and thus earning an income with which to support themselves.
SASSA has implemented a specific process for the clients who previously received the care dependency grants, where the grants lapsed at the end of December 2021, in order to limit inconvenience as much as possible. A care dependency grant lapses at the end of the month in which the care dependent child turns 18. However, as a result of measures implemented to reduce the spread of the corona virus in 2020, care dependency grants which should have lapsed were kept in payment until the end of the year.
When a care dependency grant lapses, the young person, who is now an adult, has to apply for a disability grant in his/her own name (the care dependency grant is paid to the care giver of the child). The application for a disability grant requires a new medical assessment, in line with the Provisions of the Social Assistance Act, 2004. However, in order to limit inconvenience, as a care dependent child is supposed to have a permanent, severe disability, the medical assessments for the disability grant application are being done off the file, using the previous medical report. Only where the previous medical assessment is not available, or where the information is inadequate, will an arrangement be made for the young person to be brought to the office for an assessment.
Once the assessment is completed, the care giver of that young person will be contacted to complete the application process as the procurator of the young person.
The above process has been implemented in order to prevent people with severe disabilities form having to come to SASSA offices to complete the application process.
The paper-based assessment process will be utilised as a permanent method of attending to disability grant applications, where the client was previously a care dependent child.
Lastly, I would like to inform the Honourable Member’s attention to the current language that is consistent with the White Paper is persons with Disabilities not “people living with disabilities”.