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How SASSA Means Test work? New Assets and Income Limits for the applicants

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The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) provides social grants to help those who are vulnerable, such as the elderly, disabled, children, and people in urgent need. These grants are designed to give financial support to ensure these groups have a basic level of financial security. SASSA offers several types of grants, including the Old Age Grant, Disability Grant, and Child Support Grant, each aimed at assisting different groups in need.

To decide who qualifies for these grants, SASSA uses a means test. This test looks at an applicant’s income and assets to make sure only those who really need financial help get it. Various types of income are considered, and details are given below.

The means test also checks the value of an applicant’s assets, like property and investments. Each grant has specific limits on how much income and assets an applicant can have to qualify. For example, the Old Age Grant and Disability Grant have a limit of R1,372,800 in assets for single individuals.

SASSA Payment Dates 2024

This careful assessment helps SASSA make sure that the financial aid goes to those who need it the most, ensuring fairness and efficiency in the distribution of social grants.

Income Considered for the SASSA Means Test

SASSA Means Test Income Limit

SASSA takes into account various sources of income when assessing an individual’s eligibility. It’s important to understand what counts as income to ensure you’re accurately assessed. The following are considered as income by SASSA:

  • Money from a Private Pension: Any income you receive from a private pension scheme is included.
  • Income from Business or Employment: Earnings from any business you own or employment you engage in are counted.
  • Financial Help from Friends or Relatives: If friends or relatives provide you with financial assistance that is reflected in your bank accounts, it is considered income.
  • Rental Income: Any income generated from renting out a portion of your house or property.
  • Maintenance Payments: Payments received from an ex-spouse as maintenance.
  • Compensation from UIF, RAF, or COIDA: Any compensation received from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), Road Accident Fund (RAF), or Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Fund (COIDA).
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Deductions from Income

Before calculating the total income for the means test, SASSA allows for certain standard deductions. These deductions can significantly affect your eligibility, so it’s essential to account for them correctly:

  • Payments towards UIF: Contributions made towards the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
  • Medical Aid Expenses: Costs incurred for medical aid are deductible.
  • SARS Income Tax: Income tax payments made to the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
  • Retirement Contributions: Payments towards retirement plans, retirement annuities, and pension funds.

Maximum Allowable Income Per Social Grant

Each SASSA grant has specific income thresholds. If your income exceeds these thresholds, you will not be eligible for the grant. Here are the income thresholds for various grants:

Grant Single Person Married Couple
Older Person R8,070 per month (R96,840 per year) R16,140 per month (R193,680 per year)
Disability R8,070 per month (R96,840 per year) R16,140 per month (R193,680 per year)
Grant-in-Aid R8,070 per month (R96,840 per year) R16,140 per month (R193,680 per year)
War Veteran R8,070 per month (R96,840 per year) R16,140 per month (R193,680 per year)
Child Support R5,000 per month (R60,000 per year) R10,000 per month (R120,000 per year)
Care Dependency R20,800 per month (R249,600 per year) R41,600 per month (R499,200 per year)
Foster Child No means test required No means test required
Social Relief of Distress R624 per month Not applicable

SASSA Asset Limits

Similar to income thresholds, SASSA also sets asset limits. If the value of your assets exceeds these limits, you will not be eligible for a grant. Here are the asset thresholds for each grant:

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Grant Single Person Married Couple
Old Age R1,372,800 R2,745,600
Disability R1,372,800 R2,745,600
Grant-in-Aid R1,372,800 R2,745,600
War Veterans R1,372,800 R2,745,600
Child Support No asset portion No asset portion
Care Dependency No asset portion No asset portion
Foster Child No asset portion No asset portion
Social Relief of Distress No asset portion No asset portion

Many SASSA beneficiaries face significant challenges when trying to access these grants. Common issues include unresponsive phone lines at SASSA offices and long queues for in-person visits. These challenges make it difficult for individuals to get the assistance they need, whether it’s for simple queries or more serious matters like resolving an appeal.

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