Old Age Pension (Old Persons Grant)

Description:

Who Can Apply for the Old Persons Grant?

If you are a woman or man 60 years or older, you can get a monthly payment from the government called an old age grant.

You must be a citizen or permanent resident of South Africa and must be living in South Africa at the time of applying for the grant. You must not be maintained or cared for in a state institution (such as a state old age home), living in a psychiatric hospital, getting care from a state treatment centre or getting state care for a drug habit. You must not be in receipt of another social grant in respect of yourself, and your spouse must comply with the means test. A 13-digit bar-coded ID (identity document) must be submitted.

Only people whose financial situation is below a certain level can get the grant. The test to decide this is called a means test.

The Means Test

The means test changes every year, and for the old persons grant, this depends on your income, assets, whether or not you are married and on the income of both you and your spouse if you are married. 

Old Persons Grant Value

The amount of the old persons grant changes every year. The maximum amount that you will get is R1 350 per month. If you are older than 75 years, you will get R1 350 plus R20.

If you cannot look after yourself and need full-time care from someone else, you may also apply for a Grant-In-Aid, which you can get in addition to your old persons grant. Also remember that people who get an old age pension have special housing subsidies available to them.

Instructions:

Applying for the Grant

You can apply for the old age grant by filling in an application form at your nearest SASSA office. You do not need to pay to make the application.
 

The application process should not take longer than two hours. You will be interviewed, have your fingerprints taken and given information on whether you qualify for the grant. You will also need to show certain documents and provide some information, including:

  • Your South African identity document (ID), which must be bar-coded.
  • Information about your marital status:
    • If you are single, an affidavit stating that you are single.
    • If you are married, your marriage certificate.
    • If you are divorced, your divorce order.
    • If your spouse is dead, your spouse's death certificate.
  • Information about your income and assets:
    • If you are employed, your wage certificate.
    • If you are unemployed, your Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) "blue book" discharge certificate from your previous employer.
    • If you have a private pension, proof of the private pension.
    • If you have a bank account, your bank statements for three consecutive months.
    • If you have investments, information on the interest and dividends you earn.

If you cannot go to make the application yourself, a friend or family member can bring a letter from you and a doctor's note saying why you can't visit the office yourself. A home visit may then be arranged.

When you make the application, you should say how you would like the money to be paid. The money can be paid out in cash on specific days at a pay point or you can get the money paid electronically into your bank account. Remember that normal bank charges can apply to any money going in and out of your bank account. You can decide to change the payment method at any time by filling in a form at a welfare office, but the change will only happen a month later.

It will take about 30 working days for your application to be processed and checked and either approved or refused. If your application is refused you will get a letter explaining why it has been refused and how you can appeal.

If it is approved, you will start getting payments within three months. The payments will be backdated to the day you applied for the grant. You can find out what has happened to your application and when you can expect payment by calling the South African Social Security Agency's (SASSA) toll-free helpline on 0800 601 011.

The old persons grant will be cancelled if you die, if you are admitted to a state institution or if your income or assets improve so much that you no longer qualify in terms of the means test. You must inform the department of any changes in your circumstances.

General Enquiries:

Department of Social Development

South African Social Security Agency

Call the toll-free helpline: 0800 601 011 for information on:

  • Pay-out dates.
  • Qualifying rules for all government grants.
  • District office addresses and contact numbers.
  • For help with what has happened to your application.
  • How you can also report any fraud or corruption.
Provided by:
Government Body: (The Government of South Africa)
The content on this page was last updated on 9 September 2014