Old Age Pension (Old Persons Grant)

Instructions:

You can apply for an old person's grant

The Older Person’s Grant – also known as the state old-age pension – is a monthly income for citizens, permanent residents and refugees 60 years or older with no other means of financial income.

You Qualify for an Older Person’s Grant if You:
  • Are a South African citizen, permanent resident or refugee
  • Are a permanent resident of South Africa
  • Are 60 years or older
  • And your spouse (if you have one) pass the means test
  • Are not living in a state institution
  • Are not receiving payments from another social grant

The Means Test

Only people who have a monthly income below a certain level can get the grant. The test to decide this is called a means test.

Because social assistance like state grants is meant for people who cannot support themselves, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) looks at the income and assets of the person applying for a social grant to determine whether a person qualifies to receive a grant or not.

How Much is the Old Persons Grant?

The amount of the old persons grant changes every year. Currently 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. Any changes in the grant amounts are reflected every year in the national budget speech or at the opening of Parliament.

Elderly lady reading a book

What You Need to Know about the Grant Application Process

You can apply for the old age grant by filling in an application form at your nearest SASSA office and bringing the following information with you:

  • Your official identity document (ID).
    • If you don't have an ID: 
      • You must complete an affidavit on a standard SASSA form in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths who is not a SASSA official.
      • You must bring a sworn statement signed by a reputable person (like a councillor, traditional leader, social worker, minister of religion or school principal), who can verify your name and age.
      • The SASSA official will take your fingerprints. You will be referred to the Department of Home Affairs to apply for the ID even as your application is processed. If you don’t get an ID, your grant will be suspended.
  • Proof of your marital status (if applicable).
  • Proof of your address.
  • Proof of your income.
  • Proof of your assets, including the value of the property you own.
  • Proof of your private pension (if any).
  • Your three-month bank statement. 
  • If you were employed, an Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) ('blue book') or discharge certificate from your previous employer.
  • If your spouse died within the last five years, a copy of your spouse’s death certificate, their will and the first and final liquidation and distribution accounts where applicable.

Note: If you are too old or sick to travel to the office to apply, a family member or friend can apply on your behalf. The person should take a letter from you and/or a doctor's note saying why you cannot visit the office.

Complete the application form in the presence of the SASSA officer (note that only you as the applicant or a SASSA official can complete the application form). The officer will interview you and tell you if you qualify for the grant.

Although the application is free, you will be given a receipt. Keep it as proof that you applied.

How Long Will it Take for the Application to be Processed?

  • It may take up to three months to process your application.
    • If your grant is approved, you will be paid from the date on which you applied.
    • If your application is refused, you will get a letter explaining why it has been refused and how you can appeal within 90 days of being notified.

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 pass the means test. You must inform the department of any changes in your circumstances.

Payment Options and Details

SASSA will pay the grant to you through one of the following methods:

  • Cash at a specific pay point on a particular day.
  • Electronic deposit into your bank or Postbank account (the bank may charge you for the service)
  • Institutions (e.g. old age home).

Note: If you are unable to collect the money yourself, you can appoint a SASSA official, or give someone power of attorney to collect the grant on your behalf. 

Also, 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.

General Enquiries

elderly lady on the side of the road

Call the toll-free helpline at 0800 601 011 for further 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

For further information, please visit these websites:

Department of Social Development

South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)

Provided by:
Government Body: (The Government of South Africa)
The content on this page was last updated on 26 January 2015