Changes to Sassa grants

Following amendments of the regulations of the Social Assistance Act of 2004 this year, some social grant beneficiaries will have to make alternative arrangements regarding the payment of funeral insurance premiums, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) said in a statement.

Amending these regulations was necessary to protect beneficiaries against unscrupulous financial service providers.

The law allows for only a maximum of 10 percent of the grant value to be deducted and requires that Sassa should be informed whenever a beneficiary enters into a contract with a funeral insurance service provider. In some cases, Sassa is not involved and this results in unauthorised deductions which come as a surprise to the beneficiary when the next payment cycle comes.

This happens where beneficiaries are made to sign agreements that are not explained to them.

Beneficiaries with funeral policies should note:

* Beneficiaries with direct deductions for a funeral insurance/ scheme from child grants or any social grant awarded for a period of less than 12 months (temporary disability grants) should note that the deductions will be discontinued in December 2016. These beneficiaries should make other payment arrangements with their financial service providers on how premiums will be paid from December.

* If you receive a grant for older persons, war veterans or a permanent disability grant and would like to have the premiums for your funeral policy/ scheme deducted directly from your grant, visit the nearest Sassa office to give permission in writing and in person for these deductions to go through. This applies to old and new funeral policies.

Regarding other types of social grants, only one deduction will be allowed and must not exceed 10 percent of the value of the grant.

Call 0800 60 10 11 or 012 400 2322 for details.