SASSA to extend online grant application services

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Following the introduction of an online portal for the application of certain social grants, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is looking to add disability-related grants to the online process.

This was revealed by social development minister Lindiwe Zulu, during a media briefing session on social relief measures to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

The social security agency initiated a pilot of its online system in September, only allowing child support, older persons and foster child grant applications.

At the time, SASSA said the portal would also enable the submission of the required supporting documentation, change of circumstances (namely payment method, banking details and address), as well as application status updates.

Speaking at the media briefing, Zulu said the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a considerable shift and has opened a new era of digitising services.

One such area, she noted, is the automation of grant applications, which SASSA is currently piloting. “This will enable applicants to apply online without leaving the comfort of their own homes.

“The initial pilot is limited to applications for grants for older persons, foster child grants and child support grants, with the disability-related grants being added at a later stage, once the necessary links with the medical assessments have been resolved.

“The pilot commenced in September and has been running for a period of three months with checks and balances consistently being built into the system to ensure first and foremost, the protection of personal information. This is the first of many initiatives in the pipeline. It is important that we do not forget the key lessons we have learnt as we adapt to the new normal.”

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