The South African Social Safety Company (Sassa) is popping away candidates for R1 860 incapacity grants and telling them to use for the R350 Covid-19 emergency grants as an alternative. Docs stated that is occurring to claimants who meet all of the related standards.
The blocking of latest incapacity grant functions kicked in initially of the Covid-19 lockdown and won’t be lifted till October on the earliest, in response to human rights organisation Black Sash.
Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi didn’t reply to calls, messages and emails from the Mail & Guardian.
Evashnee Naidu, the Black Sash’s KwaZulu-Natal supervisor, stated Sassa had advised her organisation that the aim of this restriction was to cut back the publicity of district surgeons to the virus, as they had been liable for the ultimate evaluation of incapacity grant claimants.
Sassa introduced this week that it’s reassessing thousands and thousands of functions for the R350 grant which were rejected, which is inflicting an enormous backlog for this grant.
The worry is that new claimants for the R1 860 incapacity grant may find yourself receiving nothing.
Sassa closed its places of work initially of the Covid-19 lockdown on the finish of March and referred all candidates for emergency catastrophe aid to its centralised name centre.
New functions for all different grants — together with incapacity, childcare and previous age grants — had been stopped.
In the direction of the tip of stage 4 of the lockdown, Sassa places of work reopened for functions for previous age pensions and childcare and foster care grants, however not for incapacity grants.
Candidates have to supply a medical report from their physician, after which bear an evaluation by a district surgeon, to whom Sassa refers them.
A Durban district surgeon, who requested to not be named, stated he has not processed a single incapacity grant utility since March.
“I usually course of no less than three candidates for incapacity every day, 5 days per week. Individuals who desperately want incapacity grants and who qualify are being turned away and advised to take the Covid grant,’’ the physician stated.
Naidu stated the rejection of latest incapacity grant functions till October was a nationwide downside.
The Black Sash supervisor stated Sassa had relaxed the lockdown situations to permit previous age pension functions on Mondays and Tuesdays and functions for childcare and foster grants on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with the overflow being handled on Fridays.
Functions for incapacity grants weren’t included.
“After we queried this. Sassa’s response was to say it was due to the specter of exposing district surgeons to Covid-19, which places an excessive amount of of a burden on the medical system,” Naidu stated.
“They indicated that the grant utility situation can be checked out in October and that within the interim folks ought to reasonably think about going for the R350 grant.’’
Black Sash had proposed that Sassa station district surgeons at its places of work to shorten the method and decrease publicity to the virus, however the company had rejected.
Naidu stated that individuals who may unwell afford it must undergo the applying course of once more, together with getting new medical studies from their physician, as a result of they had been legitimate for less than three months.
Naidu stated disabled folks with momentary grants — which final for both six or 12 months — had been additionally unable to resume their functions till October on the earliest.
“Those who expired between April and July are being stored on a month to month foundation. Those who expired in February have misplaced out,” she stated.
Naidu stated the issue was a “systemic nationwide situation”, which meant that individuals who desperately wanted the incapacity grant, a lot of whom had particular wants, can be compelled to simply accept the R350 as an alternative — if they may get it.
“There was no suggestion from Sassa to help the beneficiary. Their response has been to level to the Covid grant,’’ she stated.
Naidu stated whereas the applying processes for previous aged pension and childcare grants had been reopened, candidates needed to queue in a single day. Different folks needed to journey from one Sassa workplace to a different as places of work had been being closed as a result of workers members had contracted Covid-19, notably within the Western Cape.
In line with Sassa statistics, the company has acquired slightly below 7.2-million functions for the particular aid grants and permitted about three.25-million for fee. It’s re-assessing 2.Eight-million functions it turned down.