SASSA Funeral Benefits

SASSA Funeral Policies & Benefits 2024

The loss of a loved one is a challenging time, filled with grief and numerous responsibilities. One such responsibility is managing the financial aspects of the funeral. When a beneficiary of a SASSA grant passes away, the agency immediately stops making payments to the beneficiary’s account. However, in specific situations where the family is unable to bear the funeral costs, they may claim the grant amount that was not claimed for the month in which the death occurred to cover funeral expenses.

No doubt, SASSA provides a helping hand to the family of the beneficiary by contributing towards funeral expenses, but this is subjected to certain conditions. In this article I will guide you about the funeral policy, eligibility for this unclaimed money and all other important aspects in this regard.

Understanding of SASSA Funeral Benefits

SASSA Unclaimed Benefits

Being connected to the population register of the Home Affairs department, SASSA gets instant notifications when a death is recorded. Consequently, the grant associated with the deceased individual is terminated on the final day of the month in which the death was occurred.

SASSA does not provide a funeral policy specifically for pensioners. This information is outlined in the official South African SASSA and Provincial Funeral Policy. However, if the deceased individual was a SASSA beneficiary, their family has the opportunity to seek unclaimed benefits.

This aid is available if the deceased had an active grant and the grant amount for their last month was not collected. This unclaimed benefit can be claimed only by a legal representative or the next of kin of the deceased beneficiary and  cannot be passed on to any other family member or relative unless they have applied and been approved for their own grant.

Moreover they must present evidence of funeral expenses, such as a receipt or invoice, and submit it along with other required documents to the relevant SASSA service provider.

Third Party Insurance Firms

Since 2017, SASSA has been authorised to subtract funeral policy premiums, capped at 10% of the social grant. These deductions, labeled as ‘26A deductions,’ are allocated to third parties like insurance firms. SASSA cannot withhold funeral cover expenses from grants designated for children.

SASSA will have access to information about the insurance company involved, and they can assist you in processing the claim. They will provide a copy of the mandate form signed by the deceased which helps family members to conveniently process the claims. 

You can also dial 0800 601 011 to confirm about the insurance company’s name. This service is available from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:00. This will help you identify the company from which SASSA was deducting funds from social grant of your loved one.

Who is Eligible for SASSA Funeral Benefits and When Can be Claimed

  • The unclaimed benefits can be applied for only if the beneficiary did not receive the grant in the month of their death. If the grant was collected in the month of death, the unclaimed grant amount cannot be applied for.
  • If a person has already received their social grant in the month of their demise and the grant is discontinued at the end of that month, there would be no further funds to be disbursed.
  • As per SASSA’s regulations, the individual who can claim the funeral benefits should be the legal representative of the deceased. This representative is typically someone who shared a familial bond with the deceased, such as a spouse, parent, or offspring. The legal representative must show proof of the relationship with the deceased person as well.

Document Requirements to Claim the SASSA Funeral Benefits

In order to apply for funeral benefits from SASSA, the individual who is legally representing or closely related to the departed must submit the following paperwork.

  • Death Certificate of the deceased beneficiary.
  • South African ID Card of the deceased SASSA member.
  • Identity Card of the representative or family member applying for the unclaimed grant amount.
  • Receipt or Invoice detailing the total amount spent on funeral expenses.

If the recipient’s spouse or a qualifying child under the age of 18 passes away, funeral benefits can be claimed in that case too. To process this claim, the following documents are necessary:

  • Certified copies of the deceased’s identification.
  • A marriage certificate in case of spouse.
  • A birth certificate demonstrating the relationship.
  • Proof of registration as a SASSA grant recipient.

How to Apply For SASSA Funeral Benefits

Follow the procedure below to apply for SASSA funeral benefits.

Report the Death

The family or next of kin must report the death to prevent any complications

Attach all the Required Documents

The report should include the death certificate of the deceased beneficiary, identification documents of the next of kin or legal representative, and any other relevant supporting documents.

Visit your Nearest SASSA office

The report can be submitted via mail, email or in person at a SASSA office. If you need to visit a SASSA (South African Social Security Agency) office, follow these steps,

  • Find Your Nearest Office: Use the SASSA Offices Map on their website to locate the nearest SASSA office in your area. Verify the given address to avoid any scams
  • Operating Hours: Most SASSA offices operate during weekdays from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, except on public holidays. Keep this timing in mind when planning your visit.
  • Prepare Your Documents: Gather all necessary documents related to your query or application. This might include identification, proof of address, and any relevant forms
  • Prepared for Queues: SASSA offices can get busy, and you may encounter long queues. Arrive early to increase your chances of same-day assistance

SASSA is continuously working to improve services, and they have introduced a Queue Management System (QMS) in some offices to reduce waiting times. If you face any difficulty while visiting, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance from the SASSA staff.

Submit the Documents to SASSA Representative

Once the death has been reported, SASSA redirects the payments to the legal representative. You will have to inform the SASSA representative that your purpose is to claim unclaimed funeral benefits. The official will request certain documents from you. Ensure you have all necessary documents ready to present. After an initial check, they will begin the comprehensive verification process and start the procedure for payment processing.

Wait for the Payment

The verification and payment processing usually takes between 24 and 72 hours.If you don’t receive any updates after 72 hours, please reach out to the SASSA helpline at 0800 60 10 11 for further assistance. Access all contact details of sassa from here.

In a general scenario, you might consider consulting with Black Sash, a non-profit organisation that provides complimentary legal advice. They could potentially explain whether a person contributing to a funeral cover from his grant would be eligible for a payout or not. For further assistance, one could reach out to them through their toll-free hotline or via email, [email protected].

In some cases, if the deceased beneficiary was the sole breadwinner of the family, the family may be granted the entire accumulated funds. However, this is assessed on a case-by-case basis and depends on strict eligibility requirements.

Amount of SASSA Funeral Policy

Under the guidelines of the SASSA funeral policy, you can only collect the grant payment that the deceased individual didn’t claim. This also includes financial assistance for funeral costs. However, there isn’t a fixed amount specified for this assistance.

You are allowed to collect the uncollected grant for the month in which the beneficiary passed away. If the funeral expenses, as shown on the receipt, exceed the funds in the deceased’s account, don’t expect any additional funds. You’ll only receive funds corresponding to the cost indicated on the funeral arrangement receipt.

If a person had chosen to allow SASSA to deduct for a private funeral insurance, the payout would be determined by the plan they selected and the contributions they made. However, it should be noted that SASSA will not cover the entire cost in any situation.

What Time Will It Take to Receive the Payment

Generally, the processing time for the funeral grant by SASSA typically takes between 24 and 72 hours to handle and disburse the benefits.

The time it takes for SASSA to process your funeral benefit claims can differ for each application. It can be influenced by various factors such as the completeness of your application, the current workload of the agency, and the complexity of the claim, which all contribute to the timing of the fund release.

SASSA Death Benefits

SASSA funeral benefits and SASSA death benefits, both terms point to the same concept of financial support provided by SASSA in the event of a beneficiary’s death. Both of these benefits are part of the financial assistance provided by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) when a beneficiary passes away. The process to claim these benefits is identical, whether it’s for funeral expenses or for unclaimed grant amounts. This explanation should help clear up any confusion regarding these interchangeable terminologies.

Conclusion

There is no funeral policy offered by SASSA for the assistance of the family of a deceased beneficiary by contributing towards funeral costs. However, the aid is subject to specific conditions. It can be claimed only by a legal representative or the next of kin if the deceased had an active grant and the grant amount for their last month was unclaimed. Other family members cannot access this benefit unless they have their own approved grant.

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