Answer to a question from a reader

Why was my disability grant stopped when I turned 65?

The short answer

The disability grant is only available to people aged 19 to 59.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

I was receiving the permanent disability grant until last month when I turned 65, when it suddenly stopped without warning or any follow-up communication. Am I not supposed to receive the permanent disability grant for the rest of my life? I cannot work because of my disability.

The long answer

A permanent disability grant does not mean you get the grant for the rest of your life, but only for longer than 12 months, after which SASSA can review it to establish whether you are still unable to work.

But I think what may have happened in your case is that SASSA suddenly realised that you should be receiving the older persons’ grant – the state old age pension – because you must be between the ages of 18 and 59 to qualify for the disability grant. When you turned 60, you longer qualified for the disability grant, but you could then apply for the state pension (the older person’s grant), which is also a means-tested grant and is now R1,895 a month. The threshold for the old age pension means test is the same as for the disability grant.

It is shocking that you received no warning or any notification from SASSA about stopping your disability grant. But you should immediately apply for the state pension. You could ask if they would backpay you from when they stopped the disability grant, as they did not inform you about stopping it, but I think they would probably say that they can only pay from the time the new pension application is approved.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Aug. 2, 2022, 3:03 p.m.

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