Reasons why your SASSA R350 grant was declinedMillions of South Africans have had their R350 Grant applications declined by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)

According to official government data, 3.7 million applications were declined in August alone. This was from a total of 13 million applications, which would give it a decline rate of close to 30%.

By every account, that’s a very large number, and many South Africans experiencing this fate do not necessarily know or understand why.

There are various reasons why your COVID relief grant may be declined.

Why your Covid-19 R350 Grant Has Been Declined

1. Failed Identity Verification

As a requirement for every application, the personal details you provide must match government records at the Department of Home Affairs.

You will receive a decline notice and explanation if your ID or name do not match to the last letter or number. Always ensure you triple check your entries before clicking submit.

We have previously discussed how to update personal details on your R350 grant application.

2. You have an existing SASSA grant

For you to qualify for the R350 grant, you must not be a current recipient of any other SASSA grant, with the exception of the ‘caregiver’s grant’. This means that if you are receiving a relief like a disability grant or older person grant or child support grant, you should not bother applying because your application will be thrown out.

SASSA have effective records for every Rand they dish out, and you will not be able to fool them.

3. You are on government payroll

If you are currently employed by the government, you do not qualify for the SASSA grant. It will be very easy for SASSA to cross-reference your name against a database of government employees.

In fact, if you are employed by any recognized entity, your application will be declined, because the principle requirement for the R350 grant is that you be unemployed.

4. You have identifiable alternative source of income

Another reason your application may have been declined is that SASSA determined that you have an alternative source of income exceeding R595 per month.

This is mainly identifiable if it comes from another government entity, e.g. and NSFAS bursary, UIF funds or other SASSA grants.

5. You do not qualify by virtue of age

The R350 grant is only aimed at individuals between the age of 18 and 59. If you fall outside this bracket, you will see an ‘age_outside_range’ error.

Anyone above the age of 59 still has the option to apply for the the SASSA Old Persons’ Grant.

6. You are an NSFAS beneficiary

As part of the requirement to not have an alternative source of income, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is very high on the list.

Being a government supported programme, your records are well kept and you must not be a bursary holder at the time of an R350 grant application.

However, the reverse is quite lenient. If you are already a R350 grant beneficiary, you still meet the requirements for an NSFAS bursary.

7. Risky or potentially fraudulent application

SASSA has its own verification methods, and occasionally, some applications will be flagged as risky or potentially fraudulent. While only a small percent of the total, such applications are rejected.

Part of this verification is running your ID number or phone number through a Fraud Risk Scoring process, which flags known perpetrators of fraud. SASSA collaborates with the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) for this process.


If you still think your application was declined wrongly, this may not be the end of the road for you.

You can submit an appeal within 30 days of your R350 grant denial. This can be done easily on their website.

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