SASSA Status Decline: Meaning, Causes and Solution

SASSA Status Decline

Seeing a status of “declined” for your SASSA (South African Social Security Agency) grant application is disheartening. But it’s important to understand what this status means and the reasons it occurs. This guide explains SASSA’s decline status, why applications get rejected, and constructive tips for moving forward after disappointment.

What Does a SASSA Decline Status Mean?

If you check your SASSA application status and see it is listed as “declined”, it means:

  • Your grant application was fully processed but did not meet the approval criteria set by SASSA.
  • Based on the details provided and verification checks done, your eligibility could not be confirmed.
  • You do not currently qualify for the grant type applied for based on the decision made.
  • Your application was unsuccessful and payments cannot be released when declined.
  • The decline has concrete reasons tied to factors like income, residence, legal status, etc.

While unfortunate, a decline simply indicates your specific circumstances did not satisfy grant requirements at this time based on the facts presented and verified.

Common Reasons for a SASSA Decline Status

There are various reasons why your SASSA grant application may end up declined, including:

  • Means Test Failure: Your income or assets exceeded defined thresholds to qualify.
  • ID Mismatch: Your ID number does not match the Department of Home Affairs records.
  • Failed Verification Checks: Details like income, residence, citizenship, biometrics, etc. could not be validated.
  • Incomplete Information: Critical documents, affidavits, consents or details were missing.
  • Existing Grants: Already receiving a grant that cannot be doubled up.
  • Age Outside Range: Over or under qualifying ages for the specific grant.
  • Duplicate Application: Applying for multiple grants simultaneously is prohibited.
  • Fraud Flag: Suspicious factors triggered denial until resolved.
  • Grant Status Change: An existing grant was canceled that this application relied upon.

Pinpointing exactly which factor(s) triggered the decline provides direction on areas needing correction.

How Does a Decline Differ from Failed Status?

While they may sound similar, a SASSA status of “declined” differs from “failed” in a key way:

  • Declined means your application was fully processed and reviewed but did not qualify based on set criteria.
  • Failed means your application could not complete processing or verification as submitted due to gaps or issues needing resolution.

So a declined status has more finality since your complete application was assessed but did not meet requirements. Failed indicates potential fixable errors that could enable re-submission.

Step-by-Step Guide to Checking Why You Were Declined

If your SASSA grant application shows declined, follow this process to understand why:

Step 1: Locate Your Decline Notice

  • Review any letters, emails, SMSs, or notices from SASSA detailing your application outcome.
  • The declined communication should summarize the reason your application was unsuccessful.
  • If no details are provided, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Check Online or Via the Call Center

  • Log into your SASSA online account or call 0800 60 10 11 to inquire about the decline.
  • Inform the agent you need specifics on why your application was declined.
  • They can access your file and provide details if no written decline reason was issued.

Step 3: Request Detailed Information

  • If the reason still seems unclear, visit your nearest SASSA regional office.
  • Request a full detailed report on your application denial factors.
  • Get clarification from staff on any aspects that remain confusing.

You must understand the root causes in detail in order to determine your options.

Contesting an Unfair Decline Status

If you believe your SASSA grant application was declined unfairly or incorrectly, you can contest the decision:

Request Reconsideration

  • This asks SASSA to formally re-evaluate your application if you believe mistakes were made.
  • Submit new evidence supporting your claim and disputing the decline reasons.

Submit an Appeal

  • If reconsideration fails, lodge a formal appeal with the Independent Tribunal for Social Assistance Appeals.
  • Make your case for why the decision should be overturned based on your personal circumstances.

Unjust declinations can be challenged. Be strategic in advocating for yourself.

Who Can You Contact to Assist with a Decline?

If you need help contesting an application decline or figuring out your options, reach out:

  • Call the SASSA national call center at 0800 60 10 11 for application assistance.
  • Visit or email your regional SASSA office for case-specific assistance.
  • Request help from legal aid clinics with expertise in social grants.
  • Pay a private lawyer for 1-2 hours of consultation time if affordable.

Getting objective experienced input on your options after a decline is invaluable.

Common Reasons for Decline and How to Address Them

If you received a specific decline reason, here is guidance on the next steps:

Means Test Failure

  • Provide detailed proof of your current income and asset levels through the latest payslips, bank statements, investment records, etc.
  • Explain any large once-off deposits that are not representative of your normal financial situation.

ID Mismatch

  • Review your application and ID documents to ensure all details like your name, surname, date of birth, etc. perfectly match.
  • Visit Home Affairs to rectify any discrepancies in their records vs. your official IDs.

Failed Verification Checks

  • Resubmit authoritative documentation like residence proofs, citizenship certificates, birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc. to validate details.
  • Follow SASSA instructions for completing any biometrics, fingerprints, or in-person verifications outstanding.

Incomplete Information

  • Track down whichever critical documents, consents, or requested information was missing previously and provide them.
  • Fully complete all sections of the application form.

Existing Grants

  • Clarify confusion over any apparent duplicate grants. Provide records showing the closure of prior grants.
  • Shift approach to apply for complementary supplementary grants rather than overlapping ones.

Age Outside Range

  • This requirement cannot be changed. Consider other grant types suitable for your age group.
  • Lobby elected officials for policy changes on restrictive age cutoffs where flexibility may be warranted.

Pinpoint solutions that directly address the exact factors that triggered your decline status.

Tips for Avoiding Common Application Mistakes

While reapplying after a decline, avoid past errors:

  • Only submit one application at a time to avoid duplicate rejection.
  • Use your ID document as the sole source for all personal details.
  • Provide more rather than fewer supporting documents to be thorough.
  • Attend all appointments and assessments as scheduled. Reschedule immediately if unavoidable conflicts arise.
  • Follow up if you do not receive a clear outcome within 8 weeks after submission.

Carefully managing all details and processes boosts your reapplication prospects after initial disappointment.

Special Considerations for Foreign National Applicants

Non-citizens face additional challenges. When declined:

  • Request reconsideration focused on residence status, documented periods of legal status, visa renewals in progress, etc. if applicable.
  • Reach out to immigrant-rights organizations for assistance navigating the complexities of your unique situation as a foreign applicant.

While barriers exist, many non-citizens still succeed in getting needed aid after initial setbacks. Stay determined.

Can You Still Receive Aid After Being Declined?

If your SASSA grant application is declined and appeal/reapplication efforts prove unsuccessful, you may still receive support through:

  • Social Relief Funds: Provided by non-profit organizations and charities locally to assist those in need.
  • Food Banks: Offer emergency food parcels and nutritional support.
  • Religious Charities: Churches, mosques, temples, and other faith groups often provide resources.
  • NGO Programs: Organizations focused on child and family welfare, disabilities, HIV/AIDS, etc.
  • Work Programs: Government initiatives for able-bodied individuals to earn aid through temporary jobs.

While limited, alternative sources of aid exist for those unable to secure grants presently. Remain hopeful.

Reporting Discrimination Contributing to Your Decline

If you experienced any identity-based discrimination or unfair treatment resulting in your application being declined:

  • File a complaint urgently with the SASSA Complaints Office for investigation. Follow up persistently.
  • Notify the Commission for Gender Equality if sex, gender, or marital status appeared to unfairly disadvantage you.
  • Report abuse of power or maladministration to the Public Protector for investigation at the national level.
  • Contact legal advocacy groups willing to represent victims of discriminatory policies or practices pro bono.
  • Share your story with media outlets highlighting social injustices.

Shine a light on the impacts of non-inclusive approaches. Your voice can spark positive change.

FAQs about SASSA Status Decline

What does it mean if my SASSA application was declined?

It means your application was fully processed but did not satisfy the approval criteria. You were found ineligible for that grant type based on the details provided and verified.

Why would my application get declined?

Reasons include failing means tests, ID mismatches, lack of supporting documentation, currently receiving other grants, age restrictions, and fraud detection flags.

How does a declined status differ from a failed status?

Declined means your full application was reviewed but unqualified. Failed means processing issues prevented the completion of the review, so it could not yet be approved or declined.

What should I do if my application shows declined?

Review the specific decline reasons provided by SASSA, then contest if you believe it was incorrect or unfair through defined reconsideration and appeals processes.

Who can I contact to help understand a declining decision?

The SASSA call center, your regional SASSA office, legal aid clinics, and private attorneys on a consultation basis can provide guidance.

What are some common reasons for decline and how to address them?

The means test failure which means you failed to provide detailed income and asset proofs. ID mismatch, confirm ID details with Home Affairs. failed verifications, resubmit supporting documents, missing information, and age restrictions to name a few.

If declined, can I still receive alternate financial aid?

You may qualify for assistance through social relief funds, food banks, religious charities, NGOs, and government work programs.

What should I do differently if I must reapply after being declined?

Meticulously complete all sections, double check accuracy of details against IDs, attach ample supporting documentation, attend all appointments, and follow up for outcome.


Receiving a SASSA grant application decline status is difficult and elicits many emotions. But avoid viewing a decline as permanent failure or hopelessness. Often it indicates fixable issues like information gaps, recoverable verification failures, or attempts for unsuitable grants rather than outright ineligibility in every circumstance. Use the decline as a learning opportunity for how to strengthen your next application or identify alternative financial supports. While challenging, setbacks force strategic reflection on how to move forward effectively. Approach reapplication informed and undeterred. With patience and perseverance, many initial declines pave the way for later success stories.