Understanding SASSA Pending Status: How to Fix It?

SASSA Status Pending

Had you applied for social grants from SASSA (South African Social Security Agency) and after submitting your application, seeing a status of “pending” can cause confusion and concern? This comprehensive guide explains everything you need to know about SASSA’s pending status, what it indicates, and tips for following up properly.

Table of Contents hide

What Does a SASSA Pending Status Mean?

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

  • Your application has been received but is still awaiting review and approval by SASSA.
  • You have not yet been officially approved to receive grant payments.
  • Your application is in a processing queue awaiting verification checks by SASSA.
  • The final decision on acceptance or rejection is still outstanding while under review.
  • Pending status is common and does not definitely indicate you will be rejected.

Essentially, pending means your application has not been finalized yet, but the process is underway. Patience and periodic checking back are advised.

Why Would an Application Show Pending Status?

There are several common reasons your SASSA application may still show a pending status:

  • Processing Time Delays: SASSA receives a high volume of applications, resulting in inevitable queues and backlogs. Yours is simply waiting in line for review.
  • Missing Information: Perhaps some required documents or details were incomplete on your application, delaying approval until the gaps can be addressed.
  • Verification Checks: Much verification work happens behind the scenes, like validating your ID, residence, income, etc. This takes time.
  • Increased Scrutiny: High-risk applications sometimes require extra diligent scrutiny, keeping them pending longer.
  • Follow-Up Requests: Additional documents may be requested from you during the review, putting your application on hold until you provide them.
  • Budget Constraints: Limited funding availability can sometimes cause delays in approvals while awaiting budget clarification.

There are logical explanations for why your application may still be marked pending.

What Processing Steps Cause the Pending Status?

When you submit your SASSA application, whether online, in-person or through an agent, it then goes through detailed processing:

  • Initial Review: Application details are checked for completeness and obvious errors. Additional information may be requested from you.
  • Data Capture: Details from paper forms are manually entered into the SASSA system. Accuracy is crucial.
  • Back-end Verifications: Various third-party verifications occur checking ID validity, income, residence, existing benefits, etc.
  • Case Review: Your full application undergoes review including added documents and verification results.
  • Decision Committee: High-risk or questionable applications are escalated for review by a committee that makes the final determination.
  • Outcome Notification: Once the final decision occurs, you are informed via mail, SMS, etc. Approved outcomes provide the next steps.

Progressing through this sequence keeps your status pending until a final determination is made.

How Long Could Pending Status Last?

There is no firm timeline for how long the pending status could persist, but generally:

  • Clear-cut straightforward applications may only remain pending for several days to a few weeks.
  • Questionable or complicated cases could have a pending status for multiple weeks or even several months.
  • On average, expect that the pending status will be 1-6 weeks based on documented SASSA timelines.
  • If it extends significantly beyond 6 weeks, proactively contact SASSA for application status updates.

While frustrating, reasonable pending periods allow for full careful review. But follow up if it seems excessive.

Tips for Following Up on Pending Status

Here are helpful tips if your application shows pending status for a prolonged period:

  • First gather application details like your ID number, phone number used, and any application reference numbers.
  • Check online at SASSA official website to view your detailed status. Print this for reference.
  • Call the SASSA national call center at 0800 60 10 11 for application assistance. Have your details ready.
  • Visit your nearest SASSA regional office in person and request help checking your status.
  • Email an inquiry to [email protected] providing your case specifics and request feedback.
  • If you have a disability, communication challenges, or other unique circumstances requiring special accommodation, proactively notify SASSA when following up.

Polite, patient, but firm follow-up helps gain insights into application hold-ups.

Can You Contact SASSA on Social Media?

If you urgently require assistance and cannot get through by phone, try reaching SASSA via social media:

  • Tweet your query to @SASSAnews on Twitter. They respond publicly to posts.
  • Message SASSA through Facebook. They reply to private messages.
  • Comment on an Instagram photo by SASSA requesting help: @sassa_news. They respond to comments.

While not ideal for private details, social media provides another channel for promptly alerting SASSA to delayed applications needing attention.

What If You Submitted Multiple Applications?

Submitting multiple duplicate SASSA applications can actually delay your pending status. If you applied more than once:

  • Note which application reference number is for your most recent complete application.
  • When following up, only reference this primary application.
  • If multiples were submitted in error, email SASSA to advise which to focus on.
  • Stop submitting additional applications while pending, which will only compound delays.

Stick to following up on your main appropriate application to streamline processing.

Does Pending Status Mean You’ll Be Rejected?

It’s understandable to be concerned a pending status means your SASSA application will ultimately be rejected. However, this is not necessarily the case:

  • Many applications initially show as pending but are later approved.
  • Pending simply indicates the review process is still underway.
  • Holding applications for thorough checks protects against incorrect approvals.
  • Only outright rejections mean your application was definitively unsuccessful.

Avoid assuming the worst. Pending means an outcome is not yet determined.

Can You Get Updates on Pending Status Checks?

Wondering what verification checks occur behind the scenes? Unfortunately, applicants cannot obtain status updates on exactly which pending verifications remain ongoing:

  • These back-end processes between SASSA and other entities are confidential.
  • Updates are only provided once final outcome is determined.
  • But applicants are informed if extra documents are required from them during the pending review.
  • Approximate overall timeframes to complete all checks can be requested from SASSA call centers.

While pending, continue to monitor the general status and provide any requested documents promptly.

Is There Anything Else You Should Do While Pending?

Aside from waiting patiently and checking your overall status intermittently when your application is pending:

  • Ensure SASSA has your correct contact details should they need to reach you for any reason.
  • Proactively inform them of any changes impacting your application, like relocation, gained employment, etc.
  • Save all correspondence and application reference numbers in a safe place for future reference.
  • Research other supports like food banks, charities, community services, etc. that could assist you while waiting.
  • Avoid the temptation to apply for other grants simultaneously. Stick to one application at a time.

Stay prepared as your application progresses and explore alternative stopgaps if your situation remains urgent.

What Happens After Your Application is Approved?

Once your application status changes from pending to approved, follow these next steps:

  • Look for an approval SMS from SASSA on the mobile number you provided.
  • Respond to the SMS promptly by providing your banking details within the deadline given.
  • Ensure the account details you provide are fully accurate to enable payment processing.
  • Watch your provided bank account for the arrival of the first grant payment. This may take 5-10 days after bank details are submitted.
  • Keep your mobile number active to receive ongoing opt-in payment notifications and updates.

With approval confirmed, diligently complete all required steps for payments to commence.

Can You Still Get Retroactive Payments After Pending?

If your application took many months to finalize, will you still receive back pay for previous months?

  • Yes, approved recipients are entitled to grants retroactively from the initial date of application submission.
  • So if your application ultimately gets approved after 3 months pending, your first payments will include those 3 months owed.
  • This ensures recipients don’t lose out on grants they were entitled to during extended pending periods.

Pending timeframes don’t limit eventual payment amounts for eligible applicants, once approved.

Options If Your Application Gets Rejected

Unfortunately, not all pending applications get approved. If yours is ultimately rejected, you still have options:

Request Reconsideration

  • This allows SASSA to re-evaluate once more in case errors were made. Provide added documentation supporting your needs.

Appeal Decision

  • If reconsideration fails, formally appeal to an independent tribunal who will review your personal circumstances.
  • Building the strongest appeal case possible gives you the best shot at overturning an unfair rejection.

Grant application rejections can be appealed. Don’t give up immediately on the first “no” if you believe you have a legitimate case.

Avoiding Common Mistakes When Applying

While awaiting your pending application, remember common mistakes that lead to rejections:

  • Forgetting documents or providing inadequate information.
  • Not properly verifying IDs or residency details.
  • Failing to report other grants or income sources accurately.
  • Missing required interviews or assessments during the application process.
  • Letting application details like banking or contact information lapse or become outdated.

Your next application will benefit from learning if any oversights can be corrected going forward.

Coping With Financial Difficulties While Pending

Understandably, waiting in limbo with pending status can cause extreme anxiety if your circumstances are financially desperate. Here are some tips that may help:

  • Avoid constant status re-checks and putting life on hold unnecessarily – continue being proactive.
  • Be open about your situation with family, friends, or community groups who may be willing to temporarily assist.
  • Prioritize essential expenses like food, rent, and utilities and negotiate arrangements where possible.
  • Research government, NGO, or charity relief programs that could potentially provide needed interim support.
  • Consider informal part-time or temporary work, selling goods, skills bartering, etc. if able.
  • Practice budgeting, cooking economically, buying second-hand, amassing savings – anything to stretch resources during this difficult period.
  • Maintain perspective. Your future is not defined solely by an individual grant application outcome. There are always alternatives.

Cultivating personal strength and support systems helps sustain you through challenging times of uncertainty.

Avoiding Scams and Fraud While Pending

Sadly, fraudulent schemes target SASSA applicants awaiting pending outcomes, including:

  • Bogus calls/SMSs “from SASSA” phishing for your personal details to exploit. Never give confidential details to unsolicited contacts.
  • Scammers promise to expedite your pending application, for a fee. SASSA does not offer this service.
  • Fake loan providers exploit urgent financial needs with predatory terms and exorbitant interest rates. Read contracts extremely carefully.
  • WhatsApp investment “opportunities” guarantee amazing returns. These “get rich quick schemes” inevitably lose your money.
  • Pyramid schemes disguised as women’s investing clubs or stokvels. The model inevitably collapses, with the newest members losing everything.

Avoid being manipulated during times of vulnerability. Seek financial guidance you trust through reputable channels. Carefully vet any assurances that seem too good to be true.

Options for Foreign Nationals Awaiting Decisions

Non-citizens face additional challenges. While pending:

  • Provide all possible identifying documents, even if expired, such as passports, permits, asylum papers, etc. to aid verification.
  • If your visa prohibits work, detail how you are surviving without income. Undocumented living situations may also require explanation.
  • Get assistance from immigrant NGOs like PASSOP familiar with the complexities surrounding foreign national applications. You don’t have to go it alone.

While barriers exist, many non-citizens still receive SASSA aid. Strategic meticulous applications give you the best chance.

Coping If Reapplying After Multiple Rejections

It’s devastating to continue having applications rejected. To stay determined:

  • Request detailed reasons for repeated rejections from SASSA. Understand exactly what criteria you are not meeting.
  • Research and engage advocacy groups who can review your case and provide strategic advice on strengthening applications.
  • Consider volunteer assistance from university law school legal aid clinics.
  • Enlist help from social workers familiar with the system who can identify alternative paths to aid.

The situation may seem hopeless but giving up completely closes possibilities. Creative solutions often emerge in time. Define what success looks like for you beyond just a single grant outcome.

Avoiding Gender Discrimination During Applications

Sadly, women often face unfair obstacles and delays in pursuing aid. Tactics like:

  • Using maiden names on applications though you took a spouse’s surname.
  • Downplaying child costs by relying on inadequate default formulas rather than actual expenses.
  • Rejecting applications due to incomplete child consent affidavits from absent fathers.
  • Discounting women’s disability claims more frequently than men’s.
  • Widows losing joint incomes are forced to revert to dependent child grants losing autonomy.

Raise any gender discrimination concerns firmly to SASSA management. You have recourse.

Reporting Corruption If Encountered

Report any bribery or corruption immediately if officials:

  • Offer to expedite your pending application improperly in exchange for payment/favors.
  • Demand kickbacks from your grant if approved.
  • Make sexual advances or requests.
  • Redirect your application outcomes based on nepotism rather than need.
  • Intimidate or threaten you to drop your application.

Corruption steals resources meant for the vulnerable. But anti-corruption allies also exist within the system. Make your voice heard.

Tips for Applicants Awaiting Outcomes

Please remember that:

  • Pending status is common and doesn’t confirm rejection, but allows full detailed processing.
  • Proactively contact SASSA if pending stretches beyond 6 weeks for follow-up.
  • Only reconfirm details for your latest primary application, not duplicates.
  • Stay patient but persistent in interacting with officials if your case remains unresolved.
  • Control what you can – your professional conduct and preparation. The outcome is not fully in your hands.
  • Maintain good records and safely store all correspondence while awaiting a determination.

You’ve done your part in submitting an application to the best of your abilities. Now strive to patiently yet firmly follow up for a fair outcome as you’re able.

FAQs about SASSA Pending Status

What does it mean if my SASSA application shows as “pending”?

It means your application has been received but is still awaiting review and approval. You have not yet been accepted or rejected.

Why would my application have a pending status?

Reasons can include processing delays, missing information, the need for verification checks, increased scrutiny, or follow-up document requests from SASSA.

How long can pending status last?

There’s no definite timeline, but expect 1-6 weeks generally. Follow up if it exceeds 6 weeks.

Does pending status mean I’ll get rejected?

No, pending just means a decision is still outstanding. It does not confirm you will be rejected.

Can I check which verifications are pending?

No, applicants cannot get status updates on exactly which back-end checks remain ongoing due to confidentiality.

What should I do while my application is pending?

Wait patiently, monitor your overall status, ensure your contact details are current, and proactively inform SASSA of any changes impacting your eligibility.

What happens after I’m approved and how are payments handled?

Provide banking details when prompted, watch for the first payment within 5-10 days, and keep your registered mobile number active to receive opt-in notifications.

Will I still get back pay if approved after long pending periods?

Yes, your payments will be backdated to cover previous months you were entitled to since first applying.

What if my application gets rejected?

You can request reconsideration or formally appeal to an independent tribunal if you believe the rejection was unwarranted.


Don’t lose hope, if your SASSA application remains stuck with pending status for some time. The system may seem opaque and frustratingly slow, but constructive communication and diligently advocating for yourself can help get results. With preparation and courage, you can emerge from this difficult period with resources to stabilize your situation – even if the initial outcome disappoints.