Millions of South Africans apply for social grants from SASSA (South African Social Security Agency) each year. Seeing a status of “reconsideration” can cause confusion if your application was initially rejected. This comprehensive guide explains everything you need to know about SASSA reconsideration status, what it indicates, and tips for following up properly.
What Does SASSA Reconsideration Status Mean?
If you check your SASSA application status and see it is listed as “reconsideration”, it simply means:
- Your initial grant application was denied by SASSA.
- You submitted a formal request for SASSA to re-evaluate your application.
- Your case is now undergoing a second review based on your reconsideration request.
- The outcome is still pending – you have not yet been approved or rejected again.
- Reconsideration provides an additional opportunity to present your situation.
This status means SASSA is taking a second look at your application. Timely follow-up is advised while it is in process.
Why Would an Application Show Reconsideration Status?
There are two main pathways that lead to a reconsideration status:
1. Mandatory Reconsideration
- SASSA is required to automatically reconsider if they cancel or suspend an existing approved grant without sufficient notice.
- This provides due process rights to contest unfavorable grant status changes.
2. Requested Reconsideration
- When an initial new grant application is rejected, recipients can request reconsideration within 90 days of receiving a written rejection notification.
- This allows presenting new evidence not included in the original application that could potentially change the decision.
In both cases, the reconsideration status indicates your case is being actively re-reviewed.
What Does the Reconsideration Process Involve?
When an application enters reconsideration, several key steps occur:
- Your original application materials are compiled and re-examined closely.
- Any new evidence, documentation, or arguments from your reconsideration request are added to the file.
- Eligibility criteria are checked again in detail based on everything now submitted.
- Internal review committees may re-interview applicants or request additional documents.
- Your full situation is debated again incorporating the reconsideration grounds presented.
- Finally, a new determination is made – approval, rejection, or in rare cases additional pending reconsideration.
It is a thorough overall re-evaluation process rather than cursory.
How Long Could Reconsideration Status Last?
There is no set timeline for how long the reconsideration status evaluation takes. Timeframes vary case-by-case based on:
- The volume of reconsideration requests currently in the system.
- The complexity of your claim requires extensive re-review.
- Delayed responses if SASSA requests additional documents from you.
- Any internal administrative processing issues.
- On average, expect 1-3 months but urgent follow-up if exceeding 3 months.
While often lengthy, proper reconsideration allows your arguments to be heard.
Tips for Following Up on Reconsideration Status
Here are helpful tips if your application remains stuck in reconsideration status for a prolonged period:
- First gather your application details like your ID number, phone number used, and any reference numbers.
- Check online at the SASSA Status Check (srd.sassa.gov.za) 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.
- Email an inquiry to [email protected] referencing your reconsideration case specifics and request feedback.
- If you have new evidence further supporting your claim, promptly submit it to SASSA for consideration.
- Visit your regional SASSA office in person for additional assistance as needed.
Diligent polite follow-up helps provide urgency and confidence your case is progressing properly through the system.
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 a relevant Instagram photo by SASSA requesting help: @sassa_news. They respond to comments.
While less ideal for private details, social media provides another channel for promptly alerting SASSA to delayed applications needing attention.
What Should You Do While Your Application Is in Reconsideration?
While awaiting the outcome of your reconsideration application, important steps include:
- Ensure your contact details are up-to-date so SASSA can reach you if needed.
- Promptly provide any additional documentation or information requested by SASSA that could aid your case.
- If your circumstances change substantively impacting your claim, advise SASSA through proper channels.
- Avoid submitting multiple duplicate reconsideration requests as it may complicate your case.
- Consider seeking legal aid assistance from experts if your situation is particularly complex.
Proactively managing your pending reconsideration helps set you up for the best outcome possible.
Can You Still Get Retroactive Payments If Approved?
If your SASSA grant application is approved for reconsideration, will you still receive back-pay for previous months owed?
- Yes, your grant funds will be paid retroactively from the initial date of your original application submission if approved.
- So if your application ultimately gets approved after 2 months in reconsideration, your first payments will include those 2 previous months you were waiting.
- This ensures you receive the full grant amounts you were entitled to from the outset.
The extended reconsideration period does not limit your eventual payment amounts.
What Happens After Reconsideration Decisions?
Once the SASSA review committee completes the reconsideration re-evaluation, one of three outcomes will occur:
- Application Approved: You will receive grant payment including retroactive back-pay.
- Application Rejected Again: At this point, you have limited appeal options remaining.
- Kept in Extended Reconsideration: In rare cases, an application may undergo reconsideration repeatedly before a final determination.
Be sure to carefully review the reconsideration decision notification and understand your next steps based on the specific outcome.
Can You Appeal a Reconsideration Rejection?
If your grant application gets rejected again even after undergoing reconsideration, you may still have one final option – submitting a formal appeal:
- This involves lodging a written appeal request to SASSA within 90 days of the reconsideration rejection notice date.
- SASSA will then schedule a hearing with the Independent Tribunal for Social Assistance Appeals.
- The tribunal will review your full case file including original application materials, reconsideration documents, and appeal request arguments.
- After the hearing, the tribunal issues a final written decision that cannot be further appealed internally.
While difficult to overturn, a tribunal appeal represents your last resort if you still believe strong grounds demonstrate your eligibility.
Who Can Assist With the Reconsideration Process?
If facing obstacles with a pending reconsideration application, reach out for guidance:
- Contact the SASSA national call center at 0800 60 10 11 for general assistance.
- Visit or email your regional SASSA office for case-specific help from officers.
- Request assistance from legal aid clinics with expertise in social grant cases.
- Hire private lawyers to review your case – often around R300-R500 per hour of consultation.
Experienced input increases the likelihood of maneuvering the process smoothly and effectively.
Tips for Avoiding Rejection When Reapplying
If you must reapply after reconsideration gets denied, avoid past mistakes:
- Ensure every section of new applications is fully completed with no gaps.
- Attach all necessary supporting documentation without oversight.
- Only provide accurate verifiable details that align perfectly with your documentation.
- Attend all required SASSA appointments – if unavoidable conflicts arise, reschedule immediately.
- Follow all instructions meticulously and seek clarification if anything seems unclear.
Meticulous diligent applications minimize avoidable reasons for rejection.
Can You Receive Updates on Reconsideration Verification Checks?
While your application is reconsidered, SASSA performs various back-end verifications around:
- Income and employment status.
- Identity and residence validity.
- Department of Home Affairs records.
- Existing social benefits like UIF, NSFAS, Etiyatyambo, etc.
Unfortunately, applicants cannot receive status updates on exactly which specific verifications remain pending or completed. But you will receive requests for any additional documents needed from you during the process.
Options If You Miss the Reconsideration Deadline
If you, unfortunately, missed submitting your reconsideration request within 90 days of rejection notification, options may include:
- Submitting an entirely new initial application, avoiding previous mistakes.
- Writing SASSA to request acceptance of a late reconsideration submission if justified under exceptional circumstances.
- Lodging a complaint with the SASSA Complaints Handling Office if an administrative error by SASSA is the reason your deadline was missed.
While not guaranteed, politely engaging SASSA around the impacts of missing your window may provide a path forward if grounds merit it.
Exploring Alternative Aid Sources While Waiting
While persevering for reconsideration approval, also research:
- Local charity organizations can potentially assist with urgent food, housing, medical, or financial relief.
- Religious groups like churches and mosques offer help to those in need.
- Any family, friends, or community stokvels that could possibly lend support.
- Food banks, soup kitchens, and shelters provide vital nourishment and refuge.
Seeking temporary assistance from social support networks in your community enables survival while awaiting the outcome.
Avoiding Off-The-Books Work While Reconsideration Pending
While waiting on reconsideration outcomes, you may consider illegal side work out of desperation. Avoid this:
- Any undeclared earnings could compromise your appeal or reapplication if discovered. Exercise patience.
- Desperation can open you up to dangerous, exploitative working situations. Exercise caution.
- Focus efforts on strengthening your formal application through proper channels.
Have faith that solutions will emerge at the right time even if difficult. Remain determined.
Overcoming Language Barriers Impacting Applications
Non-native language speakers may face added challenges:
- Request interpreters for reconsideration appointments and hearings if needed.
- Have someone literate translate your written reconsideration request submissions.
- Reach out to immigrant support groups who can help explain unfamiliar procedures and assist with navigation.
- Ask the SASSA officers you interact with to slow down and clarify anything you don’t fully comprehend.
Where language differences risk misunderstanding, carefully utilize tools and people to help bridge communication gaps.
Avoiding Technical Errors When Submitting Reconsiderations
Reconsideration paperwork errors could cause avoidable complications:
- Carefully follow all SASSA reconsideration formatting rules and procedures precisely.
- Use required file types for any document attachments and ensure legibility.
- Submit reconsiderations only through specified channels, not general administrative contacts.
- Keep comprehensive records of all correspondence and proof of submission.
Diligent attention to detail reduces the chances of fixable technical issues undermining your request.
Reporting Suspected Fraud or Misconduct
If you believe fraud, discrimination, negligence, or misconduct by officials harmed your initial application:
- Formally request investigations by the SASSA Complaints Handling Office and Provincial Complaints Board.
- Report criminal offenses to the SAPS and request police intervention.
- Contact Public Protector if grievances remain unaddressed.
- Notify social justice groups willing to legally advocate on your behalf.
You have options. Injustice impacts everyone. Seek accountability through proper channels.
Avoiding Grant Application Scams
When pursuing reconsideration, beware of scams:
- Callers requesting confidential personal details to “confirm your reconsideration”. SASSA never proactively requests private information.
- Offers to expedite your application or guarantee favorable outcomes for an upfront fee. SASSA does not offer paid intervention to influence outcomes.
- Requests to pay reconsideration submission “processing fees”. No legitimate costs exist for reconsideration.
- Instructions to send money to third-party accounts rather than directly to verified SASSA channels.
Desperation often makes people vulnerable. Seek legitimate help through trusted organizations, not shady outsiders. Remain vigilant.
Coping With Grant Delays and Rejection Anxieties
Having your grant denied can cause severe anxiety while waiting in financial limbo:
- Acknowledge mixed painful emotions like sadness, shame, anger, and hopelessness are valid. Don’t suppress them.
- Confide in trusted friends, family members, or counselors to ease your burden instead of carrying it alone.
- Join community support groups sharing common experiences to gain strength and voice.
- Explore low-cost stress relief like nature walks, yoga, mindfulness apps, or laughter clubs.
- Focus on enhancing self-esteem, purpose, and community connectedness beyond just finances.
Your well-being matters. Don’t overlook mental health because physical survival seems more urgent. Healing happens together.
Contesting Discrimination Impacting Your Application
If you faced any identity-based discrimination or barriers pursuing grants as a woman, foreign national, homosexual, disabled individual, or member of another marginalized group – speak up.
- Report unfair treatment to SASSA Complaints and the Commission for Gender Equality if applicable.
- Submit a case to the Equality Court for advice and potential recourse.
- Connect with social justice groups willing to advocate on behalf of affected communities.
- Seek emotional support from people who understand first-hand the discrimination you encountered.
Progress relies on courageously challenging prejudice through constructive action. Your experience provides valuable insights.
Tips for Managing Reconsideration Status
- Understand reconsideration indicates your rejected application is undergoing additional review which takes time.
- Proactively contact SASSA if reconsideration exceeds 3 months for status updates.
- Supply any additional supporting documentation requested promptly.
- Avoid submitting multiple reconsideration requests and reapplications simultaneously to streamline processing.
- Be patient but persistently follow up on your case through proper channels.
You’ve done your best to make your case. Have faith the system ultimately upholds rights and equitable access. Stay hopeful.
FAQs about SASSA Status Reconsideration
What does it mean if my application shows “reconsideration” status?
It means your initial application was rejected, but you requested SASSA re-evaluate your application, and it is now undergoing a second review.
Why would an application need to be reconsidered?
Either SASSA is required to reconsider suspending/canceling existing grants, or applicants request reconsideration within 90 days if their initial application is rejected.
What does the reconsideration process involve?
SASSA re-examines your original application, and any new evidence you provided, re-verifies eligibility criteria, and may request additional documents as they thoroughly reassess your case.
How long can reconsideration status last?
There’s no set timeline, but expect 1-3 months on average. Follow up if it exceeds 3 months with no decision.
Can I still get retroactive payments if approved after reconsideration?
Yes, your benefits would be paid backdated to cover the period since your original application is approved after reconsideration.
What happens after the reconsideration outcome?
Your application could be approved, rejected again, or in rare cases kept in extended reconsideration pending a final decision.
If rejected again, can I appeal the reconsideration outcome?
Yes, you can submit a final written appeal request to the Independent Tribunal for Social Assistance Appeals within 90 days of a reconsideration rejection.
Who can I contact for assistance with reconsiderations?
The SASSA call center, your regional SASSA office, legal aid clinics, private lawyers on a limited consultation basis, and experienced social workers.
What common mistakes should I avoid in future applications?
Incomplete forms, inaccurate details, omitted documentation, missed appointments, ignoring instructions, and failure to update contact information.
Seeing your SASSA grant application stuck at reconsideration status can be frustrating. But reconsideration provides a valuable second chance for your case to be heard and more thoroughly reviewed after initial rejection. Ensure you comply with all requests from SASSA during the process, submit updated documentation if relevant, and follow up politely if progress stalls. With determination and courage, this difficult period will pass, bringing you closer to the best outcome attainable through established channels. While challenging, reconsideration represents a beacon of hope after disappointment – one last avenue to make your situation clearly understood and receive rightful aid.