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Legislation on Disability-related Grants Under the Spotlight

January 22, 2021

Department of Social Development

The social development department plans to review legislation governing disability-related grants.

During a briefing to parliament’s social development committee, the department pointed out that the review will focus on the introduction of assessments by other health professionals and not only doctors and a relook at the process change of care dependency grants to disability grants.

Other interventions contemplated in the medium to long-term include linking to employment and development opportunities to reduce dependency on social assistance (whole of government responsibility); automation of grant application processes to reduce the need for in person contact for many processes while maintaining the personal channel for those with limited access to internet and data; ongoing education and communication to clarify the types of grants and the strengthening of assessments for disability grants to ensure that they are provided for the correct reasons such as inability to be employed and not on social grounds.

The department also indicated that the Special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant, to end in January 2021, paid out approximately R15 billion to the benefit of over 6 million beneficiaries monthly.

As regards the top up of existing grants between May and October 2020, approximately R30 billion was spent.