The portfolio committee on social development has noted the efforts of the social development department to put an action plan to reinstate lapsed temporary disability grants in place.
The department briefed the committee last week on an update on the management of the temporary disability grant project.
The department pointed out that communication and marketing will be speeded up in February and March 2021 focused on temporary disability grants; social media activations and improvements; stakeholder engagement; exploration of retailers and banking infrastructure as points of information and web management including updating the website and ensuring it has a user-friendly landing page.
The department added that “legislative restrictions” are being addressed through draft regulations published for comment with the target date for implementation being 1 April 2021.
Amendments to the Regulations on the Application for and Payment of Social Assistance were published for comment in January 2021.
An amendment is proposed to section 3 on persons eligible for the disability grant stipulating that “where an application for a disability grant was previously declined on medical reasons, the applicant must furnish proof that there has been a significant deterioration in his or her medical condition”.
The department also wants to expand on-line applications to include disability-related grants in the 2021/22 financial year.
The plan is to complete temporary disability grant reassessments by the end of March 2021.
According to the department, the Social Security Agency is building on the successes of the Covid-19 R350 Social Relief of Distress grant digitization platform to automate other grant types including disability grants.