More people to qualify for SRD grant – BusinessLIVE


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More people now qualify for the R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant after the means test threshold was increased from R350 to R624.
Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu on Tuesday gazetted the new regulation to increase the income threshold to R624, which is the food poverty line set by Stats SA in September 2021. 
This means anyone with a monthly income of more than R624 a month will not qualify for the grant.
“The income threshold for insufficient means, contemplated in this regulation, is R624 [previously R350] per person per month,” states the notice. 
The new regulations come after concern about the income threshold being reduced from R595 to R350.
The reduction was made after the grant was moved to the Social Assistance Act when the national state of disaster was lifted. 
What criteria will determine who is eligible? 
According to department deputy director-general Brenda Sibeko, all applicants will undergo “a means test”. 
“A proxy means test consists of checks against databases that may indicate income or alternative financial assistance and verification of insufficient means with banks.
“If the results from bank verification contradict results from data checks referred to in the sub-regulation, the results from the bank verification must be used to make the final determination,” read the criteria
If a person has more than one bank account, the criteria for insufficient means are deemed to have been met if all the bank accounts, assessed individually, are below the income threshold. 
Sibeko said approved applicants do not need to reapply every month, but checks will be made monthly to determine if they still qualify.
How many beneficiaries were approved?
Zulu said previously that R44bn has been set aside to pay qualifying beneficiaries. 
The budget will provide a monthly R350 to 10.5-million people until the end of March 2023.
In July, the department said that of 11.4-million applicants for June, 5.2-million were approved — less than half.
The department said the reduced threshold was a factor in the number of declined applications.
“In this regard, the department is proposing to increase the maximum allowable income from R350 to the food poverty line of R624, meaning [Sassa] will decline any applicant who receives more than R624 into their bank account each month.
“It is important to state that the assessment will be conducted monthly and should the income received into the account in a particular month fall below the R624, such an applicant will then qualify for the grant,” the department said
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