The Democratic Liberal Congress (DLC) embarked on a programme to empower the public on the means test and their rights when applying for pension and child support grants.

DLC leader, Patrick Pillay, said, “Many pensioners who do not know the qualification criteria are taken for a ride because they do not know their rights in terms of the means tests in respect of the asset threshold and income threshold for a single person and married person. In order to stamp out corruption and prevent pensioners from falling prey to unscrupulous people, the DLC is providing important information to pensioners in an effort to empower them. SASSA have an obligation to provide any pensioner who turns 60 years of age with the necessary forms upon request. No pensioner can be turned away, unless they are notified by a SASSA official in writing after making such an application. In order for a person to apply for a government pension, the person must be 60-years-old
and must qualify in both the asset and income means test. The means test is different for single pensioners and married pensioners,” said Pillay.

“The 2018 asset threshold for a single pensioner, such as the valuation of his property and any investments, must not exceed more than R1,115,400,00, and the person’s income must not exceed R6510,00 per month. This effectively means that a single 60-year-old working pensioner or collecting a private pension below R6510,00 per month will qualify for a government pension on a pro rata basis,” said Pillay.

He added that the 2018 asset threshold for a married pensioner (joint assets), such as the valuation of their property and any collective investments must not exceed more than R2,230,800.00, and the joint income must not exceed R13,020,00 per month. This means that a 60 year old married pensioners who is working or collects a private pension below R13,020.00 will qualify for a government pension on a pro rata basis. Pensioners can
have investments and still qualify for a government pension upon meeting the asset tests. “There is no need for pensioners to panic and spend their money or transfer their funds into their children accounts before applying for a pension,” he said.

Pillay added that there is only an income threshold qualifyingmeans test for child support grant applicants. “For a single person, the income must not exceed R4000 per month and for a married person, their joint income must not exceed R8000 per month.

For any further information, the community is encouraged to visit the DLC offices – next to the Phoenix Plaza Shell garage. Alternatively call 031 824 1879.