How Long Does SASSA Pending take?

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) provides vital financial assistance to millions of vulnerable South Africans. However, applicants often find themselves stuck in pending status limbo after submission.

What Does SASSA Pending Status Mean?

Seeing your application status changed to “pending” means SASSA is still in the process of assessing your eligibility. This involves verifying the details you provided against external sources.

According to SASSA, pending status means your application is essentially still waiting in line for review. It does not indicate either approval or denial at this stage.

Why Does SASSA Pending Status Take So Long?

There are several reasons why pending status seems to drag on:

  • Huge applicant volumes place strain on capacity
  • Verifying applicant details with external parties causes delays
  • Follow up queries generated during verification must be resolved
  • Minor issues identified are handled through SASSA platforms

Essentially, SASSA must carefully validate all information through a comprehensive review process. This systematic checking understandably takes some time.

What is the Average Timeframe for Pending Status?

While dependent on applicant volumes, SASSA states that on average, pending status takes approximately 14 days to resolve. However, it is not unusual for pending status to continue for a few weeks without a final outcome.

Applicants understandably become anxious when stuck in pending limbo for extended periods. However, this does not indicate any problems, merely that your application remains in the pipeline awaiting review.

How Long Does Full SASSA Approval Take?

The full cycle from initial application through to final approval varies substantially based on the grant type and other variables. Here are some general timeframes:

  • Older Person’s Grant – Up to 3 months
  • Disability Grant – 3 to 12 months
  • Child Support Grant – Up to 2 months
  • Social Relief of Distress – 1 to 2 months

The bulk of the timeline involves SARSMA verifying details, conducting assessments, and processing payment. Applicants can follow up after 2 months if still pending.

Can You Check Progress While Pending?

Unfortunately, there is no way for applicants to independently validate or check progress during the pending phase. You must simply wait patiently for SASSA to finalize review and validation processes.

The only recourse is to visit your nearest SASSA office or call the SASSA contact center to enquire. However, they will likely merely confirm pending status without further details.

How Can Applicants Avoid Excess Pending Delays?

To help minimize delays:

  • Ensure all documents and details provided in your application are complete and accurate
  • List credible contact details for employers and witnesses to enable easier verification
  • Be responsive if SASSA requests additional information or clarification
  • Follow up after 60 days if still pending

While frustrating, try to be patient and understand that SASSA faces huge claimant volumes. If you have taken care to submit a fully accurate application, you simply have to await the outcome.

Pending status remains opaque, but with adequate preparation, applicants can minimize delays and hopefully transition through to approval swiftly.

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