How to Find Your SASSA Reference Number for Grant Applications?

When applying for social grants from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), you are provided with a unique reference number for your application. This important number is used to check status and communicate with SASSA.

If you’ve lost or forgotten your SASSA reference number, this guide explains the various ways to find and retrieve it again.

Why Your SASSA Reference Number Matters

Your SASSA reference number, also called an application number, is vital for:

  • Checking your grant application status online or via phone
  • Tracking updates on existing grants you may receive
  • Allowing SASSA agents to locate your records
  • Receiving SMS notifications from SASSA

Without your reference number, it becomes very difficult to monitor your grant, provide status updates to SASSA, or receive important messages from them.

Where to Find Your SASSA Reference Number

If you originally applied for a grant at a SASSA office, check the receipt they provided – the reference number will be printed on it.

You should also get the number on your approval letter if your grant application was successful.

If you have neither document, here are other ways to find your number:

Check Online

  • Log into the SASSA online portal using your ID number and mobile number.
  • Go to your application status to view your reference number.

Via WhatsApp

  • Send “STATUS” to 082 046 8553 on WhatsApp.
  • Reply to prompts with your ID number to receive your reference number.


  • Dial 1203210# on your mobile phone.
  • Follow the prompts by entering your ID number to get your reference number.

By Phone Call

  • Call the SASSA contact center at 0800 60 10 11.
  • Select Option 1 and provide your ID number to the agent.
  • Ask them to confirm your reference number.

How to Update Your Details

If your phone number, address, or bank details change, be sure to update them with SASSA using your reference number. Here’s how:

Change Your Phone Number

Log into the SRD online portal and enter the new number and reason under “Change of Details”. Look for the OTP to complete.

Change Your Bank Account

On the SRD portal, go to “How do I change my banking details?” and follow steps to receive an SMS. Use the SMS code to update your account.

Change Your Address

Visit your nearest SASSA office and fill out a Change of Information form with your new address details.

Lost Your Crucial SASSA Reference Number? Here’s the Fix

Losing your all-important SASSA reference number can seem incredibly worrying. But take a deep breath – the situation is recoverable if you follow the right steps.

This reference number issued by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) serves as your unique identifier to access crucial grant funding and services. So it’s vital to get it back promptly when lost.

Let’s walk through the reliable methods to retrieve your lost SASSA reference number, answer common questions, and ease the stress of this predicament.

Why Keeping Your Details Updated is Vital

SASSA relies on your reference number and registered contact details to communicate with you. To avoid payment issues or delays in urgent notifications, be sure to:

  • Keep your phone number, address, and bank account updated with SASSA.
  • Maintain access to the mobile number and email you registered.
  • Know your reference number to check statuses and confirm details.
  • Respond promptly to any SMS, emails, or calls from SASSA.

Knowing and safeguarding your all-important SASSA reference number ensures you stay informed, paid, and able to access the grants you rely on.

Contact SASSA Directly

The most straightforward approach is to directly contact SASSA for assistance by:

  • Phoning the SASSA call center at their toll-free number 0800 60 10 11. Explain your situation and request help retrieving your lost reference number. Have your ID ready.
  • Visiting your nearest SASSA regional office in-person. Inform the customer services desk that you lost your reference number and need it recovered. Provide ID when requested.
  • Emailing SASSA at [email protected] if you cannot call or visit. Include your ID number and request reference number retrieval assistance.

SASSA will then identity verify you and search their beneficiary database to retrieve your unique number. For security reasons, they will generally not give it over the phone or email and you will have to collect it in-person.

Use Available SASSA Tech Channels

SASSA also provides some tech channels you can use to find your lost reference number more quickly:

  • WhatsApp: Save the SASSA support number 082 046 8553 and request your lost reference number via WhatsApp message. Follow prompts.
  • USSD: Dial 1203210# on your mobile phone, choose language, enter your ID number when prompted and follow menus to retrieve your reference number.
  • SASSA Online Portal: If you have an online account, login securely and the reference number should be displayed on your profile dashboard.
  • SASSA App: Download the SASSA SRD Grant app, register securely and your reference number will show on the main menu once logged in.

These channels provide faster, more direct access to your reference number digitally.

Request a Reference Number Search

If standard methods don’t work, formally request SASSA to conduct a beneficiary reference number search. This requires completing an affidavit at a police station affirming your number was lost, then submitting it at a SASSA office to trigger a search.

It may take a few weeks but SASSA will comb their databases to retrieve and replace your lost reference number if you officially request a search in this manner. Follow up persistently.

How To Avoid Losing Your Reference Number?

Once recovered, be sure to safely store your SASSA reference number for the future:

  • Keep a handwritten record in your SASSA benefit file or diary.
  • Save an electronic copy in your phone, email or secure cloud storage.
  • Take a photo of any letters showing your reference number.
  • Memorize the number sequence if possible.
  • Never store it only in temporary locations like text messages.

Being vigilant and organized with recording your reference number will prevent stressful repeats of losing it.

Common “Lost Reference Number” Questions

Let’s answer some frequently asked questions about lost SASSA reference numbers:

Q: Can someone steal my grant if they get my reference number?

No, the reference number alone does not give access to your grant funds. They would still need your authenticated ID and biometrics for actual payment access.

Q: How quickly can I get my lost reference number back?

If using direct SASSA contacts, expect 1-5 working days. Tech channels offer immediate retrieval. Formal searches take 2-4 weeks.

Q: Can I reapply for a grant without a reference number?

Yes, you can start a new application without a reference number. But any existing grant details will be lost. Reference numbers allow continuity.

Q: What happens if I lost my number and grant expired?

You need to reapply if your grant expired already. Get your new reference number note it safely going forward.

Q: Do I need to visit a SASSA office to get my number back?

No, not necessarily. You have options like phoning, emailing or using USSD that don’t require visiting an office. But they can assist.

Q: Will I get the exact same reference number if lost?

Yes, your reference number remains permanently assigned to you. SASSA will retrieve the existing one, not issue a new number.

Q: What if I keep losing my SASSA reference number repeatedly?

Consider storing it in multiple secure locations to avoid repeat losses. Or request a replacement card showing the number to carry.

Losing such a vital identifier can be stressful. But SASSA provides reliable ways to recover lost reference numbers quickly if you act promptly and follow procedure

Leave a Comment