Answer to a question from a reader

How can I claim my deceased parent's SASSA funeral cover?

The short answer

SASSA should know who the insurance company is and help you to make the claim.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

My father, who died a few months ago, applied for SASSA funeral cover in 2018 and it deducted R50 from his social grant every month. How can we claim this money?

The long answer

Since 2017, SASSA has been allowed to make deductions for funeral policy premiums up to 10% of the social grant. These are known as "26A deductions" because they are for third parties like insurance companies. SASSA is not allowed to deduct funeral cover from children’s grants. 

You may not be aware that on 4 March 2019, SASSA issued a media statement saying that 500,000 people who had a funeral deduction from their social grant had to go to SASSA offices to confirm that SASSA could continue making the deduction. SASSA warned that if it didn’t get this confirmation of its mandate to deduct, it might have to stop making the deduction which would then result in the policy lapsing, and the insurance company refusing to pay out the claim. 

If the deductions continued until your father’s death, it’s likely that he would have confirmed that SASSA could carry on making the deductions.

SASSA would know who the insurance company is and should help you to make the claim. You can dial 0800 601 011 if you are unsure of the name of the insurance company for whom SASSA was deducting from your father’s social grant. 

At the very least, SASSA must give you a copy of the mandate form from the company which your father would have signed, so that you can make the claim yourself. 

SASSA's help desk toll-free number is 0800 60 10 11, available between 08:00 and 16:00, from Monday to Friday.

As it is linked to the Home Affairs population register, SASSA is immediately notified when a death is registered, and it will then cancel the grant on the last day of the month in which the person died. 

If your father had already drawn his social grant in the month he died and the grant was cancelled at the end of the month, there would not be any other monies due.

If no pension at all had been withdrawn in the month he died, the family member who paid for the funeral can apply to SASSA for “unclaimed benefits”, and would need to bring the following documents to the office:

  • Death certificate and ID card of your late father;

  • ID of the person claiming the benefit;

  • Invoice and receipt of the funeral cost.

SASSA requires the invoice and receipt of the funeral cost before they will pay out the unclaimed benefit. 

You could ask the Black Sash, which is an organisation that gives free paralegal advice, whether this would be paid out to someone like your father who was contributing to funeral cover from his grant. They could advise you on your rights at this toll-free advice hotline number: 072 66 33 739 or you could email them at

Wishing you the best,

Answered on June 10, 2022, 3:54 p.m.

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