HIV/Aids

09 September 2010

Grant for people with HIV

People living with HIV can still benefit from the temporary disability grant, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) in the North West said.

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People living with HIV can still benefit from the temporary disability grant, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) in the North West said, denying claims that it had deliberately cut their grants.

It was reacting to accusations by Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the National Association of People Living with HIV/Aids (Napwa) that it was being "insensitive to people living with HIV and Aids by cutting their grants".

Sassa said in a statement that although there was no social grant for HIV positive people, the temporary disability grant was for people with chronic diseases.

It said the grant was given to people whose disability continued for six to 12 months.

Based on functional inpairment

This was based on how long a person who had "moderate to severe functional impairment" would take to recover if they complied with the prescribed treatment, it said.

Sassa likened HIV infection to chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus or hypertension.

"In the case of HIV, this grant would be temporary, because the client could recover fully and perform all the activities of daily living should he or she comply with treatment, it said.

If after the six or 12 months a person's condition was still "moderate or severely impaired" then they could reapply for the grant.

"It is... unfounded that due to bad management or insensitivity to people living with HIV and Aids, Sassa NW is deliberately cutting their grants," it said. (Sapa, September 2010)

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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria in 2005. She is a patients' rights activist and loves using social media to teach about HIV. She is in private practice in Johannesburg.

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