What is the Social Relief of Distress SRD R350 grant?
The South African Social Security - Agency (Sassa) created and introduced the Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRD), also commonly known as the R350 grant, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This grant was implemented to contribute financial support and government assistance to those individuals who could no longer earn an income, due to the pandemic's impact on their living circumstances, and who have no other means to support themselves financially and improve their financial status.
The Sassa relief funds were very well received by the country and provided a lifeline for many thousands.
Those who meet all the grant eligibility criteria and whose applications have been accepted receive a payment of R350 every month, that serves as a form of income and provide a bit of financial stability. Recipients must also not have an alternative income source to qualify. You can run a Sassa status check - or more specifically an SRD status check - to see if your application has been successful.
The special Covid-19 social grant has helped millions of vulnerable and unemployed citizens in South Africa afford their basic needs. This Sassa grant began as a temporary period of social assistance, but has been extended on numerous occasions, most recently until March 2024.
The Department of Social Development (DSD) works alongside Sassa when it comes to distributing the various social grants like the social relief grant. Checking your Sassa payment status, or your SRD status check, will let you know when you will be receiving your grant.
Other Sassa Grants
The Child Support Grant ensures that child support grant beneficiaries have access to basics like food and clothing. The Older Persons Grant assists retired South Africans without assets to make ends meet. Disability grant recipients are another group who benefit from this financial aid. The pay date for each of the social security benefits is different.
How to know if you qualify for the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant
To qualify for the R350 Social Relief of Distress grant, you need to meet certain eligibility criteria in order to become a beneficiary and receive grant payments - primarily your income status.
The grant is provided by the South African government to those aged between 18 and 60 years old, and who are currently citizens that are not in employment and who are earning less than a certain income per month.
You can check if you qualify for this social relief grant and could become an approved beneficiary by visiting the official Sassa website, or by going directly to the nearest Sassa offices. Typically, the nearest Sassa office should be located within your community or municipality.
Details you need to provide as part of the Sassa R350 application process
When completing the Sassa application process, you need to provide personal details such as your name and surname, your unique South African ID number, bank account details, cell phone number to receive a Sassa SMS, and other additional information.
These have to be provided to ensure your Sassa application is completed in full and that you become an approved grant beneficiary, who can then begin receiving Sassa grant payments.
It's incredibly vital to provide accurate and factual information, as Sassa will make sure to verify all the details you have submitted. Your personal information will undergo verification via the Department of Home Affairs' database, ensuring honesty and avoiding fraud.
Providing the correct banking details help to ensure that your Sassa money is paid on time and directly into your bank account. If you provide incorrect details, it may take longer for your Sassa money to arrive or Sassa will be unable to deposit your money at all.
If you have new banking details, it's important to update Sassa about this change. It will also take longer for you to see your Sassa status after submitting your grant application. If you have a Sassa status check pending you will soon be able to find the results.
How to submit a Sassa R350 grant application via the new Whatsapp line
You can make use of this option if it is simpler or more convenient for you than applying online, via the Sassa SRD website, using the following Whatsapp phone number: 082 046 8553.
Steps on how to use the Sassa Whatsapp line:
- Add 082 046 8553 as a contact on your phone
- Go on WhatsApp and send a message saying 'hi' to this number
- You will then receive a response and you should then respond saying 'help'
- You will be given various options, reply saying '4'
- This will lead you to the Unathi Sassa platform message which you should reply 'SRD' to
- You then have to confirm whether you're applying for yourself or someone else
- Now the actual application begins and you'll have to submit your name, surname and ID number in the message.
- You will then receive a message on Whatsapp stating the next steps regarding your financial assistance.
Sassa has stated that all beneficiaries who have reapplied for the SRD grant using srd.sassa.gov.za should not apply again on WhatsApp.
Here is where you can stay updated on your SRD R350 grant application status
Recipients of the Sassa grant frequently visit the SRD grant website for administrative purposes, to ensure that their Sassa applications have been processed and that they keep receiving the grant each month.
Individuals can also use the SRD grant website to check their SRD Sassa status online, as well as when they can collect their Sassa money. You will receive payment dates - a payment schedule from Sassa via SMS notification, which is why Sassa needs your cellphone number. Any of the major banks or financial institutions with bank accounts will be able to receive the payments when you supply your banking details.
Checking your Sassa status can happen at any time that you want to know about your financial aid, by conducting an SRD Sassa status check via the Sassa official website.
Here are steps on how to check your Sassa status online
A Sassa status will tell you whether your application has been approved or rejected. You can always do an SRD status check or a general Sassa status check by following these steps:
- Visit the Sassa SRD grant website.
- Scroll down to 'Application status'.
- Select 'Click here to check online'.
- Fill in the required fields including ID number.
- You should then be able to see the status of your Sassa R350 grant application.
In some cases, the application status may be unavailable. The Agency has reminded applicants that their system is processing millions of applications, so it may take some time before their Sassa status is updated and available, but there is no harm in you regularly checking.
When there are updates available, Sassa will typically communicate with you via an SMS notification, using the cell phone number you provided. They will give you information like your payment dates.
Therefore, it's important to note that a correct and active mobile phone number should be provided to Sassa, and not one belonging to another individual even if you know them, such as family member or friend.
Sassa has urged all applicants that the SRD grant applications are to be treated as new applications each month. However, each person will only need to apply once for their application to be considered each month.
Here is where to collect your Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant money
Once recipients receive SMS confirmation that their Sassa grant application status reads "approved", Sassa will begin informing them that their money is available for collection.
Sassa grants can be collected at several retail stores including Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Checkers and Boxer stores across the country. This is a much more convenient method of collecting your money, as well as the Post Office directly.
Beneficiaries can also ask to check their Sassa bank account balances at these retail stores and the Post Office.
Alternatively, beneficiaries can also choose to have their Sassa grant paid directly into their personal bank accounts. Remember to keep your banking details updated so that there are no delays in receiving your Sassa money.
What to do if your Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant application has been rejected
If your SRD grant application has been reviewed but rejected/denied, you are allowed to submit an appeal to Sassa. There are several reasons why your application has been declined, and Sassa will let you know what these reasons are.
An appeal is basically asking Sassa to re-evaluate your application and reconsider their initial decision, which may lead to approval the second time. A rejected application doesn't mean the end of the Sassa application process, as an appeal allows you to request reconsideration of your application.
You may receive a notification that reads "reapplication pending"; be patient while Sassa reconsiders your application. Once your appeal has been approved, you will receive your grant money.
You can check your appeal status anytime.
President Ramaphosa Announces Extension Of The R350 Grant
President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed that the government will continue paying the Social Relief of Distress grant. It is believed that the implementation of the SRD grant, also known as the R350 grant, will continue beyond 2024 when it is currently set to conclude.
The SRD grant was first introduced in 2020 to assist unemployed individuals during the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. The initial extension from the government was to pay the grant to vulnerable individuals for three months. However, the grant has been reintroduced and extended on several occasions.
The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) currently distributes the SRD grant to more than seven million people living across the country.
“In support of this work and to counter the rising cost of living, we will continue the Social Relief of Distress Grant, which currently reaches around 7.8 million people,” declared Ramaphosa.
The president revealed that Work is underway to develop a mechanism for targeted basic income support for the most vulnerable. This support will be provided within the country’s fiscal constraints.
“This will build on the innovation we have introduced through the SRD Grant, including linking the data that we have across government to make sure we reach all those who are in need” explained Ramaphosa.
The president also announced that permanent social grants will be increased. This will form part of the government’s efforts to mitigate the rising cost.
Facial Recognition Checks For Sassa Grant Beneficiaries
The South African Social Security Agency’s (Sassa) has announced that beneficiaries of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, also known as the R350 grant, will undergo an identity verification check. This will be in the form of a facial recognition check.
This announcement from the Sassa will affect several groups of people who applied for the SRD grant. Affected grant beneficiaries include individuals updating their mobile numbers, people with a certain SRD grant status and individuals who choose certain payment methods.
Which R350 Grant Beneficiaries Will Be Required To Undergo Facial Recognition?
- Clients who wish to update their mobile number
- Clients who want to clear a referred SRD grant status
- Clients who have requested a Post Bank account opened on their behalf
- Clients requesting payment via the cash send payment method
Several circumstances can lead to an SRD grant beneficiary changing their mobile phone number. However, if a client fails to update their mobile number on the SRD grant website, they will not receive an SMS from Sassa informing them that their money is ready for collection.
According to Sassa, a Referred SRD grant status means a fraudulent application was received from the mobile number the applicant applied with.
To clear a Referred SRD grant status, applicants must contact the South African Fraud Prevention Services (SAFPS). Once the issue has been cleared, applicants may email [email protected]. Beneficiaries will then need to undergo facial recognition.
Sassa explained that beneficiaries will receive two SMS’s from Sassa. Beneficiaries must click on the link provided in the second SMS. This link will only be valid for three days/ 72 hours.
How you can contact Sassa directly
To contact Sassa directly and speak to a Sassa official, you can make use of and call the Sassa toll-free number if you have any questions or require further assistance as grant beneficiaries. You can also visit the official Sassa website.
The number is: 0800 60 10 11 for information on pay-out dates, specific eligibility criteria for all social grants, district office addresses and their contact details.
To find out more about the latest updates and changes around other Sassa grants, including the R350 grant, head to our Sassa section.