The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is responsible for the distribution of various social grants to vulnerable individuals living in South Africa. Sassa distributes more than 18 million grants to beneficiaries monthly.
Who Receives Sassa Grants In South Africa?
Grants distributed by Sassa are not only provided to South African citizens but is also available if you are a permanent resident, an asylum seeker, special permit holder, refugee, or holder of the special Zimbabwean permit who requires financial support. So you need to keep your permits up to date.
These grants include the Social Relief of Distress SRD R350 grant, Disability grant, War Veterans grant, Child Support grant, Grant-in-aid, Older Persons grant, Foster care grant, and the Care Dependency grant. You can apply for these at Sassa offices or online.
Is There A Difference Between The SRD Grant And The R350 Grant
Have you ever wondered what is the difference between the SRD grant and the R350 grant? This question has been posed several times to the Skills Portal team.
It's important to note that there is no difference between the two grants. They both refer to the same grant that was introduced to provide social relief to unemployed individuals affected by the lockdown measures introduced in South Africa during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The official name of the grant is the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant. However, it is commonly referred to as the R350 grant due to its monetary value or the amount of money received by beneficiaries of the grant monthly.
While the grant was introduced to assist people during the lockdowns, the South African government has extended the implementation of the relief mechanism and will continue paying the grant until March 2024. The social relief mechanism is provided to citizens under the social assistance act.
Who Qualifies For The SRD Grant/R350 Grant
The SRD grant is available to unemployed people living in South Africa. South African citizens, asylum seekers, special permit holders and refugees can apply for the grant.
Individuals must be between the ages of 18 and 59 years old to qualify for the SRD grant. Individuals who are 60 years old or older can benefit from the Older Persons grant, while those younger than 18 can receive the Child Support grant.
Prospective SRD Grant Beneficiaries must not be receiving any other support from the South African government. This means they cannot receive UIF payments from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) or a bursary from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
Applicants may not exceed the income threshold for the SRD grant which is currently R624. In terms of the R350 grant, income refers to the amount of money an applicant has in their bank account. If the grant applicant has more than R624 in their bank account, their application for the R350 grant will be rejected.
Submitting A SRD Grant Application
There are two ways to submit a SRD grant application. This includes submitting an SRD grant application online or submitting an application on WhatsApp.
Grant applicants are required to provide their ID number when submitting an application. This ID will be verified by the Department of Home Affairs to confirm your citizenship by checking your personal details on the Home Affairs Database. This will enable Sassa to confirm that you are eligible for the grant.
Applications also need a valid cell phone number when applying for the SRD grant. Having a valid cell phone number is critical as Sassa will send a message to the number you provided to inform you if your grant money is ready for collection.
Grant applicants are encouraged to provide their bank details when applying for the grant. This assists Sassa verify that the grant applicant does not exceed the income threshold for the SRD grant.
SRD Grant Screening Questionnaire and Providing Banking Details
Providing banking details also allows Sassa to pay the SRD grant directly into an individuals banking account if the grant application has been approved.
SRD grant applicants may be required to complete a screening questionnaire as part of the application process.
After applying for an SRD grant, applicants will be able to check on the progress of their application by checking their SASSA status on the SRD grant website.
What Is A Sassa Status Check?
A Sassa status check usually refers to when a grant applicant checks whether or not their grant application has been approved. The SRD status check refers to when beneficiaries of the SRD grant check if their application was approved or rejected by Sassa. You use the cellphone number that you provide Sassa to check on the status of your grant application that was provided electronically.
Individuals can conduct a Sassa status check online by visit the SASSA SRD grant website.
To conduct a Sassa status check, scroll down to find the section titled 'Application status' specifically for the SRD grant. Click on the provided link that says 'Click here to check online.' Once you're on the status check page, fill in the necessary fields, including your South African ID number and cell phone number. By doing so, you will be able to view the status of your SRD grant application.
What If Your SASSA Status For The R350 Grant Is Unsuccessful?
While millions of people apply for the SRD grant every month, not every application for the SRD grant will be approved by Sassa. The Department of Social Development (DSD) said more than 12 million people applied for the SRD grant in 2023, however, only 7 million applications were approved.
The decision made by Sassa regarding an SRD grant application is not final. Unsuccessful SRD grant applicants can submit a SRD grant appeal application. This appeal application must be submitted to the Independent Tribunal For Social Assistance Appeals (ITSAA).
How To Submit A SRD Grant/R350 Grant Appeal
The first step in submitting an SRD grant appeal application is by visiting the SRD grant appeals website. The website will prompt the appeal application to provide their ID number and their cell phone number.
It's important to provide a valid cell phone number as the ITSAA will send a One Time Pin (OTP) to this number via SMS. Enter this OTP when prompted to do so.
Appeal applicants will then be able to select a month when their SRD grant application was rejected and submit an appeal for that month. Appeal applicants must submit SRD grant appeals for each month their application was rejected.
Sassa SRD Appeals Timelines
SRD grant appeal applications must be submitted within 30 days of receiving the unsuccessful application Sassa status.
It is always important to do a Status Check on your Sassa grants to make sure that they haven't lost your application.
Appeal applicants will receive the outcome of their appeal application within 60-90 days of its submission.
The decision made by the ITSAA for grant appeals is considered final. However, if the appeal applicant is unhappy with the decision they may approach the high court for judicial review.
The application for judicial review must be submitted within 180 days of receiving the ITSAA’s decision.
How To Contact Sassa For SRD Grant Enquiries
If you have any further questions or require additional information, visit your Sassa page. Alternatively, you can contact Sassa directly by calling the SASSA toll free number on 080060 10 11 or by sending an email to the dedicated SASSA grants email address at [email protected]. Serious concerns can be escalated to the Sassa head office.
The Future Of The SRD Grant
Making The SRD Grant Permanent
Currently, the SRD grant is paid to more than seven million people living in South Africa. However, the implementation of the grant is set to conclude in March 2024 which could leave millions of vulnerable people without financial support.
Various stakeholders have advocated for an extension of the SRD grant beyond the March 2024 deadline by making the grant permanent.
Increasing The Value Of The Grant
In addition to making the SRD grant permanent, stakeholders have routinely called for the SRD grant’s monetary value to be increased. This as inflation and the rising cost of living means that grant beneficiaries can purchase less than they previously could, even if the monetary value of the grant has remained the same since it was introduced.
Stakeholders want beneficiaries of the SRD grant to be increased to the Food Poverty Line. The current food poverty line in South Africa is R624.
Good Luck With Your Sassa Grant!