In this article we explain how to apply for SASSA R350 grant online and on WhatsApp and what the requirements are for you to qualify.
What is SASSA 350 Grant
The Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRD Grant) is a financial aid program that is administered in accordance with section 32 of the Social Assistance Act of 2004 (Act No. 13 of 2004). The Minister of Finance approves its implementation.
The Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRD Grant) is intended for South African citizens, refugees, asylum seekers, and special permit holders between the ages of 18 and 60 who have insufficient means do not receive social grants on their own behalf, are not eligible for or do not contribute to the UIF payment, and have no other financial support.
Requirements To Receive The R350 Grant
- Be Unemployed
- Must have an income of R624 or less per month
- Be a South African citizen, permanent resident, refugee, a holder of a special permit under the Special Angolan Dispensation, the Lesotho Exemption Permit Dispensation; Zimbabwe Exemption Permit Dispensation; or an Asylum seeker with a valid section 22 permit or visa
- Be between the ages of 18 and 59 years old
- Reside within the borders of South Africa
- Be registered on the Home Affairs database or Sassa’s social grant database for individuals without ID documents.
- Not living in a government Institution or subsidised institution
- Not receiving covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant
- Not receiving Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Benefits or National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) support or any other social grants distributed by Sassa
How Long R350 Grant Payments Will Last
President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that the Special Covid-19 R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant would be extended in the 2022 State of the Nation Address. The R350 SRD grant is scheduled to be paid From 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023
The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has announced that new additional qualifying conditions have been established as of the opening of applications for the SRD award on April 23, 2022. This is so that the R350 stipend is now administered under the Social Assistance Act and no longer falls under the State of Disaster Act’s jurisdiction.
This indicates that the application requirements, submissions, and budget have been revised. People who require financial aid are advised to apply as soon as possible, and those who have already been granted the R350 grant have been reminded to reapply.
In 2020, Sassa introduced the Special Covid-19 R350 SRD grants to help people who were unable to support themselves financially or take care of their families owing to the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 epidemic. Now that the grant is accessible, it can help people who are in temporary need of financial assistance but are unable to care for their families most basic needs.
This could be due to any of the factors listed below:
- You need assistance while you wait for your children’s grants to be processed
- A crisis or disaster has occurred (e.g. your house has burnt down)
- You do not qualify for a grant, and you are in a desperate situation
- You are unable to work for a period of less than six months because you are medically unfit
- You are unable to get maintenance from the other parent of your child or children.
- The breadwinner in the family has died
- The breadwinner has been sent to prison for a short time (less than six months)
- You have been affected by a disaster, but the area or community in which you live has not been declared a disaster area.
Is the R350 grant going to be increased?
Lindiwe Zulu, the minister of social development, published a request for public feedback on proposed changes to the current SRD grant on July 7. The monthly income cutoff will rise from R350 to R624, or the national poverty limit, under the proposed amendments.
Black Sash, one of South Africa’s longest-serving NGOs in the field of human rights and political accountability, in their court application filed on June 23 that the SRD regulations at the current R350 threshold were “unlawful and regressive” and that there was a need to review regulations 2(4) and 2(5) because the minister had not conducted meaningful consultation on the R350 minimum threshold, which rendered them procedurally unfair. In its court application, the organization also argues that the R350 figure is “arbitrary and unreasonable.”
In a statement declaring its intention to take the government to court, Black Sash said, “… we are also challenging other aspects of the regulations which serve to exclude people. This includes the fact that applications can only be made through an online system… the fact that the regulations privilege bank verification information above other information from applicants verifying their eligibility… the fact that the regulations prohibit any new information and evidence being provided when people appeal rejections for SRD grants.”
How to apply
Since there is no longer the National State of Disaster, the Special Relief of Distress (SRD) grant is currently administered under the Social Assistance Act rather than the State of Disaster Act.
How to apply for the SRD grant online
- Go to srd.sassa.gov.za
- Scroll to the ‘How do I apply for this SRD Grant’ section
- Click on the yellow bar which says ‘click here to apply online
- Enter your mobile number
- Click “send SMS”
- Then enter the one-time pin that Sassa has sent to the number
- Continue the application process by filling in the steps required by Sassa
How to apply for the SRD grant on WhatsApp
- 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.
An applicant must authorize Sassa to verify their identification, residency, income, or social security benefits in order to access or have their SRD grant application considered. Additionally, applicants must agree to the declaration and consent. Existing beneficiaries are urged to reapply under the new Act. You won’t need to apply again once you’ve already done so.
Instead of submitting several applications across different platforms, applicants are asked to submit only one application. As soon as the application has been properly submitted, confirmation will be received. All SRD grant applications received by the 15th of the month must then be approved or rejected by Sassa. The recipients will then get an SMS telling them if they were accepted or not.
SASSA R35O Grant research findings
The Department first undertook a study to determine the grant’s viability for the nation before it became a reality. A nationally representative fast evaluation study on the Special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress grant of R350 was commissioned by the Department of Social Development (DSD) and its agency, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA). The COVID-19 epidemic threw the nation and the world into unimaginable social and economic difficulties, weakening and undermining the coping mechanisms of low- and no-income people and households that had to endure hardship during the national lockdown to stop the virus’ spread. In May 2020, the South African government rapidly instituted a special COVID-19 Social Relief Distress (SRD) grant of R350.
For a start-up period of six months, this was the first significant social security measure to be implemented digitally. The R350SRD grant will continue to be offered until 2023 as the government is dedicated to protecting the welfare of its citizens and reducing the social and economic effects of the pandemic. Since the pandemic was still in its early stages, it was essential to obtain empirical data to show how much these efforts have helped people and households, as well as to determine whether further short-term relief operations are necessary and how sustainable they are.
According to the report, the grant is primarily utilized to buy food. This supports the need for a social assistance program to assist persons between 18 and 59 and is consistent with earlier research findings in South Africa. This is significant because household members share the income earned; 71% of survey respondents lived in homes with four or more people. Additionally, the data reveals that more men (4,379,331, or 67.9%) than women (2,070,585, or 32.1%) were granted the grant. Men and women were treated differently as a result of the addition of social grants, the Child Support Grant (CSG), the primary caregiver allowance, and the Special COVID-19 SRD grant.
Based on the results, 70% of candidates in the poll were younger than 34 and had matriculated or completed higher education (degree or diploma). An urban bias was evident from the significantly higher response rates in metros compared to district municipalities. Additionally, 82.8% of grant applicants were Black Africans, and Gauteng had the highest response rate (28.2%), followed by KZN (18.7%).
Also, 88.14% of respondents believe that the grant should be awarded to everyone who applies because South Africa has a large population of disadvantaged people. It was simple and easy to find information on how to apply for the grant (92.9% of grantees agreed, compared to 81.65% of rejectees). Utilizing digital platforms online helped pave the way for the development of digital welfare.
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