The Social Relief of Distress (SRD) program is administered by SASSA (South African Social Security Agency) and aims to provide temporary assistance to individuals and families who are facing significant financial hardships and cannot meet their basic needs. The program offers short-term relief and support to those experiencing a crisis or an emergency situation. Eligible applicants must meet certain criteria, which may vary depending on the circumstances and SASSA’s guidelines.
The eligibility for Social Relief of Distress is extended to South African citizens or permanent residents who meet one or more of the following criteria:
Awaiting approved social grant payment: Individuals who are awaiting the disbursement of an approved social grant can qualify for Social Relief of Distress.
Medically unfit for remunerative work: If a person has been declared medically unfit for remunerative work for a period of less than six months, they may be eligible for assistance.
Recent breadwinner’s death: If the breadwinner of the applicant’s family has passed away, and the application is made within three months of the date of death, they may qualify for relief.
Lack of maintenance support: If the applicant is not receiving maintenance support from a parent, child, or spouse who is legally obligated to provide it, and efforts to obtain maintenance have been unsuccessful, they may be eligible.
Breadwinner admitted to state-funded institution: If the breadwinner of the applicant’s family has been admitted to a state-funded institution such as a prison, psychiatric hospital, state home for older persons, a treatment center for substance abuse, or child and youth care center, they may qualify for assistance.
Affected by a defined disaster: Individuals affected by a disaster as defined in the Disaster Management Act or the Fund Raising Act of 1978 may be eligible for Social Relief of Distress.
No assistance from other organizations: Applicants should not be receiving assistance from any other organization to qualify for this form of relief.
Refusal leading to undue hardship: If the refusal of the application for social relief of distress would cause significant hardship to the applicant, they may be considered for assistance.
Meeting any of these criteria can make an individual eligible for the temporary assistance provided through the Social Relief of Distress program.
Under the new policy, the Social Relief of Distress is provided on a monthly basis, with a maximum duration of three months. In exceptional cases, an extension of an additional three months may be granted.
It is important to note that individuals who are already receiving a social grant are not eligible to receive both the grant and the Social Relief of Distress simultaneously. If a person mistakenly receives both forms of assistance, they will be required to repay the value of the Social Relief of Distress received. The amount will be recovered from any future social grant payments, including arrear payments. However, in cases where a person receives Social Relief of Distress as a result of a disaster, the amount received will not be recovered.
This new policy aims to ensure that Social Relief of Distress is provided for a limited period to individuals in dire material need, while also preventing the overlapping receipt of multiple forms of assistance.
The SRD program is designed to provide immediate assistance in the form of a grant to individuals or households in dire need. The grant amount and duration of support may vary based on the specific situation and the assessment conducted by SASSA. The SRD program aims to alleviate the immediate financial burden and help individuals and families regain stability during challenging times.
To apply for Social Relief of Distress, individuals can contact SASSA directly, visit their local SASSA office, or access the necessary application forms and information on the official SASSA website. It is advisable to familiarize oneself with the specific requirements and documentation needed to ensure a smooth application process.