The Department of Social Development has announced that R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant beneficiaries have to reapply.
This is because the grant will now be provided under a new legislative framework following the end of the national state of disaster earlier this month, the Department said in a statement on Friday (22 April).
R350 SRD grant reapplication
“Given that the National State of Disaster was lifted in April, the Department of Social Development has endeavoured to develop the regulatory framework for the payment of the COVID-19 SRD grant within the Social Assistance legislation,” the Department’s spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said.
“The Department put out regulations for public comment in February 2022 and has now concluded the process. The final steps, such as obtaining the required concurrence and certification from the relevant Departments has now been concluded, and the Minister of Social Development has published the regulation through proclamation in the government gazette, notice 2042 of 2022 on Friday 22 April 2022.
“Given that the COVID-19 SRD will now be provided for under a new legislative framework, and that additional qualifying and assessment criteria will be added, those in need of assistance will have to apply for the COVID-19 SRD, or reapply if they were previously in receipt of this grant.”
According to Oliphant, the entire reapplication process and system will remain “a purely digital process, thereby enabling quick access and turnaround times.”
The application system opened at 12am on Saturday, 23 April 2022 via the SASSA SRD website. “Further communication will be issued as more application channels are opened,” Oliphant explained.
“All applicants are reminded that they will be considered for the COVID-19 SRD from the month in which the application is lodged and this will be validated every month. This means that all applications lodged in April will be considered as from April 2022.”
Oliphant added that Minister Lindiwe Zulu will hold a media briefing “in the coming days” to provide further information. Some beneficiaries have reported seeing “SRD reapplication pending” while checking their grant’s status and it is expected that Zulu will explain what it means.
To view the full gazette notice published by the Minister, visit the Government Printing Works website here. It contains the full regulations on SRD grant eligibility, application procedure and appeal process.
Much of the information is similar to the grant’s earlier processes, save for a few amendments or additions. For instance, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will validate persons with insufficient means by using:
- A declaration from the applicant attesting to such;
- A screening questionnaire; and
- A proxy means test consisting of—
- Checks against databases that may indicate income or alternative financial assistance; and
- Verification of insufficient means with banks.
The grant will be in place until the end of March 2023.