How To Apply To The R350 Grant Under The New Rules

Now that the National State of Disaster has ended, the South African Social Security Agency’s Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant is managed under new rules. Here’s how to submit your R350 grant application under these new rules.

Sassa (The South African Social Security Agency) is a government agency that is responsible for administering social assistance programmes to eligible citizens who are in need of financial assistance. SASSA was established in 2005 to manage the distribution of social grants, including the Child Support Grant, Old Age Grant, Disability Grant and Foster Care Grant.

Sassa introduced the Social Relief of Distress grant, commonly referred to as the SRD or R350 grant, during the COVID-19 pandemic to assist some of the country’s most vulnerable citizens. Although the State of Disaster has come to an end, the SRD grant will continue. However, it is now managed under new rules.

SASSA works closely with other government agencies, such as the Department of Social Development (DSD), and non-governmental organisations to identify and assist vulnerable individuals and South African citizens in need of support. The agency plays an important role in reducing poverty and promoting social inclusion in South Africa.

Changes To The Social Relief Grant Application Process

The Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant is now managed under the Social Assistance Act and not the State of Disaster Act as South Africa is no longer in a National State of Disaster. This means that there are a few changes to how the Social Relief of Distress grants work. 

The SRD grant was due to come to an end in March 2023. However it was announced that it will be extended by at least one year, to March 2024. An amount of R44 billion has been allocated to allow for the extension of the Social Relief Distress (SRD) grant for 10.5 million beneficiaries monthly. 

Every month, Sassa R350 grant applications are open for those wanting to apply. SASSA is hoping to continue to open up new payment locations so that it will become easier for beneficiaries to access the grant payments. 

Eligibility Criteria For The R350 Grant

  • Unemployed
  • Open to South African citizens, permanent residents, refugees, holders of a special permit under the Special Angolan Dispensation, the Lesotho Exemption Permit Dispensation; Zimbabwe Exemption Permit Dispensation; or Asylum seekers with a valid section 22 permit or visa
  • Between 18 and 59 years old
  • Live 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 Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Benefits or National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) support or any other social grants distributed by Sassa

How to apply for the social relief of distress grant online

  1. Go to
  2. Scroll to the ‘How do I apply for this SRD Grant’ section
  3. Click on the yellow bar that says ‘click here to apply online’
  4. Enter your mobile number
  5. Click “send sms” 
  6. Then enter the one time pin that Sassa has sent to the number 
  7. Continue the application process by filling in the steps required by Sassa

How to apply for the social relief of distress grant on WhatsApp

  1. Add 082 046 8553 as a contact on your phone
  2. Go on WhatsApp and send a message saying ‘hi’ to this number
  3. You will then receive a response and you should then respond saying ‘help’
  4. You will be given various options, reply saying ‘4’
  5. This will lead you to the Unathi Sassa platform message which you should reply ‘SRD’ to
  6. You then have to confirm whether you’re applying for yourself or someone else
  7. Now the actual application begins and you’ll have to submit your name, surname and ID number in the message
  8. You will then receive a message on WhatsApp stating the next steps

In order to access or to have your SRD grant application considered, an applicant must grant consent for Sassa to verify his or her identity, residency, income or social security benefits. Applicants will also need to accept the declaration and consent.

Under the new Social Assistance Act, existing beneficiaries are urged to reapply. Once you’ve reapplied, you won’t have to apply again. Please note that it can take up to three months (90 days) for the application process to be completed.

Applicants are encouraged to only submit one application instead of multiple applications across the various platforms. Confirmation will be received as soon as the application has been successfully submitted.

Sassa has to then approve or reject all SRD grant applications received before the 15th of each month. Beneficiaries will then receive an SMS informing them of whether they’ve been approved for the Social Relief of Distress grant or not.

You will also find useful information on the R350 SRD grant including status checks and payment dates on SASSA R350 App