Social Relief of Distress
The is a temporary form of assistance aimed at individuals who are facing severe material deprivation, rendering them incapable of meeting their own or their families’ basic needs.
Social Relief of Distress is provided to citizens or permanent residents of South Africa who lack the necessary means and meet one or more of the following criteria:
- The applicant is awaiting the payment of an approved social grant.
- The applicant has been medically declared unfit to engage in paid work for a period of less than 6 months.
- The primary breadwinner has passed away, and the application is made within three months of the date of death.
- No maintenance support is being received from a legally obligated parent, child, or spouse, and evidence is provided to demonstrate unsuccessful attempts to obtain such support.
- The breadwinner of the applicant’s family has been admitted to a state-funded institution such as a prison, psychiatric hospital, home for older persons, substance abuse treatment center, or child and youth care center.
- The applicant has been affected by a disaster as defined in the Disaster Management Act or the Fund Raising Act of 1978.
- The person is not receiving assistance from any other organization.
- Denial of the application for social relief of distress would result in undue hardships.
The period for which Social Relief of Distress is provided under the new policy is a maximum of 3 months per month. In exceptional circumstances, an extension of an additional 3 months may be granted.
Note: Individuals who are already receiving a social grant cannot simultaneously receive the grant and social relief of distress. If someone receives both forms of assistance, they will be required to repay the value of the social relief of distress received. The recovery of this amount will be deducted from any social grant payment, including arrears. However, if the person received social relief of distress due to a disaster, that specific amount will not be reclaimed.