Social grants – COVID-19

Social Relief of Distress grants

Applications for the R350 SASSA Social Relief of Distress grants:

Applicant’s Criteria: 

  • Above the age of 18; 
  • Unemployed; 
  • Not receiving any income; 
  • Not receiving any social grant; 
  • Not receiving any unemployment insurance benefit and does not qualify to receive unemployment insurance benefits; 
  • Not receiving a stipend from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme; and 
  • Not a resident in a government funded or subsidised institution.

Documents Required

Prospective applicants will need to provide the following compulsory information for processing of their applications:

  • Identity Number;
  • Name and Surname as captured in the ID (and initials);
  • Gender and Disability;
  • Banking details – Bank Name and Account Number;
  • Contact details – Cellphone number; and
  • Proof of Residential Address.

Application Process

An application for social relief of distress or a social grant may be lodged electronically over and above any other available means of lodging such applications.

The measures applicable include:

  • Sending a WhatsApp message to 0600 123 456 and selecting SASSA, or
  • Sending an email to 

Grant Breakdown

  • Child support grant beneficiaries will receive an extra R300 in May, and from June to October they will receive an additional R500 each month.
  • All other grant beneficiaries will receive an extra R250 per month for the next six months.
  • In addition, a special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress grant of R350 a month for the next 6 months will be paid to individuals who are currently unemployed and do not receive any other form of social grant or UIF payment *.

Social grant payments at cash pay points procedure

  • SASSA will deploy at least one manager to each pay point to assist with queue management and to attend to enquiries – staff will have protective gear (masks and gloves) and carry hand sanitiser.
  • SAPO has committed to having hand sanitiser available for all clients – they will be sanitised just prior to joining a short queue for payment.
  • Access to pay points will be limited to control social distancing.
  • SAPO staff to be equipped with masks and gloves.
  • Security staff will be equipped with masks and gloves.
  • Postbank call centre (available 24/7) on 0800 53 54 55 to deal with concerns and complaints related to SASSA/SAPO cards – card replacement, PIN resets and non-payment.

SASSA Call Centre

  • The SASSA Call Centre (0800 60 10 11) will be available, although there may be reduced capacity.
  • The Call Centre is available during working hours only.

Grant amounts have increased as from 1 April 2020.

  • Grants for older persons and disability grants increase to R1 860.
  • Grants for war veterans and older persons older than 75 years increase to R1 880.
  • Foster child grants increase to R1 040 per child.
  • Care dependency grants increase to R1 860.
  • Child support grants increase to R440 per child.

Information from Copyright 2020 Government of South Africa.

* The Department of Social Development will issue the requirements needed to access and apply for this funding