People who are already receiving the R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant need to re-apply, thanks to government extending it.
This was announced by the Department of Social Development on Friday, 22 April 2022.
Part of the statement by the department reads: “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.”
The department said that fortunately, the entire application system remains a purely digital process, thereby enabling quick access and turnaround times.
The application system was opened on Saturday, 23 April.
The department continued: “Applications can be lodged on the SASSA website at https://srd.sassa.gov.za .
“Further communication will be issued as more application channels are opened.
“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 all applications lodged in April will be considered as from April 2022.
What has changed is that previous income threshold for the SRD grant was R595. You were excluded if you earned more than that.
The new income threshold is now R350. Anyone with an income above R350 won’t qualify for the grant set to be in place until March 2023 Mense , I will be honest, I didn’t see this coming!
I was one of the people who was extremely happy when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the R350 SRD grant would be extended for a year, from April 2022 to March 2023, during his State of the Nation address.
Let me be very clear: I don’t think R350 is close to being enough, but it is a great help to many.
R350 can buy you around 20 loaves of bread. If you’re starving, that means a lot!
The National State of Disaster, which facilitated the R350 SRD grant, came to an end this month.
However, the Department of Social Development said it has been working on a regulatory framework for the payment of the grant since the announcement of the extension.
The Department put out regulations for public comment in February 2022 and has now concluded the process.
But given the utter horror show we had last time around, with people applying via online systems which didn’t work, at offices that were under-resourced, staff who were unhelpful, and the amount of fraud which took place (remember the dead people and employed government officials who received grants) I really am not looking forward to this re-application process.
I am no systems engineer, but to me, complete re-application for those who already meet the qualifying criteria, and who have already been receiving the grant, seems like unnecessary work.
Why could the existing recipients not just update their details with the additional information required?
Also, if applying via the website is the only application method available right now – what happens to those who don’t have internet?
I have very little faith in SASSA, their systems or their processes.
As I write this, there is no information on what exactly this additional qualifying and assessment criteria will be, or what other options besides applying via the website will become available.
I pray this gets communicated to the masses soon.
I wish all new applicants for the SRD grant, as well as those re-applying, all the best.
Applications can be lodged on the SASSA website at