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When will I get the R350 grant? Five of your burning questions answered

Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu said her department must ensure the R350 Covid-19 social relief of distress grant is received only by those who qualify.
Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu said her department must ensure the R350 Covid-19 social relief of distress grant is received only by those who qualify.
Image: Linda Mthombeni

Applicants eligible to receive the special R350 special relief of distress grant can start with the application process and will receive their first payments this month, said social development minister Lindiwe Zulu. 

Zulu outlined the application process and eligibility criteria in a media briefing on Wednesday.

The grant will be paid until March 2022 and is aimed at assisting the unemployed and those affected by the unrest that recently ravaged parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. 

Here are five responses to your burning questions about the grant: 

Who is eligible to receive the grant?

The minister said individuals who have other sources of income, including beneficiaries of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), are not eligible to receive the grant.

Those eligible for the grant would be “people who are unemployed, not receiving any social grant in respect of himself or herself, not receiving an employment insurance benefit, not receiving a stipend from NSFAS, not receiving any other government Covid-19 response support”.

“Caregivers who are not receiving any grant on their own behalf will also be eligible to apply for the grant.” 

What if you're owed money from the initial phase?

Applicants who are still owed money from the first cycle will not forfeit payments owed to them by Sassa. 

“All recipients who have not received some of their payments during the first iteration of the grant from May 2020 to April 2021 will receive their payments in this new iteration. This will not affect the monies owed to them.”

What happens if you cancelled the grant after getting a job but you're now unemployed?

If you lost your job after cancelling the grant, you can still reapply, said Zulu. 

“Clients who previously cancelled the grant who would like to reactivate it due to a change in their circumstances are welcome to reapply. We will check their eligibility as we did before.”

Can I appeal an application if I was rejected?

The status of the application will be uploaded online after the due evaluation process. Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to appeal against rejections within 30 days of the outcome.

“Any applicant whose grant is not approved has the right to request that the decision be considered through the appeals process. The decline will only be considered upon a request from the client. An appeal must be lodged for every month that the grant is declined.

What's being done to curb fraudulent applications?

The department will keep a watchful eye on fraudulent activities and applicants who don't qualify for the grant. These include government employees and employed individuals, said the minister.

“We will continue to monitor any fraudulent activity and Sassa will implement measures to recover every cent from those who benefited wrongly and will refer these matters to law enforcement agencies for further action and possible arrest.”