Back to top

How to claim R350 Unemployment Grant During Lockdown

23 Apr 2020

An ethnic african lady holding a fistfull of bank notes. Canon 350D. July 2006.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an unprecedented R500 billion social and economic support package to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday evening.

The stimulus package comes to some 10% of the country’s GDP, he said.

Speaking in a televised address to provide an update on a special Cabinet meeting held last week, Ramaphosa said R130 billion of the amount will be supported by reprioritising funds from South Africa’s existing Budget, with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni set to announce the adjustment budget in due course.

A R50-billion boost for grant recipients

A six-month coronavirus grant will be introduced for those “most desperately affected by the coronavirus”. Child support grant beneficiaries will get an extra R300 in May and from June to October, they’ll get another R500 per month. All other grant beneficiaries will get an extra R250 per month for the next six months.

An additional special Social Relief of Distress grant of R350 per month will be available for the next six months to those who are unemployed and not receiving other forms of grants or UIF payments.

Question and Answers:

Q: How do one claim money allocated for unemployment people?

  • Anyone who wishes to apply for the Social Relief of Distress grant may do so by contacting the SASSA customer care toll free on 0800601011 or send an email to ,they will be assisted.

Q: How much money a child is going to receive during these coming 6months?

  • Child support grant beneficiaries will receive an extra R300 in May and from June to October they will receive an additional R500 each month. Per care-giver not per child.

Q: R350 Unemployment social distress relief fund form & the requirements please so that when we come there we bring it completed with the requirements.

  • There is no form to be filled.In order to qualify, SASSA will focus on the following: ·Those who did not receive grants in April because their grants were suspended : temporary disability grants;Children who turned 18 after lockdown and were in receipt of grants which have now lapsed;Grant beneficiaries who experienced challenges in April accessing the grants (card lost or faulty; failed bank verification; fraud; etc);Those who should have applied but have not been able to do so as a result of the lockdown (people who turn 60 years old; care givers with new born babies who would have applied for CSG);Citizens experiencing undue hardship as a result of the lockdown, with specific focus on: Those not accessing UIF; Those no longer earning a salary or wages and those who do not receive an income from any other source at all and who do not have the means during lockdown to generate any income. We are receiving an extremely high number of emails and calls and and not everyone will be able to get through due to the vast need out there. We receive about 9 000 calls per hour please bear with us.

Q: How do we apply for a newborn grant since offices are closed

  • A: SASSA offices are closed during the duration of the 21 days lockdown. You will need to apply for the Social Relief of Distress in the meantime by contacting the SASSA customer care toll free on 0800 60 10 11 or send an email to

Q: Can you guys explain in details about this R300/R500 confusion…is it per child extra R300 or Extra R300 on top of what we getting already?

  • It is per care-giver, not per child.

What is Social Relief of Distress

Social relief of distress is a temporary provision of assistance intended for persons in such dire material need that they are unable to meet their or their families’ most basic needs.

Social Relief of Distress is paid to South African citizens or permanent residents, who have insufficient means and meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • The applicant is awaiting payment of an approved social grant.
  • The applicant has been found medically unfit to undertake remunerative work for a period of less than 6 months.
  • The bread winner is deceased and application is made within three months of the date of death.
  • No maintenance is received from parent, child or spouse obliged in law to pay maintenance, and proof is furnished that efforts made to obtain maintenance have been unsuccessful.
  • The bread winner of that person`s family has been admitted to an institution funded by the state (prison, psychiatric hospital, state home for older persons, treatment centre for substance abuse or child and youth care centre).
  • The applicant has been affected by a disaster as defines in the Disaster Management Act or the Fund Raising Act, 1978.
  • The person is not receiving assistance from any other organization or.
  • Refusal of the application for social relief of distress will cause undue hardships.

Period of Social Relief of Distress (New Policy)

Social Relief of Distress is issued monthly for a maximum period of 3 months. An extension a further 3 months may be granted in exceptional cases.

Note: No person who is in receipt of social grant may receive the grant and social relief of distress simultaneously. Any person who receive both social relief and grant at the same time must repay the value of the social relief of distress received. This will be recovered from any social grant payment, including an arrear payment. However, where the person who is in receipt of a social grant received social relief of distress as a result of a disaster, that amount will not be recovered.

iReport SA News


Please visit the official Government information portal for Coronavirus by clicking HERE