Social Relief of Distress

Social Relief of Distress (SRD) is a temporary aid initiative in South Africa designed to support individuals and families facing extreme material deprivation, unable to meet basic needs. This article will clarify the eligibility requirements and shed light on the process of applying for Social Relief of Distress.

Social Relief of Distress

Eligibility Criteria Social Relief of Distress:

The SRD is paid to South African citizens or permanent residents lacking sufficient means and who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Awaiting Grant Payment: The applicant is waiting for the payment of an approved social grant.
  • Medical Unfitness for Work: The applicant has been found medically unfit to undertake remunerative work for at least six months.
  • Bereavement: The family’s breadwinner is deceased, and the application is made within three months of the date of death.
  • Non-receipt of Maintenance: The applicant receives no maintenance from a parent, child, or spouse who is legally obliged to pay maintenance, and the proof is furnished that efforts made to obtain care have yet to be successful.
  • Institutionalization of Breadwinner: The breadwinner of the applicant’s family has been admitted to a state-funded institution, such as a prison, psychiatric hospital, state home for older persons, treatment center for substance abuse, or child and youth care center.
  • Affected by Disaster: The applicant has been affected by a disaster, as defined in the Disaster Management Act or the Fund Raising Act 1978.
  • No Other Assistance: The applicant needs assistance from any other organization.
  • Undue Hardships: Refusing the SRD application would cause undue hardships.

Period of Social Relief of Distress:

SRD is typically issued monthly for a maximum period of three months. An extension of a further three months may be granted in exceptional cases.

Note: Individuals already receiving a social grant cannot accept the grant and SRD simultaneously. Any person who receives both SRD and a grant simultaneously must repay the value of the SRD received. This amount will be recovered from any social grant payment, including an arrear payment. However, if the person receiving a social grant received SRD due to a disaster, that amount will not be recovered.


Social Relief of Distress serves as a crucial safety net for individuals and families in dire material need in South Africa, providing a temporary aid mechanism to meet basic needs. Understanding the eligibility requirements and application process for SRD is vital for those in need. This support can be instrumental in alleviating extreme deprivation, offering a lifeline to those facing severe hardships. If you meet these criteria, consider applying for this assistance to help you navigate challenging times.

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