Social Relief of Distress Grant | Western Cape Government

Social Relief of Distress Grant



Social relief of distressSocial Relief of Distress is a temporary grant of assistance intended for someone in desperate need. The grant helps those who are unable to provide for their own, or their families', most basic needs. The grant may come in the form of a food parcel, a voucher or cash.

You must meet one of the following conditions to qualify for Social Relief of Distress:

  • You’re awaiting permanent aid.
  • You don’t qualify for a grant, and you’re in a desperate situation.
  • You’re medically unfit to undertake remunerative work for less than 6 months.
  • The breadwinner of the family has died.
  • The breadwinner has been sent to prison for a short time (less than 6 months).
  • You’re not a member of a household that's already receiving social assistance.
  • You’re supposed to be getting maintenance payments, but you’re not getting them and you can't find the person who is supposed to pay.
  • You’re not receiving assistance from any other organisation.
  • Those who have had disasters in their communities such as floods and fires as defined in the Disaster Management Act, 1978.

Period of Social Relief of Distress

Social Relief of Distress is issued monthly for a maximum period of 3 months. Extension of the period by a further 3 months may be granted in special cases. Social relief of distress

You can apply for the Social Relief of Distress by filling in an application form at your nearest regional offices. You don't need to pay anything to make the application.

How to apply

To apply for a Social Relief of Distress grant you’ll have to visit your nearest SASSA office where you’ll be asked to fill out a form. You’ll also be asked to provide the following alongside your application:

  • Your identity document (ID) and your children’s birth certificates. 
  • If you don’t have an identity document and birth certificates, an affidavit from your local police station, chief, councillor or religious leader may be enough proof.

No application can be processed without the sworn statement/affidavit.

You’ll also be asked to show proof that you:

  • have applied for a grant,
  • had an emergency (e.g. provide a police report that your house burnt down),
  • tried to get maintenance,
  • have no other support,
  • are married, divorced, or single,
  • have no income, and
  • have a short-term medical disability.

The application form is not available online, but you can get it at your nearest SASSA office. 

General Enquiries:

Western Cape regional office: 021 469 0200
Toll-free helpline: 0800 601 011 for information on:

  • Pay-out dates.
  • Qualifying rules for all government grants.
  • District office addresses and contact numbers.
  • For help with what has happened to your application.
  • How you can also report any fraud or corruption.



Provided by:
Government Body: (Western Cape Government)
The content on this page was last updated on 19 April 2022