Social Relief of Distress Grant | Western Cape Government

Social Relief of Distress Grant


Social 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, or their families', most basic needs. The grant may come in the form of a food parcel, a voucher or cash.

Social Relief of Distress

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 six months).
  • You’re not a member of a household that's already receiving social assistance.
  • 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.

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

You can apply for a Social Relief of Distress grant by sending a WhatsApp message to 0600 123 456 or via email to You will be asked to provide the following information to process your application:

  • An ID/Department of Home permit.
  • Your name and surname as captured in your ID.
  • Gender and disability.
  • Your banking details.
  • Your contact details.
  • Proof of your residential address.

Social Relief of Distress during Covid-19

Many people have lost the ability to earn an income because of the lockdown. Because of this, SASSA will provide a special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant of R350 a month for the next 6 months, which will be paid to individuals who are currently unemployed and do not receive any other form of social grant or UIF payment. (The Department of Social Development will issue the requirements needed to access and apply for this funding.)

Please contact the SASSA toll free number: 0800 60 10 11, or Email: for more details. You can also follow them on Facebook or Twitter 

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 30 April 2020