Are you confused about the changes and additions to grants that government is making during the lockdown? There has been so much information coming at us about coronavirus that I think everyone is feeling rather lost!

Although the lockdown has slowed the spread of coronavirus, it has resulted in many people losing their source of income. In order to help people through this incredibly tough time, government has increased existing grants and created another grant to meet the needs of people in various ways.

How are grants increasing?
The government has increased grants being paid to current SASSA (South African Social Security Agency) grantees from the 1 April 2020. Here is a list of the increases:
• Older people and people with disabilities: increased to R1 860
• War veterans and people older than 75: increased to R1 880
• Foster children: Increased to R1 040 per child
• Care dependency grants: increased to R1 860
• Child support grants: increased to R440 per child
Government has also added a temporary increase in grants as follows:
• Child support grants will be increased by R300 in May and for the following four months every caregiver of a child receiving a grant will get R500 extra per month (and not per actual child).
• Everyone else receiving a grant will be paid an extra R250 per month until November.

When will grants be paid?
Grants won’t all be paid out on the 1st of the month. Those who receive disability and old age grants are now being paid out over 2 days from the 4th of each month. All other grants will be paid from the 6th of the month. This means that you won’t have to stand in long queues if you physically go and collect your grant from a shop or bank. This helps prevent the spread of coronavirus in the queue.

I don’t get any of these grants. What can I do?
If you do not receive one of these grants and you are not employed (and can’t receive help from the Unemployment Insurance Fund), then you can apply for a special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant.

This is a new grant made available to people on a temporary basis until November.

Here are the details about the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant:
• You will receive R350 a month until November

You can apply for this grant if you are:
• A South African citizen or a permanent resident who isn’t able to meet their own or their family’s basic needs
• Over 18 years’ old
• Unemployed
• Have no income
• Not receiving a social grant
• Not receiving UIF support
• Not receiving a stipend from NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme
• Not living in a government funded or subsidised institution

In order to apply for this grant, you will need to do so online. At the moment you are able to send a WhatsApp message to 0600 123 456, selecting SASSA, or you can send an email to SASSA is working on providing other online platforms so keep a look out on their website:

You will need to provide the following information in your application:
• ID number
• Name and surname as it appears in your ID book
• Gender and reason why you need the grant
• Banking details
• Contact details, especially your cell phone number
• Proof of residential address

Although these social grants are helpful, they aren’t enough. SASSA is rolling out food assistance through food vouchers and the Department of Social Development, together with NGOs and other community based organisations are distributing food parcels.
This is a really difficult time in South Africa and in many other countries around the world. Lots of people are struggling. I hope this information is helpful and that you can find a way to manage through the next few months.