In a world marked by uncertainty and economic challenges, government assistance programs serve as a lifeline for those in need.
South Africa’s Social Security Agency (SASSA) has been a crucial source of support for countless individuals, with the R350 grant being a beacon of hope.
However, the journey to securing this grant begins with one critical question, “Is my SASSA R350 grant approved?”
In this article, we will walk you through the steps to verify the status of your grant application, ensuring that much-needed financial relief reaches those who depend on it.
What is SASSA R350?
SASSA R350 refers to the South African Social Security Agency’s (SASSA) grant program, specifically the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant.
The R350 represents the amount of 350 South African Rand, which is a form of financial assistance provided to eligible individuals in South Africa.
The idea behind the SASSA R350 grant is to provide temporary financial relief to vulnerable and unemployed South Africans, especially during times of economic hardship or crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
This grant aims to help people who may not have access to regular sources of income to meet their basic needs and support their families.
SASSA R350 eligibility criteria
The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) introduced a special COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant of R350 per month to assist unemployed and vulnerable South Africans during the pandemic.
The grant was initially introduced in May 2020 and has been extended several times since then.
To be eligible for the SASSA R350 grant, applicants must meet the following criteria;
- Applicants must be South African citizens, permanent residents, or refugees who are registered on the Home Affairs database and are currently residing within the borders of South Africa
- Applicants must be 18 years or older
- Applicants must be unemployed and not receiving any other form of income or social grant, including UIF and NSFAS
- Applicants must not have any means of financial support, including savings, investments, or any other income-generating assets
- Applicants must have a valid cellphone number and be able to provide accurate personal information, including their name, surname, ID number and residential address
- Applicants must have a bank account or a mobile money account, such as a Vodacom M-Pesa or MTN Mobile Money account, to receive the grant payment
- Applicants who have previously applied for the SRD grant must reapply to receive the extended grant.
It is important to note that meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee that an applicant will receive the grant.
The grant is subject to the availability of funds and the verification of the applicant’s information.
SASSA may also conduct additional checks to ensure that the applicant meets the eligibility criteria and may reject applications that do not meet the requirements.
How to check if SASSA R350 grant is approved
To check if SASSA R350 grant is approved via WhatsApp, follow the steps below;
- Save the SASSA phone number; 0820468553
- Open WhatsApp and start a chat with SASSA by looking up the phone number you saved on your device
- Send them a ‘Hello’ and they’ll respond right away. After the response, just say, ‘Help’
- When given a response with options, select “SASSA-related services” by responding with ‘4’. Another response will come; respond with ‘Status’
- You will get a response asking for your reference number. If you have a reference number, reply yes and then you will get a response asking if you are checking your Sassa status application for yourself or someone else
- Send ‘1’ in response, then enter your reference number to verify the status of your message
- You will find out the status of your SASSA R350 after entering your reference number, including if it has been accepted
Via phone call
- Be prepared with your ID number and the phone number you provided on the application
- Dial 0800601011 to reach the SASSA toll-free line
- While you wait for a staff member to join the conversation, select the language of your choice
- Tell the staff member who joins the call that you wish to know the status of your SASSA R350
- Give them what they ask for when they ask for your phone number and ID number
- As they check your information in their system, please wait. When they’re finished, they’ll read the application status to you
- If your application is accepted, they will inform you of your pay dates, and if it is rejected, they will explain why
Impact of the SASSA R350 grant
SASSA has paid R350 grant to 5.6 million applicants since August 2021, according to multiple sources including News24.
The grant has been a lifeline for many South Africans who lost their income due to the pandemic.
However, the application process has been long and cumbersome, and SASSA offices were unable to handle the volume of applications due to backlogs.
These backlogs were caused by the closure or disruptions in services and the need to ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidelines such as social distancing, resulting in endless queues and applicants being turned away.
SASSA’s inability to continue services during COVID-19 forced applicants to take drastic actions.
The grant has also been subject to fraud, with more than 5,000 government workers fraudulently receiving the R350 special social relief grant.
The impact of the grant on poverty and unemployment reduction is still being evaluated.