As a refugee or asylum seeker in South Africa, it can be difficult to know what social services you qualify to receive and where you are ineligible. The SRD Grant, often called the ‘R350 Grant,’ was first launched during the pandemic to help immediately eliminate some of the severe effects of job losses from the lockdowns. It continues today and is being refined into a wider grant as part of SASSA’s social grant system. Here’s everything you should know about applying for the SRD Grant as an asylum seeker or refugee
Can Asylum Seekers Apply for SASSA Grant?
Asylum seekers in South Africa are eligible to apply for some SASSA Grants, provided they meet specific criteria. The asylum seeker must have a valid asylum seeker permit (or recognised refugee status) and meet the other sets of requirements for the grant in question.
In particular, asylum seekers and refugees are eligible for these SASSA grants alongside the standard SASSA grant:
- Asylum seekers with children under the age of 18 who reside in South Africa and meet certain income requirements can apply for the child support grant.
- If you have disabilities that prevent you from working and earning an income, you may be eligible for the SASSA disability grant.
- Asylum seekers who are 60 years or older (and meet the income requirements) can apply for the SASSA Older Persons Grant.
- If you are fostering a child as a refugee or asylum seeker, you may be eligible for the foster child grant.
- Asylum seekers are also eligible for the SRD Grant, or R350 Grant, under certain conditions.
As a refugee or asylum seeker, you could not apply online, as this once requires a fully South African ID. However, they have now added an option to the website that allows asylum seekers and those with special permits. If you cannot organize your grant application online, however, you must apply in person at a SASSA office near you. Expect to provide proof of your legal and accepted status, whether that is an asylum seeker or refugee with a special permit.
How to Apply for the SRD Grant as a Refugee or Asylum Seeker
To apply for the SRD grant as a refugee or asylum seeker, you will follow these steps. You must, of course, meet other eligibility criteria. You must be unemployed, not receiving any other form of income or grant from SASSA or any other source, and have not received the SRD grant before. You need to still be living in South Africa, be between the ages of 18 years and 60 years, and be able to pass the means test (earning less than R624 a month with no alternate income or assets to leverage). You cannot be receiving a UIF payment or an NSFAS educational grant.
You will need to provide your passport-of-origin and asylum seeker permit, proof of address and bank account, and proof of income, either online or at a SASSA Office, to complete your application. They will then verify the application. If your application is successful, you will receive a notification, and the grant will be paid into your bank account.
It’s important to remember that the SRD grant is a temporary grant and is subject to change or discontinuation by the government. As such, it’s important to regularly check for updates on the grant and any changes to the application process before you apply!
How Can I Check My Asylum Seeker SRD Status?
While you cannot apply online as an asylum seeker or refugee, you can check your status online. Head to the SRD Grant website and fill in the details according to the on-screen prompts.
Alternatively, you can contact the SASSA toll-free helpline at 0800 60 10 11 or visit a SASSA Office. You should receive either an email or SMS notification if your application is approved, progressing to other checks, or declined. However, you should be sure to track the process carefully yourself instead of simply waiting. It can take weeks to months for the application to be finalized, so patience will be needed.
Which Person is Eligible for Refugee Cash Assistance?
Refugee Cash Assistance is a US-centric program for refugees and asylum seekers in the United States. So you cannot apply for it from South Africa at all. If you are a refugee or asylum seeker in South Africa, however, you can apply for some SASSA grants if you have official asylum seeker status. We looked at these in more detail above for you, including the Older Persons Grant, the SRD Grant, Disability Grant, and Child Support Grant alongside the standard SASSA Grant. To reiterate, you must be an official and recognized asylum seeker or refugee to qualify for these grants.
With this guide to help you, applying for the SRD grant as a refugee or asylum seeker in South Africa should be considerably simpler.
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