Can I Apply For SASSA SRD If I Have NSFAS?

By | July 24, 2023

Applying for SASSA SRD (Social Relief of Distress) grant while having NSFAS (National Student Financial Aid Scheme) funding is a common concern among students in South Africa. Both programs serve different purposes and target distinct groups of individuals in need of financial assistance.

  1. SASSA SRD Grant: The SASSA SRD grant is a temporary financial aid program provided by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA). It aims to provide relief to individuals and families facing financial hardship, especially during times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant is intended for those who are unemployed, not receiving any other form of income or financial assistance, and who are in dire need of support.
  2. NSFAS Funding: On the other hand, NSFAS is designed to provide financial aid to students from disadvantaged backgrounds to help cover the costs of their tertiary education. It is specifically intended for individuals pursuing higher education at universities or TVET colleges.
  3. Eligibility Criteria: The eligibility criteria for SASSA SRD and NSFAS are different. While SASSA SRD targets unemployed individuals facing extreme financial distress, NSFAS considers factors such as household income and academic performance to determine eligibility for educational funding.
  4. Double Dipping: It’s important to note that “double dipping” or receiving financial aid from both SASSA SRD and NSFAS simultaneously is generally not allowed. If you are already receiving NSFAS funding, you may not be eligible for the SASSA SRD grant unless you no longer meet the conditions for NSFAS funding.
  5. Review of Circumstances: In certain exceptional cases, circumstances may change during the academic year, and a student could face unexpected financial difficulties beyond what NSFAS can cover. In such instances, it’s advised to contact both NSFAS and SASSA to discuss your situation and explore any available options.

In conclusion, applying for SASSA SRD while having NSFAS funding is generally not permissible due to the different target groups and purposes of these assistance programs. If you are already benefiting from NSFAS, it’s essential to comply with their guidelines and inform them about any changes in your financial situation. For individuals facing severe financial distress and not receiving NSFAS funding, the SASSA SRD grant could provide temporary relief during challenging times. To clarify your eligibility and explore available options, it’s best to contact NSFAS or SASSA directly for personalized assistance.

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