Answer to a question from a reader

What can I do if I don't qualify for government housing and have no source of income?

The short answer

First claim your UIF, if you qualify. Then apply for the new Covid-19 SRD grant.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

I bought a joint bond house with my brother and his wife but they didn't pay their share and the bank auctioned it, so I was left without a house. As a result, I don't qualify for an RDP house. I also don't qualify for a community residential unit (CRU) because I have no source of income. I live with my daughter but she is also unemployed. I also never received my UIF after I lost my job.

The long answer

This is a truly difficult situation to be in and, unfortunately, there is no clear way out. With the pandemic, so many people lost their jobs and their homes. This is why the government is being urged to consider a Basic Income Grant. 

You mention in your email that you have not received any UIF payment after losing your job. If your employers were deducting UIF from your wages, you are entitled to UIF benefits when you lose your job.

You can contact the UIF to find out if you are owed benefits here: UIF call centre: 0800 030 007 (weekdays 7.30am to 4.00pm). You would need to give your name, ID and UIF reference number. The UIF also has a hotline for the pandemic benefit at 012 337 1997. Again, you would need to give your name and ID number. 

If you are not owed any UIF benefits, the only government assistance you could access would be the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, which is only R350 a month. You are paid from the month you apply electronically.

To qualify for the new Covid-19 SRD grant, you must be:

  • A South African citizen, permanent resident or refugee registered with Home Affairs

  • Above 18 years old

  • Unemployed

  • Not receiving any income

  • Not receiving any social grant (with the exception of Child Support Grants)

  • Not receiving any UIF benefit and not qualifying to receive any UIF benefit

  • Not staying in a government-funded institution.

The information you have to give SASSA is the following:

  • ID number

  • Name and surname as in ID and initials

  • Gender and any disability

  • Banking details: bank name and account number

  • Contact details: cell phone number

  • Proof of residential address

You can only apply electronically:

SASSA will only ask for your bank details once the application has been approved. You should never give your PIN number.

You can learn about other social grants you or your daughter might qualify for here: Social Grants Guide.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Aug. 13, 2021, 1:05 p.m.

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