military veterans  


Military Veterans



  1. Background

The Department of Military Veterans (DMV) was proclaimed in 2009 and established in 2010 to redress structural and administrative inadequacies in benefit and service provision to military veterans and to ensure that the unique needs of military veterans are provided for.

The Military Veterans Act 8 of 2011 mandates the provision of various non-contributory benefits to military veterans and/or their dependents. Whilst the act fundamentally improves and guarantees the provision of social assistance to deserving military veterans, it however falls short of addressing crisis situations military veterans often experience.

It is against this background and per Ministerial directive that a Social relief of distress (SRD) provision was introduced.

  1. Policy Purpose

Social relief of distress is short term material assistance provided to qualifying military veterans or their nominated dependents, who have insufficient means to address an immediate need. It is intended to address a crisis situation, over which the veteran and his/her nominated dependents have no control. It is not intended to address long term poverty.

This initiative, is introduced in conjunction with The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).  SRD is a short term material assistance to qualifying Military Veterans who have insufficient means to address immediate needs.

The relief is provided in the form of food parcels or vouchers for a period of three months. However, in extreme cases and with the motivation from a designated official, subject to the approval by the programme manager, the period for provision of relief may be extended up to a maximum period of twelve months. The provision is only applicable to military veterans who are not in receipt of any state pension.

  1. Eligibility Criteria
  1. The applicant must be a military veteran or dependent/s of a military veteran,
  2. The military veteran must be registered on the Department of Military Veterans database,
  3. A completed application form from the applicant indicating why they are applying for SRD,
  4. If the military veteran is unemployed - attach an affidavit stating that the member is not employed and does not already receive a SASSA grant.
  5. If the military veteran is employed – attach a certified copy of the member’s payslip,
  6. A report from a social worker with a description of the conditions warranting the provision of social relief of distress (in cases where applicant is requesting extension of benefit for longer than three months),
  7. The applicant must reside in South Africa.


  1. Conditions for SRD provision is as follows:

SRD may be provided to a veteran or his/her dependent if one or more of the following conditions are met:

  1. Refusal to provide assistance will cause undue hardship.
  2. Awaiting payment of approved military veteran’s pension benefit.
  3. The Military Veteran (Breadwinner) has been admitted to an institution (Prison, Old age home etc) funded by the state and the nominated dependents are awaiting payment of half of the veterans pension.
  4. The Military Veteran (Breadwinner) has been admitted to an institution (Prison, Old age home etc) funded by the state and the veteran is not eligible for the military veterans pension.
  5.  The Military Veteran has been affected by a disaster and is not accessing any other social assistance from the state.


  1. How to apply

a.As from the 1st of August 2014 the following procedure will apply:

b.The following documentation is compulsory for the application to be processed:


  • Complete the application form in print and submit  it to the Department of Military Veterans, Fax nr 086 2462 196 or by post to Dept of Mil Vet’s, Private bag X943 Pretoria, 0001 (Attention : SESS Benefits/SRD)
  • Attach a certified copy of the applicants identity document,
  • If unemployed, obtain an affidavit stating that the veteran is unemployed and  does not receive any governmental grant (SASSA grant)
  • If employed, attach a certified copy of the latest payslip to the application form,
  1. Applications will be processed and applicants will be notified by means of an SMS system to approach their nearest SASSA Office.
  2. The mentioned process should be repeated after 3 months if the veteran or dependent still require social assistance.


  1. Allocation Of SRD
  1. It is very important to note that not all military veterans per definition will be entitled to Social Relief of Distress (SRD).
  2. The DMV will consolidate all applications and will do the verification w.r.t the Military Veterans Data Base. The information is provided to SASSA who will respond and indicate which of the veterans qualify for SRD.
  3. The DMV will inform the Qualifying Veterans by means of an sms to visit their local SASSA office to be assisted with SRD.
  4. The DMV in conjunction with SASSA will keep record of veterans that receive SRD.  The statistics will be utilized for future planning and budgeti