Background. This study was to establish whether there was a difference in the characteristics of people who received a disability grant and those who did not in rural and urban samples of isiXhosa-speaking people with disability in South Africa. Sample. The sample was a convenience sample and was identified through a 'snowballing' process. Instrumentation. A demographic survey and isiXhosa versions of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and EQ-5D, a health-related quality of life measure were utilized. Results. The sample consisted of 244 rural and 61 urban respondents, demonstrating a preponderance of physical disabilities. The groups who received or did not receive grants were equivalent in terms of age, gender, marital status and employment status. A significantly higher proportion of rural dwellers accessed the grant. The grant holders displayed significantly more problems related to mobility and to technology and policies and services relating to mobility and transport. Those who did not receive grants reported more barriers with regard to the attitudes of health workers but not with regard to any other aspect of social support. Conclusions and recommendations. The majority of men and women with disability identified in this study received the grant, whether or not they lived in remote rural or in urban areas. As there were few differences between the groups, it is likely that several non-grant holders might qualify if they were informed of the grant and applied. The role of medical doctors as 'gate-keepers' to the grant might need to be examined.