COVID-19 has taken a huge hit on the economy, and many people are losing their jobs or income.
Last Thursday, Minister Heng Swee Keat announced two financial assistance schemes as part of a slew of measures in the almost $55 billion Resilience Budget to help Singapore cope with the pandemic.
Firstly, the government is offering a one-time cash assistance of $500 to those affected.
As part of the Temporary Relief Fund, lower- to middle-income Singaporeans and permanent residents who are not on ComCare assistance will be able to get immediate financial assistance to help with basic living expenses.
Those who are eligible for this Fund can apply at all social service offices run by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), as well as community centres from April 1 to 30.
Need A New Job?
Meanwhile, those who face challenges in finding new employment because of the pandemic can also apply for the COVID-19 Support Grant, which will provide longer-term financial assistance and job support.
From May 1, those who are eligible will receive $800 a month for three months, if they also commit to receiving employment and training support from Workforce Singapore and the Employment and Employability Institute.
Recipients of the grant who continue to need support for a longer period will be assessed for ComCare assistance, according to MSF.
It added that while household income is considered as part of the eligibility criteria for the assistance schemes, more than one eligible individual from the same household can get help from the COVID-19 Support Grant.
Those who are already receiving ComCare assistance, however, will not be able to apply for either the Temporary Relief Fund or the COVID-19 Support Grant.
MSF said this is because they already receive comprehensive support for their basic living expenses, including cash assistance as well as assistance with household bills and medical bills.
“If ComCare clients require more assistance due to changes in financial circumstances, SSOs will work with them to review their assistance package,” said the ministry.
Help For Dependents Of COVID-19 Patients
Apart from government initiatives, Singaporeans have also donated to support those affected by the pandemic, with more than $5.6 million raised for The Courage Fund, a central donation platform, said MSF.
The fund will help dependants of those who succumb to the virus; healthcare workers, front-line workers and community volunteers who contract the virus in the course of duty; and lower-income families who experience financial difficulties because a family member contracted the virus or has to serve quarantine, stay-home notice or a mandatory leave of absence.
Eligible lower-income households will be able to apply to receive a one-time lump sum of up to $1,000 from The Courage Fund at SSOs from April 6.
Application details will be available from the National Council of Social Service’s website by the end of this month.
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