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New COVID-19 Grants For Self-Employed, Low- To Middle-Income Workers And Taxi, PHV Drivers

Two new schemes that aim to help lower to middle-income workers and the self-employed, as well as taxi and private-hire car drivers have been unveiled.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said today (December 16) that the Covid-19 Recovery Grant will be launched on January 18.

On the other hand, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that the new Covid-19 Driver Relief Fund will replace the current Special Relief Fund for taxi and private-hire car drivers from January 2021. 

COVID-19 Recovery Grant

The Covid-19 Recovery Grant focuses on lower to middle-income workers, and the self-employed.

Under the Covid-19 Recovery Grant, eligible Singaporeans and permanent residents aged 21 years old and above will receive up to S$700 per month for three months. 

This applies for those who have been retrenched, had their contract terminated, or placed on no-pay leave for at least three consecutive months. 

For those who are facing a salary cut of at least 50 per cent on average for three consecutive months will receive up to S$500 per month for three months.

Freelancers or the self-employed are also eligible for the grant of up to S$500 per month.

However, they have to have faced a loss in net trade income of at least 50 per cent as compared to their average income in 2019.

For all applicants, the job loss, income loss or no-pay leave should have occured after January 23 this year — the day the first Covid-19 case was detected in Singapore.

Furthermore, under the new grant, applicants’ gross monthly household income must not exceed S$7,800 or a monthly per capita income of S$2,600, prior to being affected by the pandemic.

Applications for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant will be open from January 18 to December 31 next year.

Those eligible can apply for the grant online.

COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund

ride hailing driver singapore
Image Credit: Five Stars And A Moon

Taxi and private-hire car drivers are some of the hardest-hit groups by the pandemic, as travel and tourism has been heavily muted in the nation.

Hence, active taxi and private-hire car drivers will be supported by LTA’s new Covid-19 Driver Relief Fund.

Under the new fund, taxi and private-hire car drivers are set to receive an additional S$133 million in support from the government.

This is on top of the S$55 million already committed to the Special Relief Fund, said LTA in a news release.

The new scheme will replace the Special Relief Fund which was started in February.

Under the Covid-19 Driver Relief Fund, drivers will receive S$600 per vehicle per month between January and March, and S$450 between April and June.

About 52,000 drivers who are currently eligible for the Special Relief Fund will be automatically transitioned to the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund come January.

Featured Image Credit: Dollars And Sense, Time

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