A Singaporean's Guide: COVID-19 Financial Assistance and Support Schemes to Apply For in 2020
43
shares

A Singaporean's Guide: COVID-19 Financial Assistance and Support Schemes to Apply For in 2020

Joel Koh
43
shares

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be understated.

More than just a health crisis, the pandemic is also an unprecedented socio-economic crisis that affects many individuals and households in Singapore.

In response, the Singapore Government has since rolled out four budgets: the Unity BudgetResilience BudgetSolidarity Budget and Fortitude Budget to support Singaporeans during this immensely trying time.

In total, $93 billion has been allocated to support Singaporeans, protect jobs and help businesses and industries stay afloat.

With these budgets announced in quick succession, it may be hard for Singaporeans to keep track of the various financial schemes and support available.

As such we have compiled a list of the relevant financial assistance and support schemes and you and your family can apply for now.


TL;DR: COVID-19 Financial Assistance and Support Schemes to Apply For in 2020

*Click the link to jump straight to the section!


Support For Those Directly Impacted by COVID-19

Essential Healthcare workers singapore
Source: Ministry of Health | Facebook

The Courage Fund (TCF) Relief Schemes

 Am I Eligible?What Are the Benefits?How to Apply
The Courage Fund (TCF) - Healthcare WorkersFor healthcare workers who have contracted COVID-19 in the line of duty.One-time payout of $5,000Apply online from 6 Apr 2020 onwards
The Courage Fund (TCF) - Frontline Workers and Community VolunteersFor frontline workers and community volunteers who have contracted COVID-19 in the line of duty.One-time payout of $3,000Apply online from 6 April 2020 onwards
The Courage Fund (TCF) - DependentsFor dependants of individuals who have succumbed to COVID-19.One-time payout of up to $30,000Apply from 6 April 2020 onwards, more information is available at the hospitals
The Courage Fund (TCF) - HouseholdFor households whose family member(s) have contracted COVID-19 or are on:
Quarantine Order (QO)
Stay Home Notice (SHN)
Leave of Absence (LOA)
One-time payout of up to $1,000Apply at any Social Service Office within 6 months from the end of QO/SHN/LOA or discharge from hospitalisation

Quarantine Order Allowance (QOA) Scheme

The Quarantine Order Allowance (QOA) Scheme was implemented to take reduce the financial impact for those who have been served Quarantine Orders under the Infectious Diseases Act.

Am I Eligible?

You are eligible to apply for the QOA if you fall under these groups:

GroupsEligibility Criteria
Self-Employed Persons- Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident
- Show proof of employment
- Must not break quarantine order
Employers- Registered company in Singapore
- Employees must be Singapore Citizen, Permanent
Residents or Workpass holders
- Show proof of payment to employees when they
are under quarantine
- Employees must not break quarantine order
Source: Ministry of Health

What Are The Benefits?

Under the QOA scheme, claims of $100 per day can be made for both of the above-mentioned groups.

How to Apply?

You will need to scan and submit this list of documents in PDF format to MOH.

Back to top

COVID-19 Income Relief

COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG)

The COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG), helps Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents who have lost their jobs or have had their income affected by COVID-19.

Seedly COVID-19 Support GrantAm I Eligible?

COVID-19 Support Grant Eligibility Criteria
CitizenshipSingapore Citizen

OR

Permanent Resident
Age16 years and above
Employment StatusFull-time or Part-time employees affected by economic impact of COVID-19 after 23 Jan 2020 who are

- Unemployed due to retrenchment or contract termination

- On involuntary No Pay Leave PL for at least 3 consecutive months (eg. Mar to May 2020)

- Experiencing reduced monthly salary of at least 30% for at least 3 consecutive months (eg. Mar to May 2020)
IncomePrior gross monthly household income ≤$10,000

OR

Prior gross monthly per capita income ≤$3,100
Live in a Property With An Annual Value≤$21,000
Not onComCare Assistance

OR

Self-Employed Persons Income Relief Scheme (SIRS)
Not anFull-time National Servicemen (NSF)

OR

Intern

What Are The Benefits?

If You AreCOVID-19 Support Grant AmountYou'll Also GetApplication Starts
Unemployed due to retrenchment or contract terminationUp to $800 monthly for 3 monthsEmployment and training support from Workforce Singapore (WSG) or Employment and Employability Institute (e2i)4 May 2020
Placed on involuntary No Pay Leave (NPL) for at least 3 consecutive monthsAccess to relevant courses subsidised by SkillsFuture Singapore
Experiencing a pay cut of at least 30% for at least 3 consecutive monthsUp to $500 monthly for 3 months-11 May 2020

How to Apply?

The application window is from 4 May to 30 September 2020.

You can apply online here.

Once you’ve submitted your supporting documents, it’ll take about 2 to 3 weeks to process your application.

Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS)

The Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme or SIRS was first announced during the Resilience Budget 2020. It is an initiative introduced by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to support self-employed persons (SEPs) tide over this period of economic uncertainty.

SIRS eligibility Self-employed

Am I Eligible?

Singaporean self-employed persons and freelancers are eligible for SIRs if you meet the following:

  • Started work as a self-employed person on or before 25 March 2020
  • Self-employed persons who also earn a small income from employment may also qualify
  • Earn a net trade income (gross income less allowable expenses and trade losses) of no more than $100,000
  • Live in property with an annual value of no more than $21,000
  • Do not own two or more properties.

For Singaporean SEPs who are married, you and your spouse:

  • Cannot own more than two properties
  • Your spouse’s assessable annual income should be $70,000 or less.

Some examples of SEPs include:

  • Baby-sitter
  • Commission agent (e.g. insurance agent, real estate agent)
  • Direct seller
  • Freelancer (e.g. you receive fees for providing services as a delivery rider, consultant, bookkeeper, graphic designer)
  • Hawker (you are the owner of a hawker business or a food stall)
  • Owner of a business that buys and sells goods and/ or services
  • Owner of online business (i.e. you buy and sell goods or provide services through the Internet)
  • Owner of your own practice (e.g. accountant, architect, doctor, lawyer)
  • Private tuition teacher (you look for your own students by yourself or through agencies and do not receive a salary from a tuition centre)
  • Taxi driver or Private-hire car driver.

What Are The Benefits?

Three quarterly cash payouts of $3,000:

  • May 2020 – $3,000
  • July 2020 – $3,000
  • October 2020 – $3,000.

How to Apply?

If you are a SEP who is 37 years old and above (in 2020) and have already declared positive SEP income to IRAS or the CPF. SEPs who also earn a small income from employment work will also be automatically included.

You will be automatically notified of your eligibility through SMS or by mail.

  • Check if you are automatically eligible for the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) using the SIRS Eligibility Checker
  • You can also apply and appeal for SIRS on the same site
  • The SIRS application system is open from 9am to 9pm every day.

Back to top

Point to Point Support Package (PPSP) – Point-to-Point-Support Package 2

The Point-to-Point Support Package (PPSP) was set up to help taxi drivers and private hire care (PHC) drivers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Comfort Taxi At Orchard Road
Source: Straits Times

There were two tranches of this fund, the first tranche, PPSP was dispersed earlier this year.

Subsequently, the Government announced the second tranche of assistance measures under the Point-to-Point-Support Package (PPSP2).

Am I Eligible?

Taxi drivers and PHC drivers are eligible for the PPSP.

What Are The Benefits?

$300 per month from now to September 2020. Eligible taxi drivers (“Eligible Taxi Drivers”) will receive the payout from 14 May 2020 to 25 September 2020 (both dates inclusive).

Eligible PHC drivers (“Eligible PHC Drivers”) will receive the payout from 31 May 2020 to 12 October 2020 (both dates inclusive).

Eligible drivers will also receive $10 per hour in training allowance under the Self-Employed Person (SEP) Training Support Scheme, which is part of the NTUC Training Fund (SEPs).

How to Apply?

All existing drivers who qualify for SRF under PPSP will also qualify for PPSP2.

The application window is from May to September 2020.

Nominated Taxi Operators and nominated PHC operators Go-Jek, Grab and Ryde and notify these drivers of their eligibility. Do check with your operator if you have not heard anything.

For further information, head over to the LTA website.

Singapore Association of Motion Picture Professionals (SAMPP) COVID-19 Relief Fund

The SAMPP started a $40,000 SAMPP Covid-19 Relief Fund to support Singapore-based motion picture freelancers whose income has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

SAMPP COVID-19 Relief Fund
Source: SAMPP

Am I Eligible?

Applicants need to be registered members of the association.

In light of the current crisis, the association has waived membership fees for the current year. Also, applicants will need to register before applying.

The Grants will be awarded based on the assessment of the needs of the individual applicant and their household needs, with one grant given per successful applicant household only.

The SAMPP have also partnered with a social sector organisation to make decisions on the applications.

What Are The Benefits?

Between $300 to $500, based on the assessment of individual needs.

How to Apply?

Fill in the online application form, and email the necessary supporting documents as attachments to [email protected].sg with the subject head
‘SAMPP COVID-19 RELIEF FUND APPLICATION‘.

Back to top

NTUC Care Fund

NTUC is providing a one-off cash relief of up to $300 to eligible union members who are facing hardship due to COVID-19,

NTUC Care Fund
Source: NTUC

Am I Eligible?

Existing NTUC union members and new members can apply.

Here is the eligibility criteria:

  • Suffered from an income drop of at least 30 per cent of your monthly salary/earnings due to COVID-19, OR
  • A self-employed person (SEP) whose income has been adversely affected due to COVID-19 related job or event cancellationsor 
  • Retrenched with retrenchment benefits of not more than $6,500 

What Are The Benefits?

Pay-out quantum of between $50 to $300 per applicant varies depending on eligibility criteria.

Lower amount:

  • Members WITH dependents staying in the same household in Singapore
    • Your Original Gross Monthly Personal Income should not exceed $3,400
    • The income requirement does not apply to those who are retrenched

Higher amount:

  • Members WITHOUT dependents staying in the same household in Singapore
    • Original Gross Monthly Personal Income should not exceed $1,500
    • The income requirement does not apply to those who are retrenched

New members who registered after 1 March 2020 will stand to receive $50 or $200.

Existing members who have registered before 1 March 2020 will stand to receive $200 or $300.

How to Apply?

Ordinary Branch Members 

If you are a member with any of NTUC’s affiliated unions and associations (i.e. Ordinary Branch member), or if you are a member working in an unionised company, you can download and complete this application form and submit to your union. 

General Branch Members 

General Branch (GB) members generally refer to NTUC union members who work in a company that is not unionised under any of our affiliated unions and associations. You can download the application form – English / 中文版 and refer here (中文版for submission instructions. 

The application window is from 25 March to September 2020.

Back to top

Short to Long-Term Financial Assistance

ComCare Interim Assistance Fund

The scheme is for any households that require urgent and immediate help for less than 3 months.

Comcare logo

Am I Eligible?

To qualify you will need to have:

  • Have a household income of $1,900 and below, or a per capita household income of $650 and below
  • Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident (at least one immediate family member in the same household must be a Singapore Citizen).

What Are The Benefits?

For this scheme, the assistance provided would be through:

  • Cash
  • Food rations
  • Vouchers.

The type, amount, and duration of the assistance will depend on your household situation and will be assessed by the social workers.

How to Apply?

You can apply for this scheme at the following locations:

Community PartnerSchemeTo Apply
Social Service Offices (SSOs)Interim Assistance FundYou can approach your nearest SSO for help
Check the MSF district locator to find the Social Service Offices which are nearest to you
Citizens' Consultative Committees (CCCs)CCC ComCare FundYou can approach your nearest Community Centre, Community Club, or your grassroots leader for help
Check the PA website to find the Community Clubs which are nearest to you
Family Service Centres (FSCs)FSC ComCare FundThis scheme is only for FSC clients
Community Justice Centre (CJC)CJC ComCare FundThis scheme is only for CJC clients
Source: Ministry of Social and Family Development

ComCare Short-to-Medium-Term Assistance (SMTA)

The ComCare Short-To-Medium-Term Assistance fund provides temporary assistance for individuals who are unable to find work for a period of time and therefore requires temporary financial help.

Am I Eligible?

To qualify you will need to be:

  • In the midst of looking for work, or temporarily unable to work due to illness or having to care for dependants
  • Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident (at least one immediate family member in the same household must be a Singapore Citizen)
  • Monthly household income of $1,900 and below or a per capita income of $650 and below.

Even if you have exceeded in income according to these guidelines, you can still approach the Social Service Offices (SSOs) if you require financial help.

What Are The Benefits?

For this scheme, the assistance provided would be through:

  • Monthly cash assistance
  • Assistance with household bills, i.e. rental, utilities, and/or service and conservancy charges
  • Medical assistance​
  • Employment assistance such as job search and/or training
  • Referrals for other relevant services.

The type, amount, and duration of the assistance will depend on your household situation and will be assessed by the social workers.

How to Apply?

Details on how to apply for both short-to-medium term and long-term assistance can be found here.

ComCare Long-Term Assistance

Also known as public assistance, the Comcare long-term assistance is for individuals who are unable to work permanently.

Am I Eligible?

To qualify you will need to be:

  • Unable to work because of old age, illness or disability
  • Have little or no financial support, savings and assets for daily needs
  • Elderly persons who receive only a small monthly payout from other sources such as CPF Retirement Sum / CPF Life, and the monthly payout is lower than the prevailing LTA rates
  • Elderly persons whose children are low-income themselves, i.e have a household income of $1,900 and below, or per capita household income of $650 and below
  • Singapore Citizen or a Permanent Resident

Even if you have exceeded in income according to these guidelines, you can still approach the Social Service Offices (SSOs) if you require financial help.

What Are The Benefits?

For this scheme, the assistance provided would be through:

  • Monthly cash assistance
  • Assistance with household bills, i.e. rental, utilities, and/or service and conservancy charges
  • Medical assistance​
  • Employment assistance such as job search and/or training
  • Referrals for other relevant services.

The type, amount, and duration of the assistance will depend on your household situation and will be assessed by the social workers.

Types of assistance provided:

  • Support for daily living expenses (cash)
  • Additional assistance for school-going children
  • Recurring essentials such as medical or hygiene consumables
  • One-off essentials such as medical equipment or household appliances
  • Medical assistance
  • Education assistance
  • Supplementary community assistance

How to Apply?

Details on how to apply for both short-to-medium term and long-term assistance can be found here.

Back to top

Assistance For HDB Loans And Rental

HDB Financial Assistance Measures (FAM)

This scheme is for HDB flat owners who have difficulties paying the monthly instalments of their HDB housing loans and HDB rental flat tenants.

hdb logo

Am I Eligible?

Flat owners and rental flat tenants can apply for financial assistance from HDB through this scheme.

What Are The Benefits?

Flat Owners

HDB may allow a reduction or deferment of loan instalment payments for six months, or other forms of financial assistance, upon request.

Rental Flat Tenants

HDB may allow payment of the overdue rental via instalments or reducing the rent for needy tenants if they are assessed to be unable to afford their current rent.

How to Apply?

Flat owners and rental tenants can email their request to the HDB Branch managing their flat or contact HDB at 1800 225 5432 (8:00am to 5:00pm on weekdays).

More details can be found here.

Back to top

Loans, Debt, Insurance Premiums and Bills Support

MAS, the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), and the Finance Houses Association of Singapore (FHAS), first announced measures which lower short-term repayment obligations for residential property loans, insurance commitments, and unsecured credit debts.

But with the extension of Circuit Breaker till 1 June 2020, they have announced the second wave of support measures to hopefully help more Singaporeans.

These measures will help individuals with their, loans/premiums and bills.Seedly MAS Financial Support Measures For Individuals

Back to top

Childcare and Educational Expenses Support

The following schemes apply to families with children young and old.

secondary school students in group discussion
Source: TODAY

Childcare & Infant Care Subsidies and Financial Assistance

The Childcare & Infant Care Subsidies and Financial Assistance​ scheme is catered towards low-income families who have are facing difficulty affording infant care and child care fees even after the basic and additional subsidies.

In addition, there is an application for a one-time grant to cover the initial start-up costs of enrolling a child in an infant/child care centre too.

Am I Eligible?

  • The child should be a Singapore citizen
  • Enrolled in an Infant/Child Care Centre licensed by ECDA
  • Both parents should also be working at least 56 hours per month
  • If parents are not working, to produce valid reasons for not working (e.g. on medical leave, under incarceration, or certified as a full-time caregiver)

What Are The Benefits?

In addition, there is an application for a one-time grant to cover the initial start-up costs of enrolling a child in an infant/child care centre too.

More details can be found here.

How to Apply

Once eligible, parents can apply for this assistance via their child’s infant/child care centre.

Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme (KiFAS)

The Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme (KiFAS) helps parents with their children’s kindergarten fees.

Am I Eligible?

  • Children must be Singapore citizens attending kindergarten programmes
  • Have a gross monthly household income is $12,000 and below

What Are The Benefits?

Eligible low-income families may also apply for a yearly grant to cover the start-up costs of enrolling their children in the kindergarten.

Details of the amount of subsidies available can be found here.

How to Apply

Application for KiFAS can be done through your child’s kindergarten.

Student Care Fee Assistance (SCFA)

The scheme was implemented to enhance the affordability of student care for families who require after-school care for their children.

Am I Eligible?

  • Both parents are working at least 56 hours per month
  • Total gross monthly household income is $4,500 or less, or total gross monthly household per capita income is $1,125 or less
  • Child is 7 – 14 years of age
  • Child attends a MSF-registered Student Care Centre
  • Child is a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident (at least one immediate family member in the same household must be a Singapore Citizen)
  • This scheme is also applicable for children with disabilities for Special Student Care Centres (SSCC).

What Are The Benefits?

  • Monthly subsidy, with the amount dependent on the monthly household income
  • A one-off Start-Up Grant of up to $400 per child

How to Apply

Application for SCFA can be done through your child’s MSF-registered Student Care Centre.

MOE Financial Assistance Scheme (MOE-FAS)

Under this scheme, needy students from primary to university level can get financial assistance from MOE.

Am I Eligible?

Singapore Citizen students from government, government-aided, specialised and some independent schools.

What Are The Benefits?

Students will receive help with their fees and/or other school expenses.

More details can be found here.

How to Apply

Application for MOE financial can be done through the school or institution your child attends.

Back to top

Internet Access Support

NEU PC Plus Programme

The Programme provides persons with disabilities or low-income households with students brand new computers at subsidised prices.

man using laptop
Source: Glenn Carstens Peters | Unsplash

Am I Eligible?

  • Be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Has a permanent disability OR
    is a full-time student (aged 25 and below) in a Government/Government-Aided School, Junior College, Centralised Institute, Independent School, Specialised Independent School, Specialised School, Institute of Technical Education, Polytechnic or MOE-funded Special Education School
  • Gross monthly household income not exceeding $3,400 OR
    per capita income not exceeding $900 ($1,125 if there is a permanently disabled household member).

Note:

  • Full-time students (aged 25 and below) who are unable to co-pay for their PC-Bundle can apply for financial assistance under the iNSPIRE Fund an initiative under the MOE Financial Assistance Scheme.
  • Each eligible household can only apply for one PC-Bundle. Households with three or more school-going children can apply for a second subsidised PC.
  • Students from one-to-one computing programme are qualified to apply regardless of the fact that their household are current beneficiaries, with support from the school.
  • Past recipients of NEU PC Plus Programme may reapply only after three years from the last deployment to the household.

What Are The Benefits?

Under the Programme, the PC-Bundle scheme provides a two-tier subsidy whereby successful applicants can own a PC-Bundle, starting from $232.73* for a desktop or $224.97* for a laptop.

*Price includes 7% GST

A PC-Bundle includes:

  • Your choice of computer
  • Three years of free broadband subscription
  • Antivirus software
  • Productivity tools
  • Delivery & installation
  • Warranty

How to Apply?

For applicants who are interested to apply can obtain the application forms from their school, or download them below.

All application forms must be submitted together with the relevant documents to the school.

Form for Students

Form for MOE FAS* / SPED* Recipients

Fibre Broadband Service

Mobile Broadband Service

Existing NEU PC Plus beneficiaries who did not previously apply for home broadband can apply for it through the respective forms below:

Fibre Broadband Service

Mobile Broadband Service

Home Access Programme

This programme supports low-income families by hooking them up with affordable home internet connectivity.

Am I Eligible?

Here is the list of criteria:

  • At least one family member staying at the same residential address who is a Singapore citizen
  • Staying in a HDB flat
  • Has a monthly Gross Household Income (GHI)1 ≤ $1,900 OR Per Capita Income (PCI)2 ≤ $650
  • Neither an existing Home Access beneficiary NOR an existing NEU PC Plus beneficiary with broadband connectivity.

What Are The Benefits?

Eligible Singaporean families will get to enjoy two years of subsidised fibre broadband connectivity, with an option to bundle with a tablet or smartphone.

Standalone Broadband 

  • M1 500 Mbps Plan at $6 per month
  • MyRepublic 1Gbps plan at $13.99 per month.

Bundled Fibre Broadband Plans

M1 500Mbps Fibre broadband bundled with Lenovo tablet at $8 per month

M1 500Mbps Fibre broadband bundled with OPPO/Vivo Smartphone at $10.75 per month.

Do note that these bundled fibre broadband plans are only available for families without full-time students only.

How to Apply?

You can:

Back to top

Got Concerns About COVID-19?

Join in the discussion here on our friendly SeedlyCommunity to equip yourself with the knowledge to thrive during this difficult time!

Seedly COVID-19 Discussion

About Joel Koh
History student turned writer at Seedly. Before you ask, not a teacher. My time as a history student has equipped me with the skills to evaluate the impact societal development has on financial and nonfinancial events, as well as financial transactions and models.
You can contribute your thoughts like Joel Koh here.

Still have more questions after reading the article? Fret not, ask our community here!

Stay updated with the latest finance tips!
Receive bite-sized finance on Telegram here.

What's Popular

    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
Comments
43
shares

What's Popular

    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles
    • Loading articles

Still have more questions after reading the article? Fret not, ask our community here!