Applicants for COVID-19 Support Grant must not own more than one property from 1 Oct: MSF

People cross a street during morning peak hour commute amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore June 3, 2020.  REUTERS/Edgar Su
People cross a street during morning peak hour commute amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in Singapore on 3 June, 2020. (PHOTO: Reuters

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) on Tuesday (22 September) provided more details on the additions made to the eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 Support Grant, which has been extended till 31 December.

These changes – which will kick in from 9am on 1 October – include requiring applicants to not own more than one property and for unemployed applicants to demonstrate job search or training efforts on top of the current criteria, said the MSF in a press statement.

“The intent of the additional job search/training requirement is to ensure applicants take active steps to improve their employment situation. Applicants who have not started job search/training can do so and apply for the COVID-19 Support Grant when ready,” added the ministry.

“Applicants who own more than one property would be ineligible for the COVID-19 Support Grant as the intent of the Grant is to provide support to those with lesser means. This requirement is aligned to the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS).”

Unemployed applicants must show proof – letters, emails, or screenshots – that they have made at least one job application or attended at least one interview within two months before applying for the grant.

They can also self-declare their job search efforts by providing the name, contact, and address details of the employer that they have contacted, and the date of their interview. The MSF will conduct further checks on the information provided, the ministry said.

Otherwise, they can show proof that they are pursuing traineeships, such as those offered under SGUnited Skills Package or SkillsFuture.

These changes apply to both first-time applicants as well as individuals who are currently receiving or have received COVID-19 Support Grant and fulfill the revised eligibility criteria after their grant support has ended, when they apply for the grant between 1 October and 31 December.

First-time applicants who meet the current eligibility criteria may continue to apply for the grant until 6pm on 30 September, said the MSF.

The COVID-19 Support Grant, introduced in May, is meant to aid Singapore residents – Singaporeans and permanent residents – who have lost their jobs, were placed on involuntary no-pay leave, or sustained significant salary loss of at least 30 per cent over three months during the pandemic.

It allows eligible applicants to receive up to $800 per month for three months. Other criteria applicants must meet include living in a property with an annual value of $21,000 or less. Their household income must also be up to $10,000 or per capita income of $3,100 or less.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat had announced the extension of the grant during a publicly broadcast Ministerial Statement last month.

He then said that more than $90 million has been disbursed to help over 60,000 residents since the introduction of the grant.

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