COVID-19 Budget: MSF rolls out support for those financially impacted by pandemic

Ministry of Social and Family Development (FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will be rolling out a Temporary Relief Fund and a COVID-19 Support Grant to support lower- to middle-income Singaporeans who are financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and who are not on its ComCare assistance.

In a media release on Friday (27 March), it said that the Temporary Relief Fund provides immediate financial assistance to lower- to middle-income Singaporeans and permanent residents who have lost their jobs or faced an income loss of at least 30 per cent due to COVID-19, and require urgent help with basic living expenses.

Eligible applicants will receive one-off cash assistance of $500. The relief fund will be open for applications at all Social Service Offices (SSOs) and Community Centres (CCs) from 1 to 30 April.

COVID-19 Support Grant from 1 May

For those lower- to middle-income Singaporeans and permanent residents who continue to face challenges in securing re-employment after April, they can receive help via the COVID-19 Support Grant from 1 May onwards.

Provided they commit to receive employment and training support from Workforce Singapore (WSG) and Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), eligible Singaporeans will be able to receive $800 a month for three months via the grant.

Grant recipients who continue to need support in the longer term will be assessed for ComCare assistance.

Easier ComCare application process for those under quarantine, SHN

Since the onset of COVID-19, SSOs have proactively reached out to more than 6,400 Singaporeans who may be in need of assistance or other forms of support, as a result of being quarantined or directed to stay at home.

Those under quarantine or Stay-Home Notice (SHN) who require ComCare assistance can now submit supporting documents via email or mobile phone, instead of applying for ComCare in person.

For those under quarantine or SHN who do not have family, friends or neighbours to turn to, SSOs will coordinate with grassroots volunteers to help purchase and deliver groceries to them.

From April, households newly placed on ComCare Short-to-Medium Term Assistance will receive the assistance over a longer six-month duration. This will provide greater peace of mind to families and individuals whose livelihoods have been affected by COVID-19.

The Courage Fund raises $5.6 million

MSF also revealed that it has raised over $5.6 million via The Courage Fund, a central donation platform for Singaporeans and corporations to contribute to the battle against COVID-19.

The amount raised by The Courage Fund will help:

  • dependents of those who succumb to the virus,

  • healthcare workers, frontline workers and community volunteers who contract the virus in the course of duty,

  • lower-income families experiencing financial difficulties as a result of their family members contracting the virus, or having to serve quarantine orders, SHNs or mandatory Leave of Absence.

Application details will be available on the National Council of Social Service website by end-March, and eligible lower-income households can also apply at the SSOs from 6 April.

Those who need help can approach SSOs, their local grassroots or call ComCare hotline (1800-222000) or WSG for more information on the assistance that they are eligible for.

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