More financial help is on the way in the form of a special COVID-19 Support Grant. Are you in on it yet?
An uncertainty about the next few months, pay cuts due to the economic impact of COVID-19 and retrenchment across the board, is a new reality for people all over the world. While it may seem bleak, there is light at the end of this tunnel and, in Singapore, it comes in the form of the COVID-19 Support Grant that aims to provide financial support to individuals.
So, here’s everything you need to know about the COVID-19 Support Grant, including what you stand to receive and how to apply for it.
What is COVID-19 Support Grant?
Since the COVID-19 Recovery Package was announced earlier during the Singapore Budget 2020, the Singapore government has been quick to provide financial support schemes. Amongst them is the COVID-19 Support Grant. It is designed to provide financial assistance to individuals who are retrenched or have had their contracts terminated due to the current economic impact, as they look for new jobs.
To ensure that those who are really in need receive the support they need, the COVID-19 Support Grant that was due to end on 30 September has been extended to 31 December 2020.
Am I eligible for the COVID-19 Support Grant?
You must meet these criteria to be eligible for this grant:
- You need to be a Singaporean or Permanent Resident, aged 16 and above.
- Your total household income cannot exceed $10,000.
- Your home cannot have an annual value of more than $21,000.
- You must have been a full-time, part-time or contract staff prior to unemployment.
- You must agree to actively participate in job and training courses provided by Workforce Singapore (WSG) or the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i).
- From 1 October 2020: You cannot own more than one property.
- From 1 October 2020: For unemployed applicants, you must demonstrate job search or skills upgrading efforts.
How much will I receive from the COVID-19 Support Grant?
Each eligible Singaporean or Permanent Resident will receive a monthly payout of $800 for 3 months (a total of $2,400).
From 1 October: Those who have received the full COVID-19 Support Grant or are waiting for their third payout can reapply for another three months (monthly payout of $800 for 3 months, a total of $2,400) of support, if you meet the new eligibility criteria.
When and where can I apply for it?
The COVID-19 Support Grant application window opens on 1 May and closes on 31 December 2020. You will have to proceed to your nearest Social Service Office or Community Centre to file the paperwork and you will be notified of application status within 2 to 3 weeks.
Are there any other COVID-19 financial support schemes?
Yes, there are, namely the Temporary Relief Fund and The Courage Fund. When put together (COVID-19 Support Grant, Temporary Relief Fund and The Courage Fund), eligible Singaporeans and Permanent Residents can receive up to $3,900 in financial support from April 2020 onwards.
Temporary Relief Fund (closed)
A one-off $500 cash payment to any Singaporean or Permanent Resident, aged 16 and above, who have lost their jobs or 30% of their monthly income due to COVID-19. To apply, you can file the paperwork online or head down to your nearest Social Service Office or Community Centre. Once approved, you will get the money deposited directly into your bank account (if you have PayNow) within a couple of days, or you will be asked to collect your cheque at the Community Centre after 2 or 3 weeks.
Application Window: Now till 30 April 2020
Courage Fund (on-going)
It’s a one-off cash payment of up to $1,000 for lower income families who have been directly affected by COVID-19, that caused a drop in gross household income (at least 10%). ‘Directly affected’ would mean a family member contracting the virus, or issued with a Stay Home Notice (SHN), mandatory Leave of Absence (LOA) or Home Quarantine Order (HQO). To apply, you will have to visit your nearest Social Service Office in person to file the paperwork, and you will be notified of your application status within 2 to 3 weeks. More details on eligibility requirements can be found here.
Application Window: Within 6 months from the end of SHN, LOA or HQO, or date of discharge from the hospital.
To tide us over the next few uncertain months, the Singapore government has announced a few other financial initiatives to help individuals, families and businesses. If you’d like to know more about these, give the following articles a read:
- Resilience & Solidarity Budget To Tide You Over COVID-19 Circuit Breaker
- COVID-19 Special Financial Relief: Can It Help Manage Your Debt?
- How Insurers and Banks Are Helping You Survive COVID-19 (Whether Quarantine or Debt)
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