Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) has announced that the Government’s ComCare schemes disbursed $130 million to about 87,000 beneficiaries in 2015, which was 10% higher than the previous year.
The Ministry released these figures today in its ComCare Annual Report and Trends Report.
MSF said that the majority of households on ComCare received Short-to-Medium Term Assistance. The number of such households has increased over the past four years, reaching about 30,000 households in 2015. Compared to FY2014, the number of households receiving ComCare Short-to-Medium Term Assistance increased by 7% (27,461 to 29,511); while those on Long Term Assistance increased by 10% (3,846 to 4,248).
The Ministry said that profiles of households on Long Term Assistance and Short-to-Medium Term Assistance have remained broadly similar over the past four years. Households on Long Term Assistance were mainly elderly one-person households who were aged 65 years and above. Households on Short-to-Medium Term Assistance were mostly headed by persons aged between 45 to 64 years.
“There is an increasing trend of households headed by older persons on Short-to-Medium Term Assistance. These are households headed by persons aged between 55 to 64 years, which increased from 18% in FY2012 to 22% in 2015,” it added.
MSF also noted that there was a slight increase in the proportion of Short-to-Medium Term Assistance applicants who were not working because they were medically unfit or retired. It also noted that the proportion of applicants who were jobseekers was on the downward trend.
Editor’s note – It might be the applicants gave up looking for jobs.
“MSF will continue to monitor the trends closely, and work with partners such as Workforce Singapore to provide financial and employment assistance where needed,” it stated.
According to the Ministry, there was a 15% increase in children receiving Student Care Fee Assistance (SCFA) under ComCare in 2015, from 8,339 beneficiaries in 2014 to 9,605 beneficiaries in 2015. MSF attributed the increase due to in the number of student care centre places, giving more children access to student care services.
Editor’s note – It might be cost of student care is getting too much to bear.
The Ministry had also raised the household monthly income eligibility level for SCFA from $3,500 to $4,000 in January 2016 to support more lower-income families.
Commenting on the FY2015 ComCare Trends Report, Minister for Social and Family Development Mr Tan Chuan-Jin said, “The ComCare trends point to more households with older persons or retirees requiring social assistance. This could reflect the realities of shrinking family sizes and an ageing population. While the proportion of unemployed ComCare applicants has remained stable, MSF will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with community partners to provide help to these families.”