Friend’s help also counted? Is ComCare’s financial assistance criteria rather subjective?

I refer to the article “MSF responds but fails to address core issue – why is CPF considered an income?” (theonlinecitizen, Jun 16).

It states that “As part of our ComCare assessment, we take into consideration the needs of the individual or household, as well as monies received and overall support rendered by the Government, the community, family and friends to the applicant.”

I am shocked by “as well as monies received and overall support rendered by … friends to the applicant”.

In my two decades or so of voluntary work doing financial counselling – I have never come across any financial assistance assessment under ComCare that takes into account “support from friends”?

Is this a new policy and if so, when did this start?

How is it possible to verify the “assistance from friends”?

In this regard, it is interesting to note the response to this statement – “The MSF added that the resident receives an additional $550 a month from a close friend who lives overseas. This is now being disputed by Mr Andrew Ong, a friend of the resident who said that the money was not monthly but sporadic. It is also used for three residents, all of whom are blind.

In a response on the MSF Facebook post, Mr Ong said: “On point 10, the $550 is not a monthly nor frequent giving. I’m unsure how this was concluded in the interview. It’s from a well-wisher who stepped in to help. It’s sporadic and unsustainable assistance.”

“In addition, it’s not for Mr T alone, but help rendered to the other two tenants who are visually handicapped. This is a fact you failed to indicate in your above response,” added Mr Ong.

The MSF added that TOUCH Home Care provides him 2 daily meals, under MOH’s programme, which are delivered to his home every day, a point which is disputed”.

Uniquely Singapore!