A new COVID-19 grant will be rolled out to provide lower- to middle-income workers in Singapore with “targeted support”, said the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) on Wednesday (16 December).
The COVID-19 Recovery Grant will be launched on 18 January next year for eligible Singaporeans and permanent residents aged 21 years old and above.
The new grant, said MSF, aims to serve those with lower household income and those who have suffered “more significant income loss”, compared to the COVID-19 Support Grant and the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS).
Under the scheme, employees who have been retrenched, were subject to contract termination, or were placed on no-pay leave for at least three consecutive months may be entitled to up to S$700 a month for three months.
Up to S$500 a month will be paid out for three months to those who facing salary loss of at least 50 per cent on average for at least three consecutive months.
The same amount will also apply to self-employed individuals who are subject to an average loss in net trade income of at least 50 per cent over a period of at least three consecutive months compared to their average monthly net trade income in 2019 or 2020.
The job loss, involuntary no-pay leave or income loss should have taken place after 23 January this year — when the first COVID-19 case was detected in Singapore — and must be ongoing at the time of application.
One of the eligibility criteria is that applicants’ gross monthly household income must not exceed S$7,800, or a monthly per capita income of S$2,600, prior to the pandemic’s impact.
Applicants must also be economically active prior to being affected, in that they should have worked for a minimum six months cumulatively between January 2018 and December this year.
Self-employed people should also have declared their net trade income in either 2019 or 2020.
Those who earn wages as an employee and also obtain trade income as a self-employed person need to meet either criterion to be eligible for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant.
“This new criterion is introduced to target help for those who have been actively engaged in employment or trade in the past two years,” said MSF.
Applicants also need to “demonstrate efforts” in searching for new jobs or have made attempts to upskill by applying for jobs or skills opportunity through Government-linked portals such as MyCareersFuture and MySkillsFuture.
They should have also attended job interviews or participated in career coaching at Workforce Singapore (WSG) career centres, WSG-appointed career matching providers or NTUC-e2i’s career centres.
Applications for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant will be open from 18 January to 31 January next year.
Those eligible can apply for the grant on its website from 9am to 10pm daily, including weekends and public holidays.
For assistance in completing the online application form, applicants may contact the ComCare Call hotline at 1800 222 0000 or email [email protected]
Those who are unable to apply for the grant online can visit their nearest Social Service Office for assistance.