COVID-19 Support Grant: MSF would consider correspondences between applicants and former employers for those who claimed to have resigned involuntarily before approving application

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) would consider correspondences between individuals claiming to have resigned involuntarily and their former employers before approving their application for the COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG), said Minister of State for Social and Family Development Sun Xueling.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday (5 January), Ms Sun also noted that the Ministry does not track the number of applicants whose applications were rejected specifically because they were not able to produce retrenchment letters from their employers.

She said this in response to questions asked by Member of Parliament (MP) Carrie Tan (Nee Soon GRC) who wanted to know the number of individuals who applied for CSG but were rejected as they could not produce retrenchment letters from their employers.

Ms Tan also asked if MSF would consider applicants favourably as long as they are able to produce correspondence to show that they have been under pressure to resign by their employers.

In her reply on Tuesday, Ms Sun noted that about 95,000 applications have been approved.

About 4,000 applications were rejected as their employment details could not be verified by the Ministry.

“As of 20 December 2020, the MSF had approved the CSG for around 95,000 applicants, including around 15,000 applicants who received the CSG upon appeal. There were about 4,000 applicants who were rejected from the CSG as their employment details could not be verified by the MSF,” said Ms Sun.

She added, “When the applicants do not have supportive documents or CPF records, we will try to contact their employers.”

Ms Sun also expressed that MSF understands that some applicants cannot produce retrenchment letter for reasons beyond their control. In such cases, the Ministry will get in touch with the applicant’s former employers or check their CPF records.

“We recognise that some applicants might have been unable to do so due to reasons beyond their control. For example, the companies they were working for might have closed down without issuing them with any termination letters.”

“In such instances, the MSF will verify their employment status by checking their CPF records or contacting their former employers,” she said.

She added that applicants who have claimed to resign involuntarily due to pressure from their employers could appeal to the Social Service Office (SSO).

Ms Sun also said the application for the CSG had closed on 31 December.

Following that, MSF will launch the COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG) on 18 January “to support lower-to-middle income employees and self-employed persons who are financially impacted by COVID-19 in 2021”.

She added, “Similar to CSG, those who are genuinely unable to produce documents for CRG and need help can approach our Social Service Office for assistance.”

CSG, which was introduced in May last year, seeks to help Singaporeans and permanent residents who are involuntarily unemployed due to retrenchment or contract termination, placed on involuntary no-pay leave for at least three consecutive months or who have suffered significant income loss due to the economic impact caused by the pandemic.

Successful applicants will be given S$800 per month for three months to help ease their financial burden.

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