The Singapore government has launched several relief schemes to help employees, self-employed individuals and businesses steer through Covid-19’s economic blow. But with so many schemes to keep track of, things can get a little confusing. So we've compiled the list of financial assistance packages in Singapore and sorted them by who they're for.
You probably already know about the Temporary Relief Fund, an immediate, one-off cash payout of S$500 to help Singapore Citizens and PRs who have lost their jobs or income as a result of Covid-19. But as the name suggests, it's only a temporary measure. Here are 2 other forms of Covid-19 support you can get:
This grant supports low- and middle-income Singaporeans who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19. While these individuals look for a new job or attend skills training, they will receive S$800 a month in financial assistance over a period of 3 months.
The Courage Fund provides support to the hardest-hit among us: Those who have contracted Covid-19, especially those in the frontlines. The fund also extends to low-income families whose incomes are affected by a quarantine order or stay-home notice.
If you have lost your job due to Covid-19, you may be eligible for the Covid-19 Support Grant, which would support you for 3 months while you look for a new job or undergo training for new skills. Eligible individuals will receive a monthly cash grant amounting to S$800 a month. To submit your application, you can reach out to any Social Service Office (SSO) or Community Centre in your neighbourhood.
To qualify for the Covid-19 Support Grant, you should fulfil the following requirements:
You can apply if you lost your permanent or contract job due to Covid-19. However, you must agree to actively search for a new job, or attend a training programme under Workforce Singapore or e2i.
Prior to unemployment, your household income did not exceed S$10,000 a month, or S$3,100 per capita. In addition, the home you live in must have a property annual value under S$21,000.
The Covid-19 Support Grant is open to Singapore Citizen and PRs aged 16 years and above. Those currently receiving ComCare Short-to-Medium Term Assistance (SMTA) or ComCare Interim Assistance are disqualified.
The Courage Fund is a Community Chest initiative that aids those who contracted Covid-19, as well their families. These benefits are open to Singapore Citizens and PRs as well as Employment Pass, Work Permit, Dependant's Pass or Long-Term Social Visit Pass holders. The fund also extends to Singapore citizen/PR low-income households whose members contracted the coronavirus, or had to serve a quarantine order, stay-home notice or leave of absence.
The Courage Fund offers financial support to those who were hardest-hit by Covid-19. First, the dependants of those who died from the coronavirus. Next, the heroes in healthcare and on the frontline who contracted the virus. And finally, low-income households who were affected by a quarantine order, stay-home notice, or the coronavirus itself.
Families of those who tested positive for Covid-19 and eventually succumbed to the virus can receive S$10,000 to S$30,000 under the Courage Fund. Dependants may also receive an additional Education Grant to cover tertiary education and living expenses. More information is available at the hospital.
Healthcare workers, frontline workers and community volunteers put their lives at risk daily. Those who contracted Covid-19 in the line of duty are eligible for a S$3,000 to S$5,000 payout under the Courage Fund. To apply, fill in the form at www.ncss.gov.sg/thecouragefund
Low-income households (≤S$3,900 a month) with at least 1 member who tested positive for Covid-19, or was placed on a QO/SHN/LOA, and suffered a loss of income. Affected households get S$500 to S$1,000 in financial assistance. To apply, head to any Social Service Office (SSO) within 6 months of the event.
The Singapore government has identified self-employed persons (or SEPs) as a particularly vulnerable group - their incomes take a direct hit due to Covid-19. So there are 2 additional schemes to aid SEPs.
The most important scheme for the self-employed is SIRS, which gives eligible SEPs a cash payout of S$3,000 a month in May, July and October 2020. That makes a total amount of S$9,000, to last for at least the next half a year.
Co-funded by the government and NTUC, this is a training scheme for SEPs which also offers an hourly training allowance to encourage individuals to upskill or re-skill during the Covid-19 period.
SIRS is a Covid-19 relief scheme that's targeted specifically at self-employed persons or SEPs, whose livelihoods were affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Eligible SEPs will receive S$3,000 in May, July, and October 2020 under SIRS. There are several eligibility criteria to meet, but if you are at least 37 years old and declared your net trade income to IRAS last year, you will be automatically included. Otherwise, you will need to check your eligibility and apply through https://www.ntuc.com.sg/sirs/
To qualify for the SEP Income Relief Scheme, you should fulfill the following requirements:
You are a Self-Employed Person, and started work as a SEP on or before 25 March 2020. Your Net Trade Income does not exceed S$100,000 a year.
If you are both an employee and self-employed worker, you can also apply. Your income from being an employee must not exceed S$2,300 a month.
You home's annual value must not exceed S$21,000, and you do not own more than 1 property. For married SEPs, your spouse's income must not exceed S$70,000.
The SEP Training Support Scheme works hand-in-hand with SIRS. Under this training scheme, you are encouraged to use the Covid-19 downtime to up-/re-skill. SEPs will receive up to $10 per hour training allowance for all courses under SkillsFuture and other sector-specific training courses. Once you complete the course, you just need to submit your Training Certification Slip to obtain endorsement from the Training Provider (TP) or Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) within 30 days to claim your allowance.
Head over to our special resource page created just for SEPs. Here's everything you need to know about surviving Covid-19 as a self-employed person, from the details of the Covid-19 relief schemes to tips on improving your cashflow.
As everyone knows, Covid-19 has been really bad for businesses big and small. It goes beyond just the tourism and aviation industries: Practically every sector, from food & beverage to finance, is affected. In a bid to help these businesses through a tough financial situation - and to save jobs - the government has a number of Covid-19 relief schemes. They can broadly be grouped into 2 types:
These comprise co-funding schemes, fee waivers, tax rebates, and so on - to reduce the outgoing costs that businesses face. The Jobs Support Scheme, where the government co-funds local employee salaries, is the best example of this type of Covid-19 assistance.
Despite the abovementioned assistance schemes, many businesses still face cash flow issues. So to support companies during this challenging period, the government has allocated S$20 billion in loan capital, to be disbursed under various business loan schemes.
Under the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), the government will co-fund the first $4,600 of each local employee’s gross monthly income, for 9 months. This is meant to help with cashflow and to encourage employers to keep their staff employed. The support for employers will vary depending on sector:
The aviation and tourism will receive 75% co-funding for the first $4,600 gross monthly income of each local employee.
The F&B sector will be given 50% support for the first $4,600 gross monthly income of each local employee.
All other sectors will receive 25% co-funding for the first $4,600 gross monthly income of each local employee.
Not everyone in Singapore qualifies for the government assistance schemes here. If you find yourself in need of a personal loan for extra cash, find the right loan package for your needs and income level with MoneySmart's personal loan calculator.
Apart from getting financial aid from these Covid-19 relief schemes, what else can you do to get through this? Head over to our main Covid-19 resource hub to get practical advice on the circuit breaker, dealing with debt, and how to make the most of your personal finances during the coronavirus period.