COVID-19 Support Grant: Do you qualify and how do you apply?
2020 has been a tough year for everyone in Singapore. The COVID-19 pandemic has far-reaching effects on businesses, households, and workers, and there’s no telling when it will end. Still, life goes on and bills need to be paid, even if we are earning less, are on unpaid leave, or have gotten retrenched.
To help you deal with your financial hardships and get back on your feet, the Singaporean government introduced several schemes such as the COVID-19 Support Grant. If you have lost your job or had your income negatively affected as a result of the pandemic, this support scheme is for you.
Here’s what you need to know about the COVID-19 Support Grant, the latest qualifying criteria, and how to apply for it.
What is the COVID-19 Support Grant?
The COVID-19 Support Grant is one of the measures under the Fortitude Budget, which was announced on 26 May 2020. It is meant to help salaried employees whose jobs and incomes have been affected by the pandemic.
It will do so by offering eligible individuals a monthly cash grant of up to $800 for a period of 3 months.
If you are self-employed (i.e. a private hire driver or freelancer) and had your income adversely affected by COVID-19, you can get support from the Self-Employed Income Relief Scheme (SIRS), rolled out earlier as part of the Resilience Budget.
Who is eligible for the COVID-19 Support Grant?
The government has launched an online eligibility checker so you can see at a glance which support schemes you qualify for. To qualify for the COVID-19 Support Grant, you must satisfy ALL of the following criteria. The table below includes the new eligibility criteria announced on 1 October 2020.
|Eligibility Criteria for COVID-19 Support Grant|
|Citizenship||Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident|
|Age||16 years and above|
|Employment Status||A full time or part-time employee affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 after 23 Jan 2020, and is currently:
|Gross Monthly Income||
|Property Ownership||Owns no property or only 1 property|
|Annual Value of Current Residence||≤$21,000|
|Additional Criteria||Show proof of job searching or training efforts if you are unemployed|
|Exclusions||You do not qualify for the COVID-19 Support Grant if you are:
Those who are currently unemployed due to retrenchment, contract termination or being placed on no-pay leave must also agree to actively search for a new job or attend a training programme under Workforce Singapore (WSG) or the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i).
COVID-19 Support Grant payments
The COVID-19 Support Grant cash payout amounts are as follows:
|Criteria||Grant Amount||Additional Support|
|Retrenchment/job loss||Up to $800/month for 3 months||Employment and training support from WSG and e2i|
|Involuntary no-pay leave for 3 consecutive months||Access to relevant, subsidised courses by SkillsFuture SG|
|Pay cut of at least 30% for 3 consecutive months||Up to $500/month for 3 months|
The above figures are the maximum monthly amounts that one can receive through the scheme. The actual amounts will be pegged to last-drawn salary.
The cash payouts will be credited to your bank account.
How to apply for the COVID-19 Support Grant
You can make an online application here until 6pm on 31 December 2020. The website for applications is open from 9am to 6pm daily.
Submit the following supporting documents with your application:
- A scanned copy of your NRIC
- A scanned copy of your bank book, bank statement or bank slip, with your bank account name and number
- Documents proving job loss, being placed on involuntary no-pay leave or salary reduction, such as a retrenchment letter, contract termination letter, letter from your employer indicating the loss of at least 30% of your salary for at least 3 months
- Your payslip(s) or CPF contribution statement indicating your last gross monthly salary before the job loss, involuntary no-pay leave or salary cuts
- Your payslip(s) or CPF contribution statement indicating your last gross monthly salary after the job loss, involuntary no-pay leave or salary cuts
- Your CHAS orange or blue card, if you have one
- For unemployed applicants, provide supporting documents of your job search and training efforts
Scanned documents must be in PDF, PNG, JPG or JPEG format and cannot be more than 1MB in size. The total size of your files must not exceed 4MB.
You’ll be notified about your application’s outcome 2-3 weeks after you’ve submitted your supporting documents.
If you have trouble filling out the online application form, you can call the ComCare Call hotline (1800-222-0000) for assistance. If you are unable to apply online, you can also go to the nearest Social Service Office to schedule an application slot.
Support for Income policyholders
Income has pledged to help customers in these dark times. Seven Support Schemes for policyholders affected by COVID-19 offer the assurance that you and your family continue to stay protected even if you run into financial difficulties. Click here to find out how Income can help you.
This article is meant purely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon as financial advice. The precise terms, conditions and exclusions of any Income products mentioned are specified in their respective policy contracts. For customised advice to suit your specific needs, consult an Income insurance advisor.