The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will reach out to more families who require short- to medium- term assistance.
ComCare provides assistance to households who require temporary help because their members are either looking for work, temporarily unable to work due to illness and care giving duties, or earning insufficient incomes to provide for their families.
Revised Income Criteria
With effect from 1 July 2014, the household income cap for families seeking short- to medium-term assistance will be increased from the current $1,700 to $1,900. The income per person cap will also be raised from $550 to $650, to cater to families with more dependents.
The revised criteria will enable MSF to help more low-income families. About 1,800 additional households are expected to benefit from the change.
In addition, families with complex needs can look forward to more tailored assistance and longer duration of assistance to help them stabilise their families. There will be increased flexibility to respond to the differing needs of families. The assistance rendered can include a combination of employment assistance, cash allowance, rental, utilities, medical, as well as referrals to other help agencies for further assistance.
The Government will spend an additional $15.4 million on the enhancements each year. Needy families can apply for the ComCare at any MSF Social Service Office. Details of the ComCare short- to medium- term assistance can be found in Annex A.
Details of short- to medium- term assistance under ComCare
ComCare short- to medium- term assistance (previously known as the Work Support Programme and the ComCare Transitions Scheme) provides temporary assistance to needy families whose members are looking for work, are temporarily unable to work due to reasons such as illness and care giving duties, or are earning insufficient incomes to provide for their families.
Eligibility Criteria (WEF 1 JULY 2014)
- The applicant must be a Singapore citizen (SC) or permanent resident (PR). If the applicant is a PR, then at least one of the immediate family members must be an SC;
- The applicant's household must satisfy a needs test;
- The applicant has a gross household income of $1,900 per month or less, or the income per person is $650 or less;
- The applicant has little or no savings; and has inadequate family and community support;
- The applicant and his household members are either temporarily unemployed (e.g. due to illness) or are looking for work; and
- The applicant must demonstrate efforts to become self-reliant and would have to adhere to an action plan that may include looking for work, undergo training, better manage the family’s finances or arrange for alternative childcare.
The following may be provided, depending on the needs of the household:
- Employment Assistance such as job search and/or training. This assistance is provided by Career Consultants from the Workforce Development Agency.
- Cash Allowance to meet basic needs – the quantum is based on the assessment of family’s needs and available resources.
- Utilities assistance is provided in the form of vouchers for households.
- Service & Conservancy assistance is in the form of vouchers.
- Rent (where applicable) – rental vouchers can be provided for families residing in public rental housing.
- Transport assistance is provided in the form of vouchers for households.
- Medical Coverage – Elderly applicants and/or beneficiaries or those with chronic illnesses will eligible for subsidised treatment in polyclinics and government/restructured hospitals.
- Referrals to other agencies such as hospitals, HDB, schools and Family Service Centres for casework and counselling and/or placement on the School Pocket Money Fund for school-going children.