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Singapore Government

Applictions and Appeals for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant

Applictions and Appeals for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant

Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim asked the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what proportion of COVID-19 support and recovery grants are rejected due to resignations by the individual rather than retrenchments or terminations; and (b) whether the Ministry has considered appeals where these resignations were involuntary and suggested by employers in lieu of a "black mark" on the worker's resume.

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong asked the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) to date, what is the number of total and successful applications for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG); (b) what are the common reasons for residents not being able to successfully apply for CRG; (c) how many appeals for CRG have been made to date; and (d) how many appeals have been successful.

Answer

    The COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG) supported lower- to middle-income resident employees who, as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19, were:
(a) Involuntarily unemployed due to retrenchment or contract termination;
(b) Placed on involuntary no-pay leave (NPL) for at least three consecutive months; or
(c) Experiencing monthly salary loss of at least 30% for at least three consecutive months.

2     Applications for the CSG closed on 31 December 2020.

3     The COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG) supports lower- to middle-income resident employees and self-employed persons who, as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19, are:
(a) Involuntarily unemployed due to retrenchment or contract termination;
(b) Placed on involuntary NPL for at least three consecutive months; or
(c) Experiencing monthly salary loss or net trade income loss of at least 50% on average for at least three consecutive months.

4     Applications for the CRG are open from 18 January 2021 to 31 December 2021.

5     As of 22 March 2021, MSF had received about 26,500 CRG applications, of which about 10,500 had been approved, about 2,000 were being processed, and about 14,000 were unsuccessful. MSF also received around 570 appeals, of which around 450 were successful. Two in three of unsuccessful applications were due to applicants not meeting the eligibility criteria for income loss, job loss, or no-pay leave, or exceeding the household income eligibility criteria. Other reasons for unsuccessful applications included employment details not being verifiable (e.g. caseworker is unable to verify declared information with employer), or the job search or training requirement not being met.

6     MSF does not specifically track the number of CSG or CRG applications that were rejected due to resignations by the applicant rather than retrenchments or contract terminations. However, less than 12% of applications were rejected due to the applicant not experiencing involuntary job loss, involuntary NPL, or income loss at the point of application. When assessing CSG and CRG applications, the Social Service Offices (SSOs) consider supporting evidence from the applicants, such as correspondence with or documents from their former employers, and will approve applications if there are grounds to show that the applicant was compelled to resign. If the applicants’ claims cannot be verified, the SSOs can still re-assess on a case-by-case basis upon appeal and provide financial support if appellants are facing extenuating circumstances, or link them to other assistance schemes if necessary.

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