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Singapore Government

COVID-19 Recovery Grant for Lower- to Middle-Income Workers

COVID-19 Recovery Grant for Lower- to Middle-Income Workers

16 December 2020

          The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will launch the COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG) on 18 January 2021 to support lower- to middle-income employees and self-employed persons (SEPs) who are financially impacted by COVID-19.

2        The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many Singaporeans. The Government has provided support to households and workers during this difficult period, through a suite of Budget relief measures this year. This includes the Temporary Relief Fund, COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG), and Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS). The National Jobs Council (NJC) has been working closely with tripartite partners to create jobs, traineeships, attachments and training opportunities under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package. Individuals who are placed into traineeships, attachments or training opportunities will receive training allowances for their living expenses throughout the duration of training. The Government has also set aside $1 billion for the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) to enable firms that continue to do well to bring forward their hiring plans and create good jobs for locals. ​

COVID-19 Recovery Grant

3        Given the protracted economic impact of COVID-19, there are individuals who remain significantly affected by job or income loss despite the suite of Budget relief measures and NJC initiatives mentioned above. The Government has therefore decided to provide targeted support to help these individuals while they actively search for a new job or training opportunities.

4        The financial support provided by CRG will be as follows:

(A) Up to $700 per month for three months to employees who are:

  • Unemployed due to retrenchment or involuntary contract termination; or
  • Placed on involuntary no-pay leave (NPL) for at least three consecutive months.

(B) Up to $500 per month for three months to:

  • Employees who are facing salary loss of at least 50% on average for at least three consecutive months; and
  • SEPs who are facing an average loss in net trade income (NTI) of at least 50% over a period of at least three consecutive months, compared to their average monthly NTI in 2019 or 2020.

 

5        The job loss, involuntary NPL, or income loss should have occurred after 23 January 2020 – when the first case of COVID-19 was detected in Singapore – and must still be present at the point of application.

CRG eligibility criteria

6        The CRG provides interim and targeted support to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents who are financially impacted by COVID-19 and have less financial means and family support. The key differences between CRG and CSG/SIRS are:

  • Under the CRG, applicants must have a gross monthly household income of ≤$7,800 or monthly per capita income of ≤$2,600 prior to being affected by COVID-19. Compared to CSG and SIRS, the CRG is targeted at those with lower household income.
  • Under the CRG, applicants must have been economically active prior to being affected by the economic impact of COVID-19. Employees should have worked for at least six months cumulatively between January 2019 and December 2020. SEPs should have declared their NTI in either 2019 or 2020. Applicants who are dual-status workers (i.e. individuals who draw both a salary as an employee and trade income as an SEP) need to meet either criterion to be eligible. This new criterion is introduced to target help for those who have been actively engaged in employment/trade in the past two years.
  • Under the CRG, applicants must be facing income loss of at least 50% on average for at least three consecutive months. Compared to CSG and SIRS, the CRG is targeted at those who suffered more significant income loss.

 
7        To qualify for the CRG (please see Annex A for the CRG eligibility criteria), applicants need to demonstrate efforts in job search or training by applying for jobs or skills opportunities through Government-linked touchpoints such as MyCareersFuture Portal and MySkillsFuture Portal (please see Annex B for more information), attending job interviews or participating in career coaching at Workforce Singapore (WSG) career centres, WSG-appointed Career Matching Providers or NTUC-e2i’s career centres.

Grant applications open from 18 January 2021, individuals to apply online

8        Individuals can apply for the CRG online via go.gov.sg/CRG from 9am to 10pm daily (including weekends and public holidays), from 18 January to 31 December 2021. There is no need to rush to apply. Applicants should prepare their supporting documents in advance for a smooth application process (please see Annex C for examples of supporting documents).

9        Those who need help completing the online application form can call the ComCare Call hotline (1800-222-0000) or email Ask_SSO@msf.gov.sg. Those who are unable to apply online can visit their nearest Social Service Office (go.gov.sg/ssolocator) for assistance.

Support for taxi and private hire car drivers

10        Separetely, active taxi and private hire car (PHC) drivers will be supported by the Land Transport Authority’s new COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF). Drivers who receive the CDRF will not be eligible for the CRG. Those who do not qualify for the CDRF may apply for the CRG, if they meet the CRG eligibility criteria. The Ministry of Transport and Land Transport Authority will announce details of the CDRF separately.

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ANNEX A

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

     Employees SEPs
Employment
  • Unemployed due to retrenchment or involuntary contract termination
  • Involuntary no-pay leave for at least three consecutive months
  • Salary loss of at least 50% on average for at least three consecutive months
  • Average loss in net trade income (NTI) of at least 50% over a period of at least three consecutive months, compared to their average monthly NTI in 2019 or 2020.
Age Aged 21 years old and above
Citizenship Singapore Citizens (SCs) and Permanent Residents (PRs)
Annual Value (AV) of Property Living in a property with AV not more than $21,000. Applicant should not own more than one property.
Prior household income Prior to job or income loss or involuntary NPL, household income of not more than $7,800 or per capita household income of not more than $2,600.
Economically active Employees should have worked for at least six months cumulatively between January 2019 and December 2020.

SEPs should have declared* annual net trade income (NTI) in either 2019 or 2020. Additionally, SEPs should provide supporting documents on their line of work.

*SEPs may retroactively declare their NTI in past years by submitting Form IRAS144 to the CPF Board. The form can be found via the CPF website or the link below:

 

Job search or training requirement Applicants must have actively participated in job search or training, and show proof of any of the following activities in the two months prior to application:
  • Submitted at least two applications via Government-linked touchpoints (refer to Annex B) for jobs, traineeships, or attachments; or
  • Attended at least two job interviews; or
  • Registered with WSG Careers Connect, WSG-appointed Career Centres for career coaching and have commenced the coaching session(s); or
  • Applied for at least one training programme listed on MySkillsFuture (MySF) portal.

Notes:
  • In lieu of the job search or training requirement, SEPs may submit supporting evidence of two attempts to reach out to clients/business in the two months before application.
  • Employees who are facing salary loss or are on involuntary NPL will be exempted from this requirement.
Exclusion criteria Applicants should not be concurrently receiving support from any of the following Government schemes when applying for the CRG:
  • ComCare Short-to-Medium-Term Assistance [3];
  • ComCare Long-Term Assistance;
  • Seafarers Relief Package;
  • COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund;
  • SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme – Company Training; or
  • SGUnited Skills Package

Recipients of the COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG) may apply for the CRG when receiving their last month of CSG payouts. If approved, their CRG grants will commence only after the cessation of their CSG payments.

Applicants who are Full-time National Servicemen at the point of application are not eligible.

   
[3] ComCare beneficiaries whose circumstances have changed during the COVID-19 situation may approach SSOs for a review of their current ComCare Short-to-Medium-Term Assistance.

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ANNEX B

GOVERNMENT-LINKED TOUCHPOINTS FOR JOB SEARCH AND TRAINING PROGRAMMES

Government-linked touchpoint Services that constitute job search or training under CRG How to apply?
WSG's Careers Connect, WSG-appointed Career Matching Providers and NTUC-e2i’s Career Centres Career Coaching 

WSG’s Careers Connect and WSG-appointed Career Matching Providers

  • Due to safe management measures, applicants are required to make an appointment at 6883 5885 or visit the Feedback Portal (safe management measures, applicants are required to make an appointment at 6883 5885 or visit the Feedback Portal (portal.ssg-wsg.gov.sg) before heading down to the Career Centres. Please visit www.wsg.gov.sg/career-services for locations and opening hours of Career Centres.
  • We also encourage phone or virtual appointments for career advisory services due to the current COVID-19 situation.

NTUC's e2i Centres

MyCareersFuture.gov.sg Applications for jobs, traineeships and attachments, including Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs)
  • Applicants can log in to MyCareersFuture with an active SingPass account to create a profile and submit job applications.
  • Applicants can search for jobs using any suitable key words, or traineeships and attachments with the hashtag, #SGUnitedTraineeships or #SGUP and follow the guided steps to create profile, upload resume and to apply for the jobs.
  • Applications for Professional Conversion Programmes can be done on www.conversion.mycareersfuture.gov.sg

Contact Hotline

  • Tel: 6883 5885
  • Drop us a message via our Feedback Portal at Drop us a message via our Feedback Portal at portal.ssg-wsg.gov.sg
MySkillsFuture.sg Course listing consisting of SSG-funded and supported training programmes


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ANNEX C

LIST OF SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

The following list provides examples of supporting documents required for CRG applications:

  • Documents on bank account details for fund disbursement.
  • Relevant documents indicating involuntary loss of job, placement on involuntary no-pay leave (NPL) or loss of at least 50% salary on average for at least three consecutive months, including:
    • A letter of retrenchment/termination of contract; or
    • A letter from employer stating placement on involuntary NPL for at least three consecutive months; or
    • A letter from employer indicating loss of at least 50% salary on average for at least three consecutive months; or
    • Payslip(s) or CPF contribution statement(s) showing last drawn monthly salary before and after the job loss, placement on involuntary NPL or salary loss.
  • [For self-employed persons]: Relevant documents indicating that you are currently working as a self-employed person e.g. valid trade license(s), contracts for service, income statements, tax invoices billed to service buyers, receipts issued for services, or list of client engagements.
  • Supporting documents indicating your active participation in job search or training e.g. confirmation of application for job or training via Government touchpoints. The documents should minimally indicate:
    • Your name; and
    • Date of application; and
    • The name of the company/employer that you applied or interviewed at, or the training provider and course title of the training that you attended.
    • [For self-employed persons]: In lieu of job search or training, you may submit relevant supporting evidence of your attempts to reach out to clients/businesses in lieu of job search or training (e.g. pivoting business to cater to wider target audience, actors attending auditions, putting up advertisements to solicit for business) in the 2 months before your application.

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ANNEX D

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. Why is there a need to consider the Annual Value (AV) of property of the applicant?

  • To be eligible for the CRG, applicants have to be living in a property with AV not exceeding $21,000. This covers about nine in 10 owner-occupied residential public and private properties and is consistent with other government assistance schemes.
  • The CRG is intended to support lower- and middle-income households with greater needs and less financial means. The AV of property is used as a proxy for wealth and family support, to reflect the range of resources an individual can tap on. Applicants who live in properties with higher AV generally have more means and resources (e.g. family support) than those living in a property with lower AV.


 

2. Are previous COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG)/Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) recipients eligible for the new COVID-19 Recovery Grant?

  • Previous recipients of CSG/SIRS can apply for the CRG if they continue to require assistance.
  • The CRG is a new assistance scheme with a different set of eligibility criteria. Applicants for CRG will have to submit the necessary supporting documents and meet the eligibility criteria in order to qualify for the assistance.
  • For recipients of CSG, their CRG grants, if approved, will commence only after their CSG grants have ceased.


 

3. Are trainees on the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme-Company Training (SGUP-CT) or SGUnited Skills programme (SGUS) eligible for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG)?

  • As monthly training allowances are already provided to trainees under the SGUP-CT or SGUS individuals who have commenced their SGUP-CT or SGUS programme will not be eligible for CRG.
  • The training allowances from the SGUP-CT or SGUS programmes are intended to help cover basic expenses incurred by the trainees over the duration of their training. The training allowance quantum is also higher than under CRG in recognition of the training commitment involved.


 

4. When must the job/income loss occur for an applicant to be eligible for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant?

  • Applicants who suffered job/income loss after 23 January 2020 and meet the other criteria can apply for the CRG.


 

5. Some applicants may have more than one job. Some applicants may be Dual Status Workers (i.e. both an employee and a self-employed person). Are they eligible for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant? What is their payout quantum?

  • Yes. Applicants with multiple jobs can apply for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant as long as they meet the criteria. They must report the details of all their jobs/trades and the total income loss from these jobs/trades in the application form.
  • Employees who had lost all jobs and/or were involuntarily placed on no-pay leave (NPL) for all their jobs can be supported up to $700 per month.
  • The following groups can be supported up to $500 per month:
    • Employees who had their total monthly salary from all jobs reduced by at least 50% on average for at least three consecutive months. This includes employees who lost their jobs/were placed on NPL, but are still receiving income from other jobs; and
    • SEPs who experienced at least 50% Net Trade Income (NTI) loss on average for at least three consecutive months; and
    • Dual Status Workers who experienced reduction in total monthly income from all jobs/trades by at least 50% on average for at least three consecutive months.


     

    6. Why must applications for employment/training opportunities be done through Government-linked sites?

    • The Government has rolled out a wide range of jobs and skills training opportunities for Singaporeans which are available on Government-linked sites like the MyCareersFuture portal and the MySkillsFuture portal.
    • The use of Government-linked touchpoints enables MSF to process applications and verify applicants’ job search or training efforts without the need to submit documentary proof where possible. This provides greater convenience to applicants.


     

    7. Why are employees on involuntary no-pay leave and facing income loss exempted from the job search and training criterion?

    • All CRG applicants are expected to actively engage in job search and training opportunities.
    • However, employees who are facing salary loss or on involuntary no-pay leave will be exempted from the requirement for job search or training efforts, as they are currently working for an employer or may be recalled back to work, and hence are more likely to face difficulty committing to job search or training.


     

    8. Why are taxi and private hire car (PHC) drivers ineligible for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant?

    • LTA will be introducing the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF) from January 2021 to provide continued support for taxi and private hire car (PHC) drivers.
    • As drivers who receive the CDRF already receive financial support, they will not be eligible for the CRG. Drivers who do not qualify for the CDRF may apply for the CRG, if they meet the CRG eligibility criteria.


     

    9. Are there other government schemes to support individuals who need financial support, if they are not eligible for the COVID-19 Recovery Support Grant?

    • Low-income individuals and families (with monthly household income of $1,900 and below, or a per capita income of $650 and below) can apply for ComCare, which provides financial assistance and comprehensive support. If their income exceeds these guidelines, they may still approach the SSOs if they face financial difficulties. The SSOs will assess their circumstances and needs and provide assistance accordingly.


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