Mr Murali Pillai
MP for Bukit Batok
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) how many families with care recipients who have cognitive disabilities and are between 16 and 64 years of age have benefited from the policy to allow these families to apply for the Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) levy concession and grant; and (b) what steps have been or will be taken to reach out to families who may benefit from this policy.
The Government provides two schemes to help caregivers defray the cost of hiring a Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW), in caring for persons with disabilities for all ages, including those between 16 and 64 years old.
The Ministry of Manpower offers the FDW Levy Concession to persons with disabilities if they require assistance with at least one Activity of Daily Living (ADL). The levy concession allows caregivers to pay the FDW levy at a concessionary rate of $60 a month, instead of $300. As of 30 September 2019, there were about 2,300 families with persons with disabilities aged between 16 and 64 benefitting from the FDW Levy Concession scheme.
Until September 2019, the Ministry of Health offered the FDW Grant that complemented the FDW Levy Concession. Caregivers of persons with disabilities who require assistance with at least three ADLs could benefit from the FDW Grant, in addition to the FDW Levy Concession. The grant comprised a $120 monthly cash payment given to caregivers to offset the cost of hiring an FDW. As of 30 September 2019, there were 996 families with persons with disabilities aged between 16 and 64 benefitting from the FDW Grant.
To enhance support for persons with disabilities, MOH introduced the Home Caregiving Grant to replace the FDW Grant on 1 October 2019. The new Grant provides a higher amount of $200 monthly cash payment to caregivers, and can be used for a broader range of caregiving expenses beyond defraying the costs of hiring FDWs.
To publicise these two schemes, the Ministry of Social and Family Development has reached out to Social Service Agencies (SSAs) in the disability sector, such as Special Education schools and care service agencies, to provide them with information on applying for the FDW Levy Concession and the Home Caregiving Grant. Information on the changes to the Home Caregiving Grant has also been widely reported in the media, and publicised through social media posts. Detailed information on the Levy Concession and the Grant can also be found on the websites of the Ministry of Social and Family Development, SG Enable, the Ministry of Health, the Agency for Integrated Care and the Ministry of Manpower.