Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim asked the Minister for Social and Family Development how does the Ministry determine the duration of ComCare assistance offered to residents in need.
The Social Service Offices (SSOs) decide on the duration of ComCare assistance based on assessment of how long the household requires support to stabilise their circumstances, and the likelihood of improvements in their circumstances (such as their prospects of finding employment, family support and future income streams). ComCare Long Term Assistance (LTA) is for persons permanently unable to work and have little or no financial means or family support. Short-to-Medium Term Assistance (SMTA) is typically granted for 3 to 6 months in the first instance, and renewed if the household continues to require support. If a person is temporarily unable to work for an even longer period due to illness, we will grant the support for the duration of their medical certificate.
2 When ComCare clients apply to renew their SMTA, we are able to take stock of their most recent circumstances (such as sources of support and sources of income that were not present when the original application was made). This allows ComCare assistance to be adjusted upwards or downwards, as appropriate.