Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) why To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) why online applications for the COVID-19 Support Grant can only be submitted between 9am to 6pm; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider allowing online application 24 hours a day, except for periodic maintenance windows.
The COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG) provides assistance and job support to Singaporean & Permanent Resident (PR) employees who have lost their jobs, been involuntarily placed on No-Pay Leave (NPL), or experienced significant loss of salary due to the economic impact of COVID-19.
2 Since the scheme was launched in May 2020, we have received over 180,000 CSG applications, 96% of which were submitted online. Applications for CSG will remain open until December 2020. The online portal is open every day, including weekends and public holidays, to allow Singaporeans sufficient time and opportunity to apply for assistance. Our assessment is that this has been adequate to meet the needs of most applicants.
3 Prior to launch, we had considered the possibility of longer operating hours each day, but we eventually decided on daily operating hours of 9am to 6pm, taking into account the need to allow sufficient time each day to closely monitor system performance, perform system maintenance and updates, and troubleshoot problems in a timely fashion to minimise any unplanned downtime and to ensure that applicants would receive a sustainable and reliable level of service. We will continue to monitor the availability and level of service of the online portal, taking into account user feedback.