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COVID-19 Support Grant and Comcare Scheme

Type: Parliamentary Questions

Topic(s): Financial Assistance & Social Support


Questions

Miss Cheryl Chan Wei Ling asked the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) whether receiving the COVID-19 Support Grant and and grants under Self-Employed Income Relief Scheme will result in a reduction ofComCare assistance to be received; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider allowing ComCare clients to receive their existing ComCare assistance together with COVID-relatedfinancial assistance.

Ms Foo Mee Har asked the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) how can families facing prolonged periods of unemployment be supported beyond the current ComCare scheme for financial assistance; and (b) whether the COVID-19 Support Grant can evolve to some form of unemployment support.

Answer

1 ComCare beneficiaries receive a package of assistance which may include cash assistance for their daily living expenses and assistance with theirhousehold and medical bills. To provide existing Comcare beneficiaries with longer runway to regain stability during this economic downturn, MSF has automatically extended the duration of their ComCare assistance by six months. This applies to ComCare householdswhose assistance is due for review by October this year. New ComCare beneficiaries this period will also generally receive at least six months of assistance, to give them a longer runway to regain stability.

2 Since they receive comprehensive support, ComCare clients are not eligible for the COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG) to avoid duplicating support forthe same purposes. For the same reason, ComCare beneficiaries who receive support under the Self-Employed Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) will have their ComCare assistance adjusted downwards to take into account SIRS support. This approach minimises overlap ingovernment assistance and preserves resources to help those with greater needs. ComCare beneficiaries who have a change in financial circumstances, such as losing their jobs or income, can inform the Social Service Office (SSO) and request for a review oftheir ComCare assistance. The SSO will assess their new circumstances and adjust the ComCare support quantum as needed.

3 ComCare beneficiaries continue to benefit from other COVID-related government budget support schemes that are broad-based for all Singaporeans, such as the Care andSupport Package and Solidarity Payment. These are on top of the ComCare assistance they currently receive.

4 The Government has introduced the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package which will support close to 100,000 jobseekers. The package aims to expand job,traineeship and skills training opportunities to support Singaporeans affected by the economic impact of COVID-19. Employees from lower- and middle-income families who involuntarily lose their jobs, are placed on No-Pay-Leave (NPL) or experience at least 30%loss of employment income may apply for CSG. The CSG application window has been extended to December 2020.

5 The Government will continue to monitor the labour market situation and study how to continue supporting vulnerable workers beyond 2020.