It’s been seven months since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed, and back then, we’d not expected it to be so bad that even people who’ve never sought help from the Government before are now asking for assistance.
In the last seven months, a series of grants and assistances have been announced, but what’s in it for a working adult?
If you prefer to watch this guide instead, here’s a video we’ve done (and also subscribe to our YouTube channel for more informative videos, please?):
Here’s a concise guide to the grants that are relevant to working adults.
The Real Concise & Useful Guide
For a start, the authorities have been doing everything they can to save jobs, from the Job Support Scheme lah to rental rebates lah to business loans that are so easy to take that Ah Longs are running out of businesses lah.
But what about individuals like you?
Apparently, the authorities have a useful website called supportgowhere.gov.sg
Yes, our Government is very obsessed with the two words “go where” because they’ve used domains like flugowhere, maskgowhere or voteq.gowhere.
In fact, for supportgowhere, you can even just key your profile and the platform will automatically find the support grants available, which is extremely user-friendly. You can even choose between four languages!
If, for some reason you’d rather read on then to check out the website, then we thank you for your support so far and here goes.
COVID-19 Support Grant
For a start, you can apply for the COVID-19 Support Grant, also known as CSG.
This is for Singaporeans or PRs who’ve been retrenched, or suffered a pay cut of more than 30% for at least three consecutive months.
This is handled by the Ministry of Social and Family Development, and if you’re eligible, you’ll get up to $500 or $800 a month for up to three months.
But wait: why is there a “up to”, and why are there two options?
The $500 is for people who’ve suffered a pay cut. If you’ve a pay cut of $300, then you’ll only get $300 a month for three months. The cap is $500 here.
And for the $800 a month, it’s for people who’ve lost their job completely, or are on no-pay leave for 3 consecutive months. If your pay is $1,200, then you’ll get the maximum of $800. If your pay is $300 a month, then you’d get $300.
By now you should be thinking: simi sai? Where got full-time work pays $300 a month one? Technically, there is; just check out this video whereby we talk about minimum wage and discuss one of the ways that employers are abusing “employees”:
But anyways, the CSG is also for part-timers, so if you’ve a part-time job and lost it, you can still apply for it.
However, do note that it’s only for up to three months. If you find a new job in a month, then you’d you won’t get the grant after that.
Here are the eligibility criteria other those I’ve mentioned earlier:
- You must be a full-time or part-time employees affected by the economic impact of the COVID-19 situation, and the loss of job/income or start of involuntary no-pay leave should have occurred after 23 Jan 2020. If you lose your job because of some influencer saga than not counted ah.
- Your prior gross monthly household income should be below 10,000, or your monthly per capita income must be below $3,100
- You must live in a property with annual value of less than $21,000. If this sounds too chim, basically you will be eligible if you stay in an HDB.
- You must not be a current beneficiary of ComCare assistance, i.e. Long-Term Assistance, & Short-to-Medium-Term Assistance. For these, they’ll have other assistances.
- You must not have already received, or is currently not receiving the COVID-19 Support Grant or the Self-Employed Persons Income Relief Scheme (SIRS), which I’ll talk about later
- I don’t know why this is included, but according to the MSF website, Full-time National Servicemen isn’t eligible.
And also, interns are not eligible, too.
Now, what if you’re a self-employed person?
Then the support comes from a system called the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS).
Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS)
So, for SIRS, it’s pretty clear-cut: if you’re a self-employed person, you can apply for it even if you didn’t lose your job or have a “pay cut”.
This is for ALL self-employed people as long as you meet these criteria:
- You started work as a self-employed person on or before 25 March 2020
- You must currently earn a Net Trade Income (NTI) of not more than $100,000. This basically means your annual income after deducting the expenses lah, so unless you drive a lambo for Grab, then you most probably are eligible
- Now, if you also have employment (i.e. dual status worker), the income earned as an employee must be not more than $2,300/month
- You must live in a property with an AV not more than $21,000 (remember, HDB) and do not own two or more properties.
- If you’re married, you and your spouse together should not own two or more properties and the Assessable Income of your spouse does not exceed $70,000.
So actually, if you’re self-employed, you most probably can apply for it.
The total amount given is $9,000, which will be given in three times at $3000 each.
While the first two payments have already disbursed, you can still apply for it now. Unless you’re watching this in 2021 lah then I suggest you go sing KTV instead
For more info, go to ntuc.com.sg/sirs/
All Other Assistances
There are other helps available, but because some are specifically for specific people, you’d have to go to supportgowhere.gov.sg to check it out
In fact, I bet you didn’t know that there’s even a support called “Home Access Programme”, whereby if you belong to a low-income household, you can get 2 years of subsidised fibre broadband connectivity, with an option to bundle with a tablet or smartphone?