Surge in Applications for $9K Grant for Self-Employed People Crashed Website; Queue System to be Implemented

If you’re a self-employed person who earns less than $100,000 a year after deducting all your work expenses, chances are you’re eligible for a $9,000 grant that would be disbursed in May, July and October ($3,000 each time).

Known as the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme, or SIRS in short, it’s a scheme to help self-employed people tide over this trying period when COVID-19 threatens our livelihoods.

And looking at the figure, you can bet that many would be eligible, given that this means you just need to have a monthly take-home income of less than $8,333—a figure that’s rather easy to achieve if not everyone would’ve been self-employed.

So, if you’re eligible, you’d be automatically included into the program provided that you:

  • Are 37 years old and above as of 31 December 2020
  • Have declared Net Trade Income to IRAS or CPF for Work Year 2018

Ah, that’s when it gets a tad tricky; you might be a young dude delivering food for hungry people, or you might have just become a self-employed person.

If that’s the case, then you’d need to apply for it. There are some criteria, though:

  • Started work as a self-employed person on or before 25 March 2020
  • Do not also earn income as an employee / earn less than $2,300 from employment work
  • Earn a Net Trade Income of no more than $100,000 (as mentioned earlier)
  • Live in a property with an annual value of no more than $21,000 (this is the amount you can earn from rental if you own your own place)
  • For married couples, the spouse must have an assessable income that’s lesser than $70,000
  • Do not own two or more properties (individual and (if married) together with the spouse)

You can watch this video for more info:

All seems pretty reasonable, eh?

And so, you’ve seen our article yesterday and went to apply for it from the website, only to see this:

Image: NTUC

Lest you can’t see, it’s merely a form to check if you’re eligible or not, with a wall of text and most importantly…this:

Wait, application close liao? Got limit one?!

No worries, there’s no limit on the grant.

But there’s a limit on the server.

Website Crashed Since Yesterday

In Goody Feed, every article is cross-checked and fact-checked to ensure that we don’t get POFMA-ed or kena complained we get all the facts right for our beloved readers.

I was the unfortunate fellow to cross-check the article my colleague wrote yesterday. When I tried to access the link, the entire NTUC website didn’t even load. After ensuring that the URL is correct and fact-checking on the website, I asked my colleague about it.

He claimed it was working prior to that, so we came to a conclusion: the server was overloaded and would come back online soon.

After all, we’re talking about a Government agency website leh; they’re as stable as ERPs.

Lest you didn’t know, a website (or in this case, a platform) lives in the cloud, but it doesn’t live in the air—a physical server, which is like a rack of many CPUs without a monitor, is used to store the data, and this server also loads the data that appears on the website.

Just imagine going to a website as accessing someone else’s computer—if many people tried to do it, you don’t be able to go in because that computer would be overloaded with too many requests.

So we thought that the server would revert to normalcy once the requests go back to normal. That’s what we did when our server overloaded in the past when our server was much smaller—we just waited and hoped no one would come to our website.


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In fact, that’s what NTUC thought as well with this Facebook post, which was posted yesterday morning and updated at 8pm:

But eventually, it seems like the traffic is too much to handle.

Forget About Overloaded Server; Let’s Circuit Breaker the Application

Instead of waiting it out for less traffic, or increasing the bandwidth / server size (that might not be feasible as it’d mean the server has to be taken offline), they’re going for the next best option: Online Safe Distancing.

Sort of.


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They’re now going to create a queue system online instead.

Here’s what they’ve written lest you can’t read it:

[𝗦𝗜𝗥𝗦 𝗔𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗨𝗽𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗲]

SIRS applications were opened on 27th April. We anticipated that traffic would be high and prepared for this but the massive surge in applications resulted in connectivity problems which meant that users were unable to either enter or complete their applications. We are looking at implementing a queue system so as to manage user experience and avoid further disruptions. The application page will be closed for now so that we can effect these changes.


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We know that many of you are anxious as to when you can receive your SIRS payout. Those who are eligible for automatic payouts will receive their payouts in end May/July and Oct. For application/appeals managed by NTUC, we will also start making payouts from end May. The number of tranches is not impacted by when you submit your application to us. As long as you are eligible, we will make the payouts to you in three tranches. For example, if you submit an application on 1 June, you will receive your first payout in the first half of July, second payout in end July and third payout in end Oct. We want to highlight that there is no closing date for applications at the moment.

We are very sorry that this has happened and we thank you for your understanding and patience.

And the same notice is also on their website.

So if you’re applying for the grants?

Just wait for a while as they implement the queue system. Don’t bother trying to look for the apply button in the current website; a button is there but even if you click on it a million times, it won’t load.

In the meantime, as you wait, you might want to check out this video we’ve done about the rights of a self-employed person, and also subscribe to our YouTube channel for more informative and entertaining videos:

This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying:
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This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying: