Madam Sulami Hassan retired as a gardener two years ago after suffering a stroke, and now lives with her daughter.
Looking after her 71-year-old mother has been tough emotionally and financially for Ms Noor Sheela Sani, who supports both of them by working as a school administration clerk.
However, Madam Sulami is one of 1.6 million Singaporeans set to receive goods and services tax (GST) benefits and Medisave top-ups - worth a total of $1 billion - which were announced yesterday by the Ministry of Finance.
Eligible Singaporeans will receive text messages or letters by July 6 to tell them what they are due to receive under the GST Voucher (GSTV) scheme, which was introduced in 2012 to help lower-and middle-income Singaporeans offset some of their GST expenses. The criteria for eligible Singaporeans include age and annual home value.
As announced in Budget 2018, a one-off SG Bonus of up to $300 will be given at the end of the year to Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2018. A one-off service and conservancy charges rebate will also be given to provide additional support to households.
The money will come as a timely boost for Ms Noor Sheela.
"When my mother had a stroke, it was really hard for me," said the 24-year-old. "We didn't have the money to afford medical bills and stuff like that. The GST vouchers will really help to lighten our financial burden. I am very thankful. The money will be saved to be used during an emergency.
Benefits for many
• About 1.39 million Singaporeans will receive up to $300 in GSTV-Cash in August.
• About 485,000 Singaporeans aged 65 years and above in 2018 will receive up to $450 in GSTV-MediSave.
• In addition, about 520,000 Singaporeans born on or before Dec 31, 1959 (59 years and above in 2018) and who do not receive Pioneer Generation benefits will receive a MediSave top-up of up to $200.
• Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2018 can receive an SG Bonus of up to $300 at the end of the year.
• 900,000 eligible HDB households will receive an additional U-save of $20 a year from 2019 to 2021, which will help to offset utility bills.
ONE-OFF SERVICE AND CONSERVANCY CHARGES (S&CC) REBATE
• Around 900,000 eligible Singaporean HDB households will receive 1.5 to 3.5 months of S&CC rebate until January next year, depending on their Housing Board flat type.
"The Medisave top-ups will also be used to offset some of the medical bills as my mother has to take a lot of medication for diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and more."
Citizens can use their SingPass to view their GSTV-Cash and Medisave benefits online at www.gstvoucher.gov.sg