Coronavirus: 88,000 eligible self-employed to receive $9,000 cash payout this year

The Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme is part of a landmark $48.4 billion supplementary Budget announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - About 88,000 self-employed persons will receive cash payouts of $3,000 each in May, July and October this year to help them in this time of economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (Sirs), which will cost $1.2 billion in total, will be open to those who earn a Net Trade Income of no more than $100,000, live in a property with an annual value of no more than $13,000 and do not own two or more properties.

They must also have started self-employment on or before March 25 and must not earn any income as employees.

If they are married, they and their spouse together must not own two or more properties, and the spouse's Assessable Income must not exceed $70,000.

The scheme is part of a landmark $48.4 billion supplementary Budget announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Thursday (March 26) to help Singapore cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

The Resilience Budget comes on top of the $6.4 billion package that was announced about a month ago to cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

MOM said on Friday that about 50,000 self-employed persons are currently receiving Workfare payouts of between $1,133 and $2,667 a year. They will be eligible for Sirs.

"Due to the extraordinary circumstances brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have broadened the eligibility criteria beyond Workfare to enable more self-employed persons to qualify for Sirs," the ministry added.

Those who are 37 years old and above in 2020 and declared positive self-employment income to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore or the Central Provident Fund Board for Work Year 2018 will not need to apply for Sirs.

They will be automatically notified of their eligibility via letter and SMS, and will receive their first Sirs payout in May, said MOM.

Others who are eligible may apply for Sirs. More details on the scheme and application process will be released at a later date.

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