MSF-funded services to gradually resume from June 2; over 50,000 applications for Covid-19 Support Grant received

Priority will be given to critical services deemed to be addressing "higher needs".
Priority will be given to critical services deemed to be addressing "higher needs".ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - A range of social services funded by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), including day centres for those with disabilities and special student care centres, will reopen in phases from Tuesday (June 2).

Priority will be given to critical services deemed to be addressing "higher needs", Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development, said on Facebook on Sunday (May 31) even as he stressed continued safety measures for all staff and clients.

Singapore is embarking on a phased reopening from June 2 from the strict circuit breaker measures imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. During the circuit breaker period, only some public services, like the Registry of Marriages as well as the distribution of essential aid to vulnerable individuals and families, were allowed.

Mr Lee said groups that wish to resume providing aid but have not been given the go-ahead by MSF should submit their plans to the National Council of Social Service for approval.

He also said on Sunday that more than 50,000 people had applied for the Covid-19 Support Grant since applications opened on May 4.

The grant is for workers who have been laid off, placed on involuntary no-pay leave or had their salaries reduced by at least 30 per cent, among other criteria.They will receive up to $800 a month for three months.

Mr Lee said those with difficulty in getting the proper documents to prove their job status should approach the MSF's social service offices for help.

He said MSF had in the process flagged three cases where falsified documents had been submitted, and that the police have been alerted after MSF staff did background checks.

"Attempts to defraud the system will slow down the process of us getting help to applicants who genuinely need assistance," Mr Lee said.

Mr Lee said that visitor restrictions at nursing homes for seniors will continue in June as the elderly are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus. "(We) encourage caregivers and volunteers to continue keeping in touch with their elderly family members or friends remotely for their safety," he said.