New ElderFund to help the low-income with severe disabilities

From 2020, the severely disabled who are in financial need will be able to tap into ElderFund and receive up to $250 monthly for their long-term care needs.
From 2020, the severely disabled who are in financial need will be able to tap into ElderFund and receive up to $250 monthly for their long-term care needs.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Health (MOH) is setting up a new fund to help the severely disabled who are in financial need.

From 2020, they will be able to tap into ElderFund and receive up to $250 monthly for their long-term care needs.

The money could, for example, help offset the cost of home care or daycare services as well as necessities such as adult diapers.

They will receive payouts for as long as they remain severely disabled. This means they would need help with at least three of six basic daily activities, which are feeding themselves, getting dressed, using the toilet, bathing, moving from room to room, and getting from the bed to a chair or vice versa.

The discretionary scheme, which will apply to Singaporeans aged 30 and above, is meant as a social safety net to help the lower-income who also have severe disabilities.

This includes those who might not be able to join CareShield Life because of their disabilities.

 
 
 

It also includes those who have low Medisave balances or do not have enough savings for their long-term care needs.

The new scheme will be administered by the Agency for Integrated Care. More details on how to apply for it will be made available closer to 2020.

MOH said that those who still need help after tapping into ElderFund can also turn to the existing Medifund or ComCare schemes.

The ministry estimates that one in two healthy Singaporeans could become severely disabled in his lifetime. Three in 10 of those in this group are expected to remain severely disabled for at least 10 years.