Coronavirus: Self-employed can apply for relief from next Monday

The scheme will disburse three quarterly cash payouts of $3,000. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

The self-employed can apply for the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (Sirs) from next Monday.

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said that those who have not been automatically included in the scheme can submit an online application to the union from next week. It added that those aged 37 and above as at Dec 31 this year who meet eligibility criteria need not apply as they will be notified automatically via SMS and a letter from the Central Provident Fund Board.

The scheme will disburse three quarterly cash payouts of $3,000 - in May, July and October - to help tide people over the loss of income stemming from the Covid-19 outbreak.

About 100,000 self-employed people are automatically eligible. They can check their eligibility online.

The NTUC Sirs hotline on 6713-5777 and virtual assistant will also be operational from tomorrow.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) oversees the scheme but the NTUC will help administer applications and appeals for those who do not automatically qualify.

People who miss out can submit appeals through the NTUC.

The scheme is open to self-employed people who have an annual net trade income of no more than $100,000, who live in a property with an annual value of no more than $21,000 and do not own two or more properties.

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 initially had a rule that an applicant must have started self-employment on or before March 25 and must not earn any income as employees. But an enhancement by MOM now means that it can include self-employed people with an income of no more than $2,300 a month from employment.

The website for applications will be integrated with MyInfo, a service that consolidates residents' personal data that can be then used to auto-fill official forms.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2020, with the headline Coronavirus: Self-employed can apply for relief from next Monday. Subscribe