About 6,000 lower-income households whose public financial assistance is ending will now have peace of mind, as their support will be automatically extended for another six months.
Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli said in a Facebook post yesterday that his ministry is automatically extending ComCare assistance for existing beneficiaries whose aid would have ended between this month and October.
"They would not have to come to our Social Service Office to renew the assistance. However, if their circumstances have changed and they need more help, they can still approach our officers," he added.
The automatic six-month extension was also done several months ago for about 6,000 households whose ComCare assistance ended between May and last month.
"Some of our ComCare beneficiaries tell us this extension gives them some peace of mind as they work to uplift themselves and their families," said Mr Masagos.
"The effects of Covid-19 will still be felt for some time to come. This health and economic crisis has especially affected the lower-income and vulnerable members of our society. But I would like to assure Singaporeans that help will continue to be available to them," he said.
One beneficiary whose household's ComCare assistance was automatically extended earlier this year is Madam Thanaletchimi Karappiah, 57, who lives with her 63-year-old husband in a one-room rental flat in Jurong East.
She said the extension was a relief for her family. She has received $900 a month under the Short-to-Medium Term Assistance scheme from August to October last year, and since February this year.
Her husband, who has diabetes and other health issues, has not worked since 2016, while Madam Thanaletchimi has been having severe back pains since last year, resulting in her having to stop work as a cleaner last December.
She is medically certified as unfit to work till October.
Madam Thanaletchimi said the $900 goes a long way for the couple. She added that they have been receiving free food from Lakeside Family Services during the Covid-19 outbreak, which has helped ease the financial burden.
HELP IS AVAILABLE
The effects of Covid-19 will still be felt for some time to come. This health and economic crisis has especially affected the lower-income and vulnerable members of our society. But I would like to assure Singaporeans that help will continue to be available to them.
MINISTER FOR SOCIAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT MASAGOS ZULKIFLI
"I also have to spend the money on bus fare when I go to take care of my daughter and granddaughter, who live in Boon Lay," she added. Her daughter, 42, is a single mother to a 16-year-old.
The Straits Times earlier reported that amid the coronavirus outbreak, more Singaporeans and permanent residents were on government financial aid in March and April, compared with the same period last year.