The circuit breaker measures and new provisional COVID-19 law adopted by the Singaporean law ask you to stay inside as much as possible. But while some people can work from home, many businesses are forced to close.
You will face unique challenges during these difficult times, which is why you may need financial assistance.
Luckily, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the Solidarity Budget on April 6th. These extra budget measures add up to $5.1 billion, supplementing the Unity and Resilience Budgets that already add up to $54.8 billion.
Here’s how much you can look forward to receiving.
1. The Care and Support Cash
Limited work likely leaves you with a lot of household expenses you can’t cover. These troubled times of economic unpredictability are somewhat settled through the Care and Support Cash measures.
If you’re over 21 years old, you will be receiving a sum between $600 – $1,200 depending on your annual income. You’ll receive this money by June 2020 at the latest, as follows:
- $1,200, if your yearly income is $0 to $28,000
- $900, if your yearly income is $28,001 to $100,000
- $600, if your yearly income is over $100,000 or own more than one property
The first payment of $600 will help you deal with the measures established on April 3rd. You will get this sum by April 14th 2020, if you have registered your paynow details with the government. The $600 sum is made out of:
- The initial $300 instalment from the Care and Support budget
- The extra $300 unique payout called Solidarity Payment
If you have children in your care who are under 20 years old, you’ll receive an extra amount of $300, from the Additional Enhanced Care and Support fund. The sum you’ll receive through this fund doesn’t depend on your income or the number of properties you own.
If you’re 50 years or older, you are eligible to get another $100 via the Passion Card Top-up, regardless of your income.
Add these amounts, and you can receive $600 to $1,600 in cash.
2. Workfare Special Payment
Workfare is an essential scheme in Singapore. You may already be receiving supplements if you:
- Are a lower-earning worker over 35 years old
- Are self-employed and over 35 years old
- Have disabilities that check the established criteria
As such, if you have already received Workfare for the past year, the 2020 budget includes an additional sum of $3,000. You will receive this sum in two installments, the first in July 2020 and the second in October 2020.
3. Grocery Vouchers
These Grocery Vouchers amount to $400. You can look forward to:
- $300 in 2020
- $100 in 2021
However, not everyone qualifies for these vouchers, which are planned to help the needy cover their essential daily necessities. As such, you will have to be:
- Over 21 years old
- A Singapore citizen currently residing in Singapore
- Living in an HDB flat with one or two rooms maximum
- The owner of maximum one property
- Earning a maximum of $28,000 in 2018
You can spend the Grocery Vouchers at different supermarkets, but check if your supermarket is a partner in this scheme. Until now, some affiliated supermarkets are:
- NTUC Fair Price
- Sheng Siong
4. U-Save Special Payment
If you’re living in an HDB flat, you already benefit from a GST Voucher, so you know how it works. This voucher includes cash payouts, MediSave top-ups, as well as U-Save rebates for your utility bills.
Due to the COVID-19 circuit breaker measures, you may receive double payment for your U-Save rebates. This sum is awarded for the fiscal year of 2020, starting in April this year and ending in March 2021.
You will have to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- You’re over 21 years old
- You’re a Singapore citizen currently residing in Singapore
- You’re living in an HDB flat with one or two rooms maximum
- You’re the owner of maximum one property
- You’re earning a maximum of $28,000 in 2018
The U-Save Special Payment depends on your HDB flat type, as well as the number of people in your home. As such, you’ll receive a total of:
- $800 for 1 and 2-room HDB flats
- $720 for 3-room flats
- $640 for 4-room flats
- $560 for 5-room flats
- $480 for Executive or Multi-Generation flats
If you have five or more people in your home, you’ll receive:
- $1,000 for 1 and 2-room HDB flats
- $900 for 3-room flats
- $800 for 4-room flats
- $700 for 5-room flats
- $600 for Executive or Multi-Generation flats
You will receive these sums in four payouts, as follows:
- April 2020
- July 2020
- October 2020
- January 2021
5. Service and Conservancy Charges Rebate
These Service and Conservancy Charges Rebates cover the Fiscal Year of 2020. You can receive between 1.5 and 3.5 months total S&CC rebates, depending on the type of flat you own:
- 5 months for 1 and 2-room flats
- 5 months for 3 and 4-room flats
- 2 months for 5-room flats
- 5 months for Executive or Multi-Generation flats
However, you also have to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- You need to live in an HDB flat
- Your other family members must not own private properties
- Your flat must not be rented
If you meet these criteria, you can expect to receive your payments during the following four quarters:
- April 2020
- July 2020
- October 2020
- January 2021
6. Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS)
If you’re self-employed or a freelancer, you may feel a bigger economic impact caused by the COVID-19 circuit breaker measures. As such, if you’re a taxi driver, tuition teacher, or a hawker, you may not find work as easily.
This is why the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme was designed to make things easier for you. During the next nine months, you can receive a total payment of $9,000 courtesy of the SIRS programme.
You will receive these payments in three equal $3,000 cuts as follows:
- May 2020
- July 2020
- October 2020
Although about 100,000 people qualify for the SIRS programme, you need to check if you meet the criteria:
- You need to have been working as a self-employed person before March 25th 2020
- Your Net Trade Income should be maximum $100,000
- The property in which you live should have a maximum annual value of $21,000
- You must own maximum one property
- If you’re also married, your spouse’s income should be no more than $70,000
7. Temporary Relief Fund
The Temporary Relief Fund grants you a one-time payment of $500. If you need quick support to cover your necessary expenses before getting the other payments you’re eligible for, apply online. Remember that:
- You can only send these online applications from 9 am to 6 pm.
- You can only send your application until April 30th.
You also have to meet some eligibility criteria, such as:
- You’re a lower or middle-income family
- You lost your job
- You didn’t lose your job but lost over %30 of your income because of the COVID-19 measures
8. COVID-19 Support Grant
The COVID-19 support grant offers you $800 cash paid within the following three months after your application. To receive these payments, you’ll need to apply at your closest Social Service Office. Remember you’ll need to:
- Apply between May 2020 and September 2020 at the latest
- Have lost your job because of the COVID-19 situation
- Find a new place to work or enrol in training classes
9. Other Financial Assistance
Your financial situation might be direr, and so you might need more financial help. If the measures explained here aren’t enough, you can get extra funding.
You’ll need to address your local:
- Self-Help Group
- Community Development Council
Extra Budgetary Measures For Companies
The budgets above are crafted with unique measures that provide you with quick financial assistance, whether you’re a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident.
However, know that the Singapore government also aids companies with subsidies. That way, your company can:
- Continue its activity on the market
- Retain the vast majority of its employees
- Retain its employees as needed
The first subsidy reaches a groundbreaking amount of 75% that covers the initial $4,600 wages for April. All Singaporean citizens and permanent residents will receive this amount. Besides, small and medium enterprises may be eligible for other financial assistance.
Another unprecedented measure targets the contractual obligations of your company. As such, the Ministry of Law allows your company to loosen its obligations, if it has been impacted by the COVID-19 measures.
Lastly, the Monetary Authority of Singapore helps your company with flexible payments for loans and insurance. That way, your company can keep more employees to avoid reaching a crisis.
Keep in mind that these may not be the only extraordinary financial measures taken by the Singapore government. As the COVID-19 situation unravels, Singapore’s economy might need more help to stay afloat. In this case, you may be eligible for extra financial support.