Singapore is the fourth richest nation globally. Despite this fact, many of its residents still belong to low-income households–they are earners that receive less than S$2,500 per month.
Experts estimate that the poverty rate has increased by 43.45% between 2012 and 2015. The Singapore Administration confirms that over 100,000 families live in poverty. This translates to one in ten family homes or roughly 350,000 individuals.
Families find themselves in tight financial situations due to scenarios like old age (the elderly are the most affected), debts, sudden layoffs, diseases, and financial emergencies.
Luckily, the Government is extending financial assistance to low-income families. It provides public and social help, e.g.:
- Cash grants
- Job placement services
- Baby bonus
- Subsidies for child care
When Things Get Tough, Here Are Some Providers That Offer Financial Assistance in Singapore
The following are assistance schemes offered by the government and grassroots organisations giving reliable and timely financial assistance in Singapore:
For Living Expenses
Established in 2005, ComCare is a Community Care Endowment Fund that the Government has set up. It aims to build strong and reliable families and partners with family service centres. Its vision is to empower its beneficiaries to be self-reliant. It was started by the Government and receives its money mostly from donations.
It provides three types of assistance schemes:
|Assistance Provided||Eligibility||How to Apply|
ComCare Interim Assistance
It’s a scheme intended to help you and your family with immediate support within a duration of 3 months or less.
The type of help offered depends on your family’s situation.
||Approach your closest SSO (Social Service Office) for assistance.|
It’s intended to offer individuals and families temporary support for household requirements through an unemployment duration.
Approach your nearest SSO for help.
|ComCare Long-Term Assistance
Also known as Public Assistance, it was created to help those who can’t support themselves permanently.
Visit your closest SSO for assistance.
One Singapore is a financial provider scheme that was established in 2005. It aims to Make Poverty History and create The World We Want. Its vision is to ensure no one lives in poverty. It was started by members of the community and receives funds from donations.
One Singapore offers two types of financial support:
- The ONE Emergency Fund: It offers financial and in-kind help to and partners with low-income individuals and families in Singapore who deserve it. It assists people who need money urgently but can’t get it anywhere else.
- The ONE Livelihoods Fund: It supports Decent Work by supporting vulnerable families and low-income workers in Singapore. This helps them find better-paying jobs or earn their livelihood.
Started in 1992, CDAC is a self-help group. It serves the less successful people and families in the Chinese Community. Its mission is to nurture and develop the Chinese community’s potential.
Its vision is committed and trusted organization, empowered and caring community. It was started jointly by the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA) and the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI). It gets its money from contributions.
CDAC provides financial help through:
- CDAC Family Assistance Programme: It was created to help low-income families cope with their basic education and income requirements. The support can be in the form of family bonding activities, financial help, job search guidance, etc.
- CDAC-SFCCA Hardship Assistance Fund Scheme: It offers short-term financial help to people undergoing financial hardship.
SBWS is a Voluntary Welfare Organization. Its mission is to give hope to needy people through love and financial aid. Its vision is to touch lives through unconditional love and compassion. It was started by the late Buddhist scholar Venerable Pen Yei and receives its money from donations.
Singapore Buddhist Welfare Services provides financial backing through:
Public Assistance Programme: It was launched in 1985 and provides Monthly Financial Assistance to the needy. This assistance is in the form of Monthly Food Rations and money grants.
For Elderly and PWD
The AIC is an independent corporate entity that strives to help the elderly and patients with disability. Its mission is to empower clients and seniors, while its vision is to enable individuals to age gracefully and live well. It was created by the Ministry of Health and gets its funds from donations.
It offers financial aid through:
- Seniors’ Mobility Enabling Fund: It offers holistic support to seniors and allows them to age gracefully. It does this by extending subsidies to seniors who need assistive and mobility for daily living. And those who get government-funded homecare and care within the community.
- Pioneer Generation Disability Assistance Scheme: It’s an appreciation to Singapore Pioneers for what they’ve done for Singapore. Pioneers living with disability receive $100 monthly when they contact the relevant authorities. They use the money to sort daily expenses.
- Interim Disability Assistance Program for the Elderly (IDAPE): It was started in 2002 to support seniors with pre-existing disabilities or who were too old. These elderly citizens get a $150 or $250 monthly payout if they get severe disability.
- ElderFund: Established in 2020, Elderfund targets severely disabled Singaporeans aged 30 and above. Qualified beneficiaries receive at least $250 monthly for daily living as long as they’re eligible and contact the relevant authorities.
For HDB Flat Owners
Are you an HDB flat owner facing financial hardship? HDB’s got you covered.
Here are some measures to help lighten the burden for you:
- Including a working family member(s) as a joint member to help pay the arrears.
- Paying the arrears on an installment basis.
- Lowering monthly loan installments for six months.
- Reducing the monthly loan amount by extending the housing loan term up to the maximum repayment duration.
Students also get a piece of the financial assistance cake:
- Primary: KiFAS, School Pocket Money Fund- it helps parents pay their children’s kindergarten fees. The youngster should be a Singapore Citizen and be enrolled in a Ministry of Education kindergarten.
- Secondary: MOE, School Pocket Money Fund– it’s a fund intended to help every low-income family pay its children’s school fees and handle other expenses.
- Government-Aided Schools: MOE– it provides financial help to students in government, specialized, and government-aided schools.
- Independent Schools: MOE– this scheme offers financial assistance to families with children in selected specialized independent schools and independent schools.
- Post-Secondary Education Institutions (PSEI): MOE- it’s suitable for eligible students in selected autonomous universities, ITE, arts institutions, and polytechnics.
For Digital Devices and Connectivity Needs
There are financial assistance projects for digital devices and connectivity requirements, namely:
Brand New Computer for Students
- NEU PC Plus- Infocomm Media Development Authority: This scheme enables low-income families with a family member or student with disabilities to own a new computer at a reasonable price.
- Mobile Accessories for Seniors- Infocomm Media Development Authority: The Mobile Accessories for Seniors program seeks to help low-income seniors to go digital. It achieves this by offering them subsidized mobile and smartphone plans.
See also: How Does Education Loan Work in Singapore? and Personal Loan for Work Permit Holders.
As most of the citizens in the country were badly affected by the pandemic, it’s understood that some families need a little financial lift to support the needs of their family members. And when finances get tight, it’s comforting to know that there are financial assistance schemes in Singapore that aim to help those in need to start anew.
- One in 10 family homes or roughly 350,000 individuals are living in poverty in Singapore.
- ComCare provides temporary and permanent living expenses, such as cash grants, job referrals, medical bill support, extra funds for school-going children, among others.
- Beneficiaries looking for emergency funds can seek financial assistance from One Singapore.
- People with disabilities and elderlies can receive monthly allowances from the Agency for Integrated Care Singapore.
- Struggling HDB flat owners can negotiate their monthly payment through HDB Financial Assistance.
- Various institutions, such as KiFAS and MOE, help finance children’s education.
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