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Courage Fund expanded to help lower-income families hit repeatedly by Covid-19 isolation orders

SINGAPORE — Lower-income households who are financially affected as a result of a family member contracting Covid-19 or serving isolation on more than one occasion will now be eligible for a second payout from The Courage Fund.

  • Eligible households may now receive up to two payouts under The Courage Fund
  • The fund provides aid for households financially impacted by a household member contracting Covid-19 or serving isolation
  • Households will now be assessed based on current income rather than income before hospitalisation or isolation

 

SINGAPORE — Lower-income households who are financially affected as a result of a family member contracting Covid-19 or serving isolation on more than one occasion will now be eligible for a second payout from The Courage Fund.

The fund provides a payout of S$500 to S$1,000 to households that lose 10 per cent or more of their income because of a household member having to serve a quarantine order, leave of absence or stay-home notice, or who was hospitalised due to the disease.

Financial assistance under the government scheme had previously been limited to one payout per household, the National Council of Social Service and the Ministry of Social and Family Development said in a joint statement on Sunday (Aug 1).

As the pandemic remains prolonged, the Government is recognising that some households may have had to serve isolation more than once, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for Social and Family Development, said.

“This would hit lower-income households harder, as they deal with the anxiety of financial loss on top of the fear of potentially contracting the virus. We hope that these enhancements will help them get back on their feet more quickly,” said Mr Masagos.

The income eligibility criteria for the scheme have also been tweaked. Households will be assessed based on their current combined income rather than what their household income was before one of them was infected or made to isolate.

The Courage Fund was first set up in 2003 to provide relief to victims and healthcare workers during the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak.

When Covid-19 struck last year, a fundraising effort was kickstarted again by the Community Chest to support those affected by the pandemic.

On top of lower-income households, the fund also provides support under various schemes for healthcare workers, frontline workers and community volunteers, as well as dependents of those who die from Covid-19.

The changes on Sunday come on top of an earlier easing of the income eligibility criteria that raised the combined monthly household ceiling from S$3,900 to S$6,200.

As of July 13, The Courage Fund has raised more than S$18.4 million in donations for Covid-19 from the community, of which S$2.7 million have been disbursed to 2,500 beneficiaries.

WHO MAY APPLY

The eligibility criteria for payout under The Courage Fund are:

  • At least one household member who contracted Covid-19, or was placed on quarantine order, leave of absence or stay-home notice

  • A combined gross monthly household income of S$6,200 or less, or a monthly household income per person of S$2,000 or less

  • A loss in combined income of at least 10 per cent because of the household member contracting Covid-19 or having to serve a period of isolation

  • At least one household member who is a Singapore citizen or permanent resident

Applications should be made within six months from the end of the isolation period or when the household member with Covid-19 was discharged from hospital, whichever is later.

Households receiving government assistance under ComCare may also apply for payouts under The Courage Fund if they meet the criteria.

Applications can expect to receive the payout within two to three weeks after submitting the necessary documents.

Eligible households may apply for assistance under The Courage Fund via https://go.gov.sg/tcf.

For assistance with the application, they may call the ComCare Call hotline 1800 222 000, email Ask_SSO [at] msf.gov.sg or make an appointment to visit their nearest Social Service Office for assistance.

Related topics

Courage Fund Covid-19 coronavirus quarantine stay home notice

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