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Freelancers who don’t qualify for income relief may be able to appeal

SINGAPORE — Freelancers who do not automatically qualify for the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) may be able to appeal to be considered, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo in a Facebook post on Sunday (March 29).

While around 88,000 self-employed people will automatically qualify for SIRS, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said she is aware that those “who do not automatically qualify are worried".

While around 88,000 self-employed people will automatically qualify for SIRS, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said she is aware that those “who do not automatically qualify are worried".

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SINGAPORE — Freelancers who do not automatically qualify for the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (Sirs) may be able to appeal to be considered, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo in a Facebook post on Sunday (March 29).

SIRS was first announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Thursday as part of Singapore's Resilience Budget. It is aimed at helping self-employed individuals, such as taxi drivers, private hire car drivers and real estate agents, tide over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the scheme, eligible self-employed workers will receive three quarterly cash payouts of S$3,000 each in May, July and October this year.

While around 88,000 self-employed people will automatically qualify for SIRS, Mrs Teo said she is aware that those “who do not automatically qualify are worried".

In her post, Mrs Teo said that the Ministry of Manpower will consider three main types of appeals for SIRS:

  • Those living in private properties with an annual value of slightly more than S$13,000, which Mrs Teo said already covers all HDB flats and some private apartments

  • Those who have spouses earning more than S$70,000 a year but have many people at home to support

  • Those who have regular part-time work paying a small salary besides self-employment

"Interestingly, a number of people have cautioned me not to go overboard using taxpayers’ monies because the criteria and payouts are already generous," wrote Mrs Teo in her post.

She added that any self-employed people or Singaporeans who are facing financial difficulties due to a loss of income can seek help via the Temporary Relief Fund and the Covid-19 Support Grant.

The Temporary Relief Fund and Covid-19 Support Grant are schemes set up by the Ministry of Social and Family Development to support lower to middle-income Singaporeans financially impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, and who are not on ComCare assistance.

The Temporary Relief Fund will be open for applications at all social service offices and community centres from April 1 to April 30, with eligible applicants receiving a one-off cash assistance of $$500.

Applications for the Covid-19 Support Grant will open from May to September 2020, and successful applicants will receive S$800 monthly for three months.

An update will be given in about a week's time on how those who do not meet the Sirs criteria can appeal to be considered, Mrs Teo added.

Related topics

MOM coronavirus Covid-19 self-employed freelancers gig economy SIRS

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