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The Ultimate Guide to all of Singapore COVID-19 Financial Relief Measures

By Zat

COVID-19 has brought much distress to our economy. Fortunately, there are many types of help given by the Singapore Government that are driven and implemented by various ministries and statutory boards. The array of financial relief is wide and generous, dipping into our precious national reserves—monetary payouts, loans, and assistance programmes.

Coupled with the different time frames of implementation, this information, though important, can become scattered and confusing for all of us.

To help you get through this maze of relief measures, we have compiled the ultimate guide to the various financial aids given out to Singaporeans. Amongst the 41 schemes provided by the Government, 23 are for individuals while 19 are designed to support different businesses during these challenging times.

Who Is it For?Details
41 Government AidsIndividualsOrdinary Salaried PersonA) 12 Monetary Payouts
B) 8 Non-monetary Schemes
Self-Employed Persons (SEPs)C) 3 Grants for SEPs
BusinessesProgrammes for BusinessesD) 2 Programmes for Businesses
Grants for BusinessesE) 6 Grants for Businesses - Generic
F) 3 Grants for Businesses with LOA/ SHN Programmes
G) 5 Grants for Businesses with Foreign Workers
Loans for BusinessesH) 3 Loans for Businesses

Individuals

The 23 Government grants for individuals are categorised into three broad categories:

A) Monetary Payouts for Individuals;
B) Non-monetary schemes for individuals; and
C) Grants for the Self-Employed Persons (SEPs).


A) Monetary Payouts for Individuals

These direct cash payouts will be crucial for individuals to tide through this trying period. Collectively, these grants are extensive, covering a huge spectrum of people groups from different sectors, Singapore parents, lower-income brackets, and even long-term visit pass holders.

GrantsWho is it for?Details
1Temporary Relief FundFor Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs) who have lost their jobs, or a substantial portion of their income due to COVID-19.A one-off $500 cash assistance, which is only available in April 2020.
2COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG)For Singaporeans or PRs, aged 16 years and above, who are presently unemployed due to retrenchment or contract termination, or presently on involuntary no-pay leave (NPL) for at least three consecutive months, or presently experiencing reduced monthly salary of at least 30% for at least three consecutive months as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19.Up to $800 per month, for 3 months, will be credited into bank account.
3The Courage Fund (TCF)Healthcare WorkersFor healthcare workers who have contracted COVID-19 in the line of duty.One-time $5,000 grant.
Frontline Workers and Community VolunteersFor frontline workers and community volunteers who have contracted COVID-19 in the line of duty.One-time $3,000 grant.
DependentsFor dependants of individuals who have succumbed to COVID-19.One-time up to $30,000 grant.
HouseholdFor lower-income households whose family member(s) have contracted COVID-19 or are on QO/SHN/LOA.One-time up to $1,000 based on per capita, credited into bank account.
4Solidarity Payment Cash payoutSingapore PRsFor Singapore Permanent Residents living in Singapore, aged 21 and above in 2020, with Singaporean parent(s), spouse or child(ren).One-time $300, credited into bank account or by cheque.
SingaporeansFor all Singaporeans aged 21 and above, in 2020.One-time $600 to be credited into bank account or by cheque.
Long-Term Visit Pass-Plus (LTVP+) HoldersFor all adult LTVP+ Holders living in Singapore, aged 21 and above, in 2020.One-time $300 to be credited by cheque, and sent to your FIN-registered address.
5Enhanced Care & Support Package - Cash PayoutSingaporeansFor all Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2020 with Assessable Income for Year of Assessment 2019 of up to $100,000.$300 or $600 to be credited into bank account or by cheque.
Singaporean ParentsFor each Singaporean parent with at least one Singaporean child aged 20 and below in 2020.One-time $300 to be credited into bank account or by cheque.
6PAssion Card Top-upFor all Singaporeans aged 50 years and above in 2020.One-time $100 to be credited into bank account or by cheque.
7Enhanced Grocery VouchersFor Singaporeans aged 21 and above living in 1- or 2-room HDB flats and do not own more than 1 property.2020 - $300
2021 - $100
8Enhanced Workfare Special PaymentFor all Singaporean employees and self-employed persons who received Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) payments in Work Year 2019.$3,000 to be credited into bank account or by cheque.
9Additional GST Voucher - U-SaveFor all eligible HDB households. Eligible larger households with 5 or more members will receive additional rebate.2 times or 2.5 times their regular GST Voucher
10Service & Conservancy Charges (S&CC) RebateFor all eligible Singaporean households living in HDB flats.Between 1.5 and 3.5 months of S&CC over FY2020
11SkillsFuture CreditTop-upFor all Singaporeans who are 25 years and above by 31 December 2020.One-time $500 credit top-up.
Mid-Career Support (Additional)For all Singaporeans who are 40 to 60 years by 31 December 2020.One-time $500 credit top-up.
12Point-to-Point Support Package - Extended Special Relief FundFor taxi and private hire car (PHC drivers). Details on the eligibility criteria will be released later.$300 per month per eligible taxi hirer and PHC driver.

B) Non-monetary schemes for individuals

Though the payouts may not be in monetary form, most of them provide a form of relief by giving individuals more flexibility in payment. In turn, easing their personal cash flows.

Schemes TypeWho Is It ForDetails
13Defer Tax Payment For Income TaxFor employees who have defer income tax payments due in May, June and July 2020, to help ease cash flow.Income tax deduction to resume in August, September or October 2020. The end-date of your instalment plan will be extended by 3 months.
14No increases in Government fees and charges for 1 yearFor everyone subjected to Government fees and charges.Freezing of all government fees and charges for one year, from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. This will apply to all fees for government services.
15Student Loan Repayment ReliefApplies to all graduates who have taken a government loan for their university and polytechnic studies.Suspension of all loan repayment and interest charges for one year, from 1 June 2020 to 31 May 2021.
16Suspend Late Mortgage Payment ChargesFor anyone who is struggling with their mortgage payments during this difficult period.Suspension of all late payment charges on HDB mortgage arrears for three months
17SGUnited Jobs Virtual Career FairsFor jobseekers.Jobseekers will be able to interact with employers virtually for interviews, and access career-related resources and insights to assist them in their job search.
18SGUnited TraineeshipsFor Singaporeans or PRs who have graduated or is graduating in 2020 from any educational institutions.Monthly training allowance may vary depending on Traineeship Scope and traineeship requirements, ranges from 1,100 to 2,500.
19NTUC Care Fund Covid-19For existing NTUC members who have lost their jobs or faced an income loss of at least 30%.Depends if you are living with your dependents, original gross monthly personal income, and if you are an existing NTUC member, ranges between S$50 to S$300.
20SHN support for FDW employersFor foreign domestic worker (FDW) employers who are affected by the SHN requirements for their FDWs.Get $60 support per day per affected FDW and have their levy waived during the FDW’s SHN period of 14 days.

C) The Self-Employed Persons (SEPs)

SEPs are treated like special individual businesses. Similarly, they are not forgotten in this pandemic. During this period, they are encouraged to abide by social distancing measures, as well as, taking this opportunity to upgrade themselves.

GrantsIndustryWho Is It ForDetails
21NTUC/e2i - SEP Training Support SchemeFor Singaporean or PR Self-Employed Persons (SEPs) who attend and complete courses under SkillsFuture series with approved sector-specific training programmes.Training allowance ranges between S$8 and 11 an hour, It varies according to course commencement period and whether the SEP is a member with NTUC union.
22LOA/SHN Support Programme for SEPsIn healthcare, education, and eldercare sectorsFor Singaporean or PR self-employed persons who are affected by LOA or SHN requirements.$100 daily for the required duration of LOA or SHN.
All other sectorsFor Singaporean or PR self-employed persons on self-imposed LOA.
23Self-Employed Persons Income Relief Scheme (SIRS)For eligible Singaporean Self-Employed Persons (SEPs) with less means and family support, aged 37 and above in 2020 and who declared positive SEP income to IRAS or CPF Board for the Work Year 2018.Three quarterly cash payouts of $3,000 in May, July, and October 2020.

Businesses

For Singapore Businesses, the Singapore Government has a list of programmes, grants, as well as loans. While some of these assistance are newly minted due to the attack of COVID-19, some are adjusted to provide a larger bandwidth of help.

D) Programmes for Business

ProgrammesWho Is It For?Details
24SGUnited TraineeshipsCompanies, who are hiring fresh graduates as trainees, can participate as host companies in this programme to tap on government support during the traineeship period in preparation of the economic recovery.The traineeship will last for 12 months and the monthly trainee allowance will be co-funded between the Government and the host company in the proportion of 80% and 20%.
25Enterprise Leadership for Transformation (ELT)For business owners or leaders who have grown their businesses beyond S$5 million, with the commitment to bring their enterprises to the next stage through the programme. Any member of the core management team can enrol into the programme.A one-year programme that supports business leaders of promising SMEs to develop business growth capabilities. The ELT will be administered by a network of partners including Institutes of Higher Learning, financial institutions, and industry experts. Eligible enterprises can qualify for up to 90% funding of programme fees.

E) Grants for Businesses – Generic

GrantsWho Is It For?Details
26Job Support Scheme (JSS)For employers with local employees (who are Singaporeans and PRs)Announced at the Supplementary Budget 2020, JSS is A wage subsidy scheme to provide wage support to businesses to retain their local employees during this period of economic uncertainty.
Under the JSS, the Government will co-fund the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages paid to each local employee for 9 months. The scheme will pay out 75 percent of wages for April and May on the first $4,600 of a worker's gross monthly pay, and at least 25 percent for a further seven months, depending on the sector.
27SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC)For employers to invest in enterprise transformation and capabilities of their employees.Eligible employers will receive a one-off S$10,000 credit to cover up to 90% of out-of-pocket expenses on qualifying costs for supportable initiatives, over and above the support levels of existing schemes.
28SMEs Go DigitalFor SMEs to use digital technologies and build stronger digital capabilities to better prepare themselves for COVID-19 work from home challenges like remote working, and online billing and payment.Infocomm Media Authority (IMDA) and SGTech have jointly curated more digital solutions, grants (EDG and PSG), and training courses that businesses can tap on to embrace digitalisation and be equipped for business continuity amid COVID-19.
29Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)For Singapore companies to grow and upgrade their business, innovate, or venture overseas under the three pillars (Core Capabilities, Innovation and Productivity, and Market Access).The grant funds can be used to defray project costs namely third party consultancy fees, software and equipment, and internal manpower cost. As announced at Supplementary Budget 2020, the maximum support level will be raised to 80% from 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2020. In more dire instances, the maximum support level may be raised to 90%, subjected to review.
30Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)For companies to adopt technology solutions to improve productivity and enhance business processesThe scope of solutions supported under PSG will be expanded to include remote working and visitor management. Also, PSG support for pre-approved solutions under the SMEs Go Digital programme will also be raised, from a maximum of 70% to 80%.
31Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) GrantFor SMEs to receive an international boost to take their business overseas.From 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2023, companies can receive up to S$100,000 per new market.

F) Grants for Businesses – LOA and SHN Programmes

GrantsWho Is It For?What is it?
32LOA/SHN Support ProgrammeEmployers in healthcare, education, and eldercare sectors.Get $100 daily per affected worker for the required duration of LOA or SHN granted to the worker.
Employers in all sectors
Employers implementing company-imposed LOA.Get $100 daily per worker who returned between 14 March 2020 and 20 March 2020 and was placed on company-imposed LOA while not being required to serve mandatory SHN.
33Enhanced Work-Life Grant (WLG) for flexible work arrangementsFor companies who sustain implementation of work-from-home and/or staggered hours beyond mandatory social distancing regulations.WLG funding is on a per worker basis. Companies will be funded $2,000 per worker, for each worker on daily work-from-home and/or staggered hours arrangements for a month, capped at $70,000 per company.

G) Grants for Businesses – Migrant Workers

Migrant workers are a population who have been severely affected during this pandemic. 90% of the daily infected cases have not spared this group. Due to the pressing situation, the Singapore Government has placed a stop-work order to all workers who have stayed in the dormitories. Inevitably, this has affected businesses who have a high reliance on foreign workers, primarily the construction sector.

The following are 5 grants for these affected businesses.

GrantsWhat is it?
34Levy rebate and levy waiver for business employersFor business employers who have at least paid up to December 2019’s foreign workers’ levy in full (which amount was due in January 2020). A flat rate of $750 for each S Pass or Work Permit holder in your employment as at 29 February 2020.
353-month extension of levy payment timeline for SMEsWith the levy payment deferment measure, SMEs have up to 5 months to pay their levies incurred every month. Employing not more than 200 workers are eligible. Applies to all levies incurred in 2020.
36Transfer foreign workers across sectors to manage manpower needsFor business employers with foreign workers to have more flexibility to manage their manpower. Allows inter-sectoral transfer of foreign workers for all sectors and allow transfers of foreign workers whose Work Permits are nearing expiry for all sectors.
37Refund of man-year entitlement (MYE) for constructions firmsFrom 1 April 2020, a temporary 6-month scheme to refund unused MYEs due to work disruptions.
38Temporary Housing Support for employers affected by Malaysia's MCOFor business employers with foreign workers affected by Malaysia's MCO. This financial support aims to help employers defray the additional costs of housing affected workers in short-term housing. Receive $50 per affected worker per night, capped at 14 nights, to cover the extra housing costs incurred.

H) Loans for Businesses

For most businesses—especially the Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs)—the health of the cash flow is of paramount concern. Issuing loans can provide short-term working capital and can help to minimise the impact on their daily operations and hopefully, tide the businesses through this very difficult time.

LoansWho is it for?Details
39Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS)For Singapore-registered Enterprises, with physical presence in Singapore, there are six types of loans under this scheme to address enterprises' financial needs. In light of COVID-19, F&B, retails, and tourism establishments are required to comply with the Safe Distancing measures to be eligible for EFS. For more information, please click here.Maximum loan quantum of EFS-Trade Loan of S$10million, with 90% Government risk-share. Maximum loan quantum of EFS-SME Working Capital Loan of S$1million, with 90% Government risk-share.
40Loan Insurance SchemeFor Singapore-registered Enterprises to secure short-term trade financing loans via Loan Insurance Scheme (LIS) from Participating Financial Institutions (PFI).As a part of the Supplementary Budget 2020, support for LIS insurance premium has increased from 50% to 80% until 31 March 2021.
41Temporary Bridging Loan ProgrammeAlong with the announcement of Solidarity Budget 2020, TBLP provides access to working capital for business needs, up to S$5million with interest rate capped at 5% p.a. from Participating Financial Institutions.It covers all sectors; a maximum supported loan of S$5million with 90% Government risk-share.

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Zat

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