More aid for households affected by Covid-19

Lower income households that have been directly affected by Covid-19 can now get additional financial support from a fund to help them cope with the protracted pandemic which has impacted many livelihoods.

More households are also expected to qualify for payouts, with the easing of the eligibility criteria to assess their current income instead of the income prior to being affected by Covid-19.

These changes to The Courage Fund took effect on Sunday, said the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS).

The fund currently disburses a one-time payout of up to S$1,000 (RM3,100) to help lower income households whose incomes have been directly affected by Covid-19.

As at July 13, about 2,300 households have tapped the fund.

When asked, MSF did not say how many additional households are expected to benefit from the changes, which come on the back of the latest round of tightened Covid-19 restrictions.

The ban on dining in and other restrictions during the first round of phase two from mid-May to mid-June had taken a toll on Singapore’s labour market. Manpower Ministry (MOM) data showed that the number of workers employed fell in the second quarter of this year.

In June, some 3.7% or 86,600 residents were unemployed as the pandemic affected both jobs and incomes.

Lower wage workers are hit particularly hard by the pandemic, MOM data has shown.

On Sunday, MSF and NCSS said households that have been directly affected by Covid-19 more than once and continue to face job or income loss will now be able to get two tranches of assistance.

Households with a current gross monthly income of S$6,200 (RM19,300) or below can qualify should they meet other existing eligibility criteria. — The Straits Times/ANN

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