SINGAPORE: Long-term cash assistance through the ComCare scheme will increase from Jul 1 this year, said Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee on Tuesday (Mar 5).
Single-person households will receive S$600 in cash assistance each month, an increase of S$100.
Larger households will receive higher amounts – for instance, a four-person household will get S$1,750 a month, up from the current S$1,450 a month, the ministry said in a news release. The increase will benefit about 4,000 households, the majority of whom are elderly with little or no family support, it added.
Similarly, beneficiaries of the ComCare Short-to-Medium-Term Assistance who have their assistance renewed after July can also expect an increase. Amounts will vary depending on their needs and financial circumstances, Mr Lee said.
The increase in cash is to meet their basic living expenses, he said.
His announcement came as part of a joint segment by four ministries during the Committee of Supply debate speeches that centred on building a society of opportunities, reflecting the work of four ministries in addressing issues of inequality and social mobility.
Over the last 10 years, MSF has reviewed and adjusted these rates every two or three years, and was last adjusted in 2016.
ComCare Long-Term Assistance supports those who are permanently unable to work due to old age, illness or disability, and have little or no income and family support. Shorter-term assistance provides temporary financial support to low-income individuals or families who are unable to work for a while, are looking for a job, or have a low income.
HOLISTIC SUPPORT ENHANCED FOR FAMILIES IN RENTAL FLATS
Mr Lee said the ministry together with the National Development Ministry will be launching Community Link (ComLink), at or near rental flats to offer more integrated and coordinated support, and customised programmes and services for families there.
Over the next two years, Comlink will be set up at Jalan Kukoh, Marsiling, Kembangan-Chai Chee and Boon Lay. About 1,000 families in these estates are expected to benefit.
ComLink will provide an accessible focal point in each community, he said.
“Community partners can also come together to assist these families more holistically. For example, we may bring in parenting workshops and night-time student care or childcare, if such needs are identified in the community,” Mr Lee added.
“Most importantly, ComLink will develop a sense of community and mutual help, with neighbours supporting one another in their journeys.”
Concluding, Mr Lee said the work of building a society of opportunities for all extends well beyond the four ministries, to the whole of society and to all Singaporeans.
“Our society is stronger and more resilient when all Singaporeans come together – when we look out not only for ourselves, but for our families, neighbours, and fellow Singaporeans in need.