SINGAPORE: More than S$360 million is being paid out to eligible self-employed workers under the first tranche of the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said in a joint statement on Thursday (May 28).
This is the first of three quarterly cash payments disbursed to support self-employed workers affected by COVID-19. The next two payouts will be made in July and October.
On Wednesday, more than 100,000 workers who were automatically eligible for the scheme received their first payout of S$3,000 each, said the authorities.
Another 17,000 successful applicants were being notified from Wednesday and will receive their payments from Friday, they added. Notifications to subsequent batches of applicants will follow.
First announced in March, SIRS was introduced to tide self-employed workers over the current period of uncertainty caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak.
READ: COVID-19: Eligible self-employed workers to receive S$9,000 in quarterly cash payouts under new income relief scheme
It is available to those who meet certain criteria including being a Singapore citizen, identifying as a self-employed person no later than Mar 25 and earning a net trade income of no more than S$100,000 a year.
Automatically eligible self-employed workers with a SingPass registered mobile number would have been sent an SMS on May 22 notifying them of their eligibility, said MOM and NTUC.
They will also receive a hard-copy letter this week.
Recipients with Government-registered bank accounts would have received the first payment by direct credit banking on Wednesday. All others will receive cheques by mail to their Government-registered residential addresses by Jun 15.
READ: COVID-19: MOM to look into helping self-employed workers not eligible for new income relief scheme
Self-employed workers who do not receive any notification by this week are not automatically eligible for the scheme, said the authorities.
"We encourage them to submit their application to NTUC at www.ntuc.com.sg/SIRS," they said. "NTUC will assess each case carefully."
Those who are successful will receive three payouts, regardless of when they submitted their application, said the authorities, adding that applicants can generally expect to hear from NTUC within a month of submission.