SINGAPORE: About 470,000 lower-income Singaporean workers will receive their Workfare Special Payment payouts from Oct 28, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday (Oct 23).
The special payment was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in the Resilience Budget on Mar 26, as a step to provide greater assurance and support to Singaporeans who need more help during the uncertain COVID-19 period.
It provides a cash payout of S$3,000 for each eligible recipient, disbursed over two payments in July and October.
In his ministerial statement on Aug 17, Mr Heng, who is also finance minister, said eligibility for the Workfare Special Payment would be widened to include more than 70,000 additional workers who receive Workfare Income Supplement for their work done in 2020, and who are not already receiving Workfare Special Payments.
These 70,000 additional workers will receive the full Workfare Special Payment payout of S$3,000 from this month, said MOF.
This brings the total number of lower-income Singaporean workers who receive additional support from the Budget 2020 scheme to about 470,000. About S$810 million in total will be disbursed to Singaporean workers in October, said MOF.
Most of these workers would have qualified for the Workfare Special Payments earlier and received their first payment of S$1,500 in July, for their work done in 2019.
They will receive their final S$1,500 this month, which will be directly credited to their bank account on Oct 28, or through a cheque mailed to their residential address by Nov 15.
Eligible workers who have registered their mobile numbers with SingPass will receive details via SMS on Oct 26, or by letters the same week.
No response is required and recipients will not be asked to provide any information to the SMS from SG-Workfare, said MOF.
In a Facebook post on Friday, Mr Heng said: "The Government is committed to helping every Singaporean through this crisis, especially our lower-income workers and the more vulnerable among us.
"We will also work with you to build a better and brighter future for all Singaporeans in a post-COVID world."
The Workfare Special Payment is given to those who are eligible for the Workfare Income Supplement, which aims to help the bottom 20 per cent of the workforce.
Those who qualify for the Workfare Income Supplement for the 2019 work year before Mar 31, 2021, will receive the Workfare Special Payment.
They are also eligible if they qualify for the Workfare Income Supplement for the 2020 work year before Dec 31, 2021, and were previously not eligible for the Workfare Special Payment.
For example, a Singaporean worker who qualifies for and receives the 2019 work year Workfare Income Supplement in December 2020 will also receive the Workfare Special Payment of S$3,000 that month.
Workers who qualify for the 2020 work year after October 2020 but before Dec 31, 2021, will receive the Workfare Special Payments in the month they become eligible for the Workfare Income Supplement.