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Police investigating falsified documents in COVID-19 Support Grant applications: Desmond Lee

Police investigating falsified documents in COVID-19 Support Grant applications: Desmond Lee

An elderly woman wearing a protective face mask pushes a cart in Singapore on May 8, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: The police are investigating falsified documents submitted in applications for the COVID-19 Support Grant, said Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee in a Facebook post on Sunday.

Mr Lee said that the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) has received 50,000 applications for the grant, which provides financial support to Singaporeans or permanent residents whose jobs have been affected by COVID-19.

The grant covers those who have lost their jobs, are placed on no-pay leave, or who have lost at least 30 per cent of their salaries due to the coronavirus situation.

Eligible Singaporeans will receive S$800 a month for three months if they also commit to receiving employment and training support.

READ: COVID-19: Singapore’s financial position will be weaker in coming years, but Govt will manage the situation, says DPM Heng

"In processing the applications, we’ve regrettably come across three cases where falsified documents had been submitted," said Mr Lee.

MSF referred the cases to the police after performing background checks, and the police are now looking into the matter, he added.

"We will not hesitate to take action against those who take advantage of assistance schemes. Attempts to defraud the system will slow down the process of us getting help to applicants who genuinely need assistance."

On May 4, Minister of State for Social and Family Development Sam Tan told Parliament that MSF was working closely with the police to investigate fraudulent applications for the Temporary Relief Scheme.

This scheme gives a one-time S$500 cash grant to lower- and middle-income Singapore residents who have lost jobs or income due to COVID-19.

READ: Fortitude Budget: Additional S$800 million set aside for COVID-19 Support Grant; S$100 one-off utilities credit

READ: COVID-19: More than 7,000 workers matched to new jobs under NTUC’s Job Security Council

For those who might have successfully filed a fraudulent claim, returning the payout will be considered a mitigating factor, Mr Tan had said then.

On Sunday, Mr Lee said COVID-19 Support Grant applicants who have difficulty getting official documentation to prove their predicament can approach MSF's social service officers for help.

"Our officers will help to verify the details you share against your past Central Provident Fund (CPF) records, and assist you if you qualify," he added.

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Source: CNA/hz

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