SINGAPORE: All COVID-19 relief schemes under The Courage Fund (TCF) will be closed with immediate effect, said the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) on Tuesday (May 24).
The move was made in light of Singapore’s Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) status being lowered last month, as well as the easing of community and border measures, said MSF and NCSS.
The Courage Fund was first set up in 2003 to support severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) victims and healthcare workers. In 2020, the fund was used to provide relief and support for those affected by COVID-19.
The first recipient of The Courage Fund during the COVID-19 pandemic was a Certis officer who contracted the virus in the line of duty. He was serving quarantine orders before he tested positive for the virus.
As of May 12, nearly 30,000 people who required support during the pandemic have benefited from The Courage Fund, receiving a total of S$9.9 million, said MSF and NCSS. These include healthcare workers, frontline workers, and lower-income households directly affected by COVID-19.
Despite the closure of the relief schemes, individuals who have been certified as COVID-positive up until May 23 can still apply.
Details on closure of the schemes, eligibility criteria and application windows are as follows:
As of Apr 30, The Courage Fund has raised around S$18.5 million in donations for COVID-19 from the community.
Any funds remaining after disbursements will be kept for future widespread infectious diseases, said MSF and NCSS.
"Individuals who do not qualify for The Courage Fund schemes and require financial assistance may wish to apply for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG) if they have experienced involuntary job loss, involuntary no-pay leave or significant income loss, or ComCare if they require assistance with basic living expenses,” MSF and NCSS said.
"Individuals who do not qualify for CRG or ComCare but are facing financial difficulties may also approach their nearest Social Service Offices (SSOs) for help. The SSOs will assess their circumstances and provide assistance where required."