To help the elderly in Singapore, the government has in place some schemes and subsidies to ease the financial burden of the silver generation. From Medishield to CHAS, there are many initiatives aimed to make healthcare more affordable for the seniors and retirees in Singapore.
For those who require mobility aids and equipments, there are also grants and subsidies available to shoulder the cost of the equipment that can be pricey at times. However, the success of applying for these grants is subject to approval by the organizations providing them.
This article lists 5 financial aids to consider applying for.
#1 Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF)
The SMF extends subsidies to elderly persons, (aged 60 and above) who are in need of:
- Mobility and assistive devices for daily independent living. Devices include walking canes, pushchairs or wheelchairs. Other equipment that are covered under this fund include commodes, hospital beds or hearing aids.
- Specialised transport and are attending Ministry of Health-funded eldercare, dialysis, or day hospice services. This fund subsidises the transport costs incurred from traveling to these places providing the above services.
- Home health-care items for their care and receiving government-funded home care and care within their community. Subsidies are available for healthcare items such as catheters, adult diapers, wound dressings et cetera.
Eligibility for subsidies under the SMF is subject to various clauses, and is only applicable for elderly persons aged 60 and above. For more information, you can visit the SMF website here.
#2 Assistive Technology Fund (ATF)
The ATF is a subsidy fund set up by SG Enable to ease the financial burden of persons with disability (PWDs) to purchase assistive technology devices. The extent of coverage is up to 90% of the cost of the equipment, with a lifetime cap of $40,000.
Eligibility for this subsidy is restricted to people with permanent disability of any one of the following:
- Physical disability
- Visual Impairment
- Hearing Impairment
- Intellectual Disability
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
They must also have undergone qualified assessor’s assessment to determine the need and type of device(s) and their gross monthly household income per person is $1800 and below.
The applicant must apply through a therapist or Social Worker to submit the application form.
For more information, you can visit the SG Enable Website here.
#3 Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE)
EASE is an initiative by the Housing Development Board (HDB) that provides subsidies for home modifications to make the house more elder-friendly. Coverage include:
- Slip-resistant treatment to floor tiles (up to 2 bathrooms or toilets)
- Grab Bars (8 or 10 in the first toilet, up to 6 in the second)
- Check out Stainless Steel Nylon Grab Bars
- Ramps (up to 5 in the flat and/or in the main entrance)
The extent of coverage is dependent on the type of flat, with smaller flats having more coverage (up to 95%) and vice versa.
For the estimated coverage and costs, you may wish to view the EASE page here.
#4 Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS)
The CHAS is a financial aid for lower to middle-income households, and all pioneers. It enables eligible persons to receive subsidies for medical and dental care at participating medical and dental clinics near their home.
Singaporeans who are eligible will receive either a blue, green or orange health assist card. Additionally, CHAS has distributed new cards to seniors of certain age with a Pioneer Generation (PG) and Merdeka Generation (MG) card. Cardholders must present their card to at the clinic to qualify for the subsidised dental or medical rates.
For more information about CHAS and how to apply, you can visit the website here.
#5 Caregivers Training Grant (CTG)
For caregivers who are at a loss of how to properly care for their elderly parents, they can consider applying for the CTG. The CTG helps caregivers shoulder part of the cost of attending appropriate training to equip caregivers with the relevant skills and knowledge to care for their elderly parents or people with disability.
The CTG is a $200 subsidy per care recipient (65 and older) every financial year (April to March the following year). For the list of courses covered under this scheme, click here. You must pay at least $10 after registering.
#6 Home Caregiving Grant (HCG)
A monthly cash payout of $200, the HCG supports care recipients with permanent moderate disability by providing money to pay for their caregiving expenses. The money can be used to cover the costs of eldercare and caregiver support services, including the cost of hiring a foreign domestic worker.
In order to apply for this grant, the care recipient must not be living in a residential long-term care institution such as a nursing home. An assessment report must also be obtained by visiting a general practitioner to assess the level of disability of the care recipient. To apply, click here.
#7 Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) Levy Concession for Persons with Disabilities
For families living with seniors or persons with disabilities and need to hire a helper, this scheme will help with the cost of hiring FDW. Families can pay a lower monthly FDW levy at a concessionary rate of $60 instead of $300.
To apply, the care recipient must be a Singapore Citizen. Both the care recipient and the FDW employer must also be living in the same house. For more information, click here.
#8 Pioneer Generation Disability Scheme (PioneerDAS)
For pioneers with disabilities, they can receive a monthly cash payout of $100. This money can be used for their expenses. For example, they can use it to pay for necessary eldercare services and products for their own care.
This scheme is part of the Pioneer Generation Package to honour pioneers in Singapore. Applying for this scheme requires the pioneer to take a disability assessment to obtain a Functional Assessment Report (FAR). They can do so by visiting a general practitioner or by arranging with their care provider. Read more about this scheme here.
#9 Interim Disability Assistance Programme for the Elderly (IDAPE)
This scheme was intended for seniors who were not eligible for ElderShield when it was launched at the time (2002). For seniors with severe disability, this scheme will grant them monthly cash payout for up to 72 months. Depending on their financial income, they can receive $150 or $250 per month. The senior can apply by nominating themselves, their caregiver or the nursing home they are living at. For more information, read about this aid here.
For more information and inquiries, do contact the relevant organizations directly.
Not sure if you may be eligible for any of these subsidies? You may take this self-assessment tool designed by Singapore Silver Pages to check if you qualify.
To get a whole list of financial assistance schemes available, you may refer to this link here.
*blog updated in 2020 with more schemes (#6-9)
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