MSF, NCSS close Courage Fund relief schemes, but those who contracted Covid-19 before May 24 can still apply
The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and National Council of Social Service (NCSS) have closed all Covid-19 relief schemes under The Courage Fund with immediate effect, the two Government agencies announced on Tuesday (May 24).
Those who had been certified as Covid-positive before May 24 this year can still apply for assistance, MSF and NCSS said in a statement.
Close to 30,000 people have received help from The Courage Fund during the Covid-19 pandemic, including healthcare and other frontline workers , as well as lower-income households directly affected by the virus.
The fund was set up in 2003, when Singapore was hit by the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak, to provide relief to Sars victims and healthcare workers.
MSF and NCSS said the closure of the Courage Fund schemes came after a review, following the adjustment in Singapore's Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (Dorscon) status on April 26 and extensive easing of community and border measures.
The fund provides relief for healthcare workers who contracted the virus at work. It also provides relief for dependants of healthcare workers who died after contracting the virus in the line of duty, such as fully-vaccinated healthcare workers who were directly involved in patient-fronting Covid-19 duties.
It also provides an education grant for children of healthcare workers, frontline workers and community volunteers who died after contracting the virus at work.
Eligible organisations in the healthcare and social service sectors may receive up to $20,000 funding assistance, capped at $100 per staff member, to appreciate them.
People and organisations in the four groups above have up till July 24 this year to apply for funding.
Lower-income households which have lost income due to the hospitalisation or official quarantine or stay-home orders can also apply for relief under the scheme if the applicant was certified Covid-positive before May 24.
In such cases, applications should be submitted by November 24 or within six months from when the applicant recovered from Covid-19 , whichever is earlier.
Those who do not qualify for The Courage Fund schemes and need financial assistance can 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, the agencies 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," they added.
More information on The Courage Fund is available at https://www.ncss.gov.sg/Our-Initiatives/The-Courage-Fund