NTUC reopens Sirs site after upgrading system
Online applications for the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (Sirs), which are made through the NTUC website, reopened around 7.30pm yesterday after the page was taken offline for most of the day to upgrade its system.
Users had problems accessing the site yesterday due a "massive surge in applications", although NTUC said it had anticipated high traffic and had prepared for this scenario.
National Trades Union Congress secretary-general Ng Chee Meng said yesterday on Facebook that measures are in place "to limit the number of people who can enter the application system at any one point in time".
This means that when traffic is high, users will not be able to enter the system until an applicant has signed out.
Mr Ng thanked users for their patience and said the team is still improving the system so more applicants can access it.
At 8pm when The Straits Times visited the website, a pop-up stated the application system was at full capacity, and users should come back later. The Sirs application system is available from 9am to 9pm daily. Those eligible for Sirs will receive three quarterly cash payouts of $3,000 each.
In comments left on NTUC's Facebook page, many users expressed their anxieties after being unable to enter the site or complete their applications.
Freelance graphic designer Ayden Ng, 32, is worried he may not have enough immediate funds while awaiting the Sirs payouts. He designs mainly for events, most of which have been cancelled or postponed.
"It seems NTUC takes around 11/2 months to process the first payout, which is daunting to hear. I don't wish to reach a stage where I need to seek help from community services," he said.
He received a $500 payout from the Temporary Relief Fund, which has helped to tide him through this month, and he is looking for part-time work.
Those who automatically qualified for Sirs based on the Government's eligibility criteria will receive three quarterly cash payouts in end-May, July and October.
For those who do not automatically qualify, NTUC said there is no closing date for applications at the moment.