Singapore's National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) has expanded the eligibility criteria for its NTUC Care Fund (COVID-19), in a move to provide cash relief of up to S$300 for impacted union members to tide through the challenges brought over by the pandemic.
In line with this, it has re-opened the application period for the Fund, which will take place from Monday, 23 November 2020 to Saturday, 28 February 2021.
About 65,000 union members stand to benefit from the enhanced NTUC Care Fund (COVID-19). This comprises new applicants who meet the enhanced eligibility criteria, as well as successful applicants of the previous exercise which ran from 25 March to 30 September 2020.
The first NTUC Care Fund (COVID-19) exercise has already supported some 30,000 union members with a total payout of around S$8mn. With the enhanced criteria, NTUC expects to utilise another S$17mn, which makes up the remainder of the total S$25mn budget that was previously earmarked for the programme.
Explaining the enhancements, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng said in a Facebook post that the salary cap for eligibility has now been increased so that members with dependants who used to earn up to S$4,500 in gross monthly personal income, can tap on the programme and receive up S$300 worth of cash relief.
"The enhancement also covers workers who have been retrenched - no matter how much in retrenchment benefits they have earlier received."
The enhancements are detailed below.
Union members' last drawn salary did not exceed:
- Those with dependents staying in the same household in Singapore - S$4,500 Gross Monthly Personal Income (GPI), or
- Those without dependents staying in the same household in Singapore - S$1,600 GPI
At the same time, these members are in one of the following situations:
- Have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 related retrenchment or termination/non-renewal of employment contract;
- Are suffering from an income drop of at least 30 per cent due to COVID-19, or
- Are self-employed persons whose earnings have been affected due to COVID-19 related job or event cancellations.
Eligible union members will receive between S$50 and S$300 in one-off cash relief, as follows:
Members who did not qualify for the first round of funding, but who fulfill the new qualifying criteria detailed above, can now apply on this portal up till 28 February 2021. Applicants who were successful in the first exercise are eligible for a second payout, provided their union membership is still valid. They will be notified via SMS and will receive their second round of payouts by early December 2020.
Lead photo and tables / NTUC