Self-Employed Persons (SEPs) can apply for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG), managed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), from 18 January 2021 to 31 December 2021.
In a way, this scheme replaced the Self-Employed Persons Income Relieve Scheme (SIRS), which closed on 31 December 2020.
Due to further tightening of safe management measures (SMM) during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) and Phase 3 (Heightened Alert), the CRG has been enhanced with a one-off payout – dubbed COVID-19 Recovery Grant – Temporary (CRG-T) in June 2021. A second one-off CRG-T payout was provided in July.
How Much Will The COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG) Provide?
The COVID-19 Recovery Grant will pay up to $500 per month for 3 months to self-employed individuals who have experienced an average loss of net trade income (NTI) of at least 50% over a period of at least 3 consecutive months at the point of application (compared to their average monthly net trade income in 2019 or 2020).
For example, if you were earning $2,500 and suffered an income loss of $1,000 due to COVID-19, you may not receive any support as you did not suffer a 50% loss of net trade income.
If you were earning $2,000 and suffered an income loss of $1,000, you may receive $500 per month for 3 months. If you were earning $500 and suffered an income loss of $250 due to COVID-19, you may receive $250 per month for 3 months.
Besides Self-Employed Persons (SEPs), employees who have been impacted by COVID-19 can also apply for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant, to receive up to $700 a month for 3 months.
Lasting for only 3 months, the COVID-19 Recovery Grant is meant for short-term support rather than a long-term solution. Once approved, the first payout will typically be disbursed in 7 calendar days. In the subsequent two months, it will usually be paid by the 4th of the month.
COVID-19 Recovery Grant – Temporary To Extend 2 More One-Off Payouts Of $500
On the back of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) and Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) measures in May 2021, many businesses such as F&B, retail, leisure, event management and others were affected.
Many self-employed individuals within these sectors and outside of it were also affected. On 28 May 2021, the government introduced a slew of measures worth $800 million. This included a one-off $500 payout under the COVID-19 Recovery Grant – Temporary (CRG-T) to help self-employed persons cope with reduced earnings during this period. Similarly, employees may receive up to $700 on the CRG-T.
On 18 June 2021, the government announced a more calibrated re-opening to keep the community safe. This extended the safe management measures for certain businesses. Along with this announcement, a second tranche of CRG-T was also offered, providing another one-off $500 payouts to affected self-employed in July. Again, employees can receive up to $700 for this.
Singapore then plunged into Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) measures again from 22 July to 18 August 2021. On the back of a $1.1 billion supplementary support package announced on 23 July 2021, the government extended the application deadline for the second trance of CRG-T payouts to August 2021.
In total, self-employed persons can apply for these two tranches of CRG-T in June 2021 and in July to August) 2021.
Self-employed persons who experience at least one month of income loss worth at least 50%, during the period between 16 May 2021 and 30 June 2021, may apply for the CRG-T in June. If you experience or continue to experience a similar level of income loss in July or August, you can also apply for the July to August 2021 CRG-T payout.
The CRG-T payouts are separate from the CRG payouts highlighted above. You can also apply for the CRG payouts in addition to the CRG-T payouts. However, you cannot be concurrently receiving support from the main CRG. If your situation has only deteriorated since May, you can apply for support on the 2 separate CRG-T in June and July to August, as well as the main CRG scheme if your business continues to be affected after August 2021. If you have already applied and received the CRG in the early months of 2021, you can still receive support under CRG-T.
How To Apply For The COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG)?
Unlike SIRS, the COVID-19 Recovery Grant does not automatically qualify anyone. While that’s the case, there is also no rush to apply as applications are open from 18 January 2021 and will remain open until 31 December 2021. However, there are deadlines to apply for the CRG-T payouts (discussed above).
You can either apply through an online application on the MSF website, or by visiting your nearest Social Service Office for assistance.
When applying, you will need to submit supporting documents. Have all these documents ready when you are applying:
- Bank account details for fund disbursement
- Relevant documents showing that you are a self-employed person. This can include trade licence(s), contracts for service, income statements, tax invoices billed to clients, receipts issued for services and others
- Relevant documents showing evidence of attempts to reach out to clients or clinch new business in the two months before your applications. This can include pivoting business to cater to wider audiences, putting up advertisements for business, going to business pitches or auditions and more
Some of the eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG) are different from other grants. Even if you have previously submitted some or all of these documents for the COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG) or SIRS, you have to submit the listed supporting documents again.
Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their applications via SMS in about 2 weeks. If you are rejected because you submitted the wrong documents, you can re-apply once you receive an SMS informing you of your rejected application. If your circumstances change, making you eligible for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant, you can also re-apply.
Who Is Eligible For The COVID-19 Recovery Grant?
Both employees and Self-Employed Persons are eligible to apply for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant. Both groups have slightly differing eligibility requirements. In addition, self-employed applicants need to fulfill the eligibility criteria:
|Eligibility Criteria||Self-Employed Persons (SEPs)|
|Age||21 years old and above|
|Citizenship||Singapore Citizens (SCs) and Permanent Residents (PRs)|
|Annual Value (AV) of Property||Living in a property with an Annual Value (AV) of not more than $21,000. Applicants should not own more than one property.*|
|Prior Household Income||Prior to income loss, your household income must not be more than $7,800 OR per capita household income not more than $2,600|
|Economically Active||Should have declared annual trade income (NTI) in either 2019 or 2020. Must provide supporting documents on your line of work.|
|Income Loss||Experience average loss in net trade income (NTI) of at least 50% over a period of at least 3 consecutive months, compared to your average monthly NTI in 2019 or 2020. |
NTI loss must have taken place after 23 January 2020, when the first case of COVID-19 was detected in Singapore
|Job Search or Training Requirement||In lieu of the job search or training requirement, Self-Employed Persons (SEPs) may submit supporting evidence (emails or screenshots) of two attempts to improve your business revenue or reach out to new clients/explore new business opportunities, as proof of job search. |
SEPs may also take up training courses that are relevant to your sectors and available on government-linked sites like the MySkillsFuture Portal and MyCareersFuture Virtual Career Fair website.
*In general, the AV of public housing does not exceed $13,000. Most condominiums outside prime districts have AV that does not exceed $21,000. Your property AV can be found in your IRAS property tax bill. You can log in to your MyTax Portal (Messages > Correspondences & Notices, Property Tax > Letters/Notices).
Self-Employed Persons should also NOT be concurrently receiving support from the following government grant schemes when applying for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant:
- ComCare Short-to-Medium-Term Assistance
- ComCare Long-Term Assistance
- Seafarers Relief Package
- COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund
- SGUnited Mid-Career pathways Programme – Company Training
- SGUnited Skills Package
Self-Employed Persons who have received SIRS or the COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG) are still eligible to apply for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant if you continue to require support.
Separately, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has also introduced a COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF) from January 2021 to support taxi and private hire car (PHC) drivers. Drivers who receive the CDRC will not be eligible to apply for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant as the two grants serve similar purposes. Drivers who do not qualify for the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF) may apply for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant. Self-employed persons who are eligible stallholders can also receive a $500 cash assistance from the Market and Hawker Centre Relief Fund.
This article was first published on 17 December 2020 and has been updated with information on the COVID-19 Recovery Grant (Temporary) (CRG-T).
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