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Grants; Subsidies; And Self-Care: Guide To Being A First-Time Caregiver In Singapore

Many do not realise they have become a caregiver.

This article was written in collaboration with the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC). All views expressed in this article are the independent opinion of based on our research. is not liable for any financial losses that may arise from any transactions and readers are encouraged to do their own due diligence. You can view our full editorial policy here.

In Asian cultures, there is an important emphasis on filial piety, and looking after one’s loved one is a natural and fulfilling part of life. Faced with an ageing population, more Singaporeans may find themselves taking on the role of a caregiver.

Rosalynn Carter once said: There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers.

Preparing To Be An Effective Caregiver

Without adequate preparation, it is not uncommon for new caregivers to experience overwhelming stress, uncertainty, and fear.

In some cases, caregivers may not even be aware that they are a caregiver, and may assume that their tasks and responsibilities are what is expected of them as a filial son or daughter.

A 2021 survey by AIC found that only 49% of respondents with at least one dependent identified themselves as a caregiver. Being able to identify oneself as a caregiver can be the first step to learning about the relevant support available and prioritising self-care.

Read Also: What Is Lasting Power Of Attorney (LPA) And Why All Singaporeans Should Make One

Government Grants And Financial Assistance For Caregivers

There are a number of government grants that caregivers can tap on to support them and defray some of the costs of supporting their loved ones.

#1 Caregivers Training Grant (CTG)

Just like picking up a new skill, new caregivers may consider attending caregivers’ training courses to pick up useful caregiving skills and knowledge. There are currently over 200 training courses available for both care management and care delivery.

While care delivery courses equip the caregiver to perform more hands-on personal care tasks, care management courses help the caregiver to plan, organise, supervise, and coordinate care delivery management. Caregivers may tap on the Caregivers Training Grant (CTG) to offset the cost of the courses.

Since April 2024, the CTG was enhanced to start off with a $400 grant for caregivers to attend approved courses to better care for their loved ones aged 65 and above or have a disability. Thereafter, an annual top-up of $200 will be provided, and any unused balances can be carried forward up to a cap of $400.

The CTG is given to every care recipient each financial year (i.e. April 2024 to March 2025), and there is a $10 co-payment for each course attended. The $400 may be shared among multiple caregivers of the same care recipient who wish to attend training. For example, the primary caregiver and Migrant Domestic Worker.

Since 18 November 2023, Singaporean caregivers may also additionally tap on their SkillsFuture Credits to make co-payments for the training courses.

Caregivers Training Grant (CTG) infographic

Source: AIC

Caregivers may also tap on online resources to self-help and feel more prepared for their new caregiving role. AIC’s Learning Guidebook for Caregivers is one such resource that can help caregivers navigate topics such as family caregiving and learn from real caregiver case studies.

#2 Home Caregiving Grant (HCG)

The cost of caregiving may add up over time. Apart from medical expenses, there may also be indirect expenses for meals, health supplements, transport, and household goods. There may also be unexpected costs for home modifications.

To defray some of these costs, a Home Caregiving Grant (HCG) in the form of a monthly cash payout of $250 or $400 is provided to those who are eligible.

Household Monthly Income Per Person Enhanced HCG Monthly Payout
(from 1 March 2023)
Up to $1,200
(or Annual Value of Residence* ≤ $21,000 for households without income)
$1,201 to $2,800 $250

^ Those who own multiple properties will automatically receive the lower tier of $250 per month.

* The Annual Value of your Residence in 2023 will be used to determine your eligibility

This payout is meant to support care recipients who permanently require some assistance with at least 3 of the 6 Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Care recipients who are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents with a Singaporean immediate family member (parent, spouse or child) must undergo a disability assessment to obtain a Functional Assessment Report (FAR) to be eligible. In this case, the care recipient must not be staying in a residential long-term care institution (i.e. nursing home).

Individuals who are also applying for severe disability schemes at the same time as HCG, such as IDAPE/ElderFund, CareShield Life and MediSave Care do not need to obtain the FAR. Instead, you should contact an MOH-accredited severe disability assessor to undergo a severe disability assessment.

ADL infographic

Source: AIC

You can apply for the HCG online, by logging in to AIC’s eService portal (eFASS) via your Singpass for shorter waiting time before application approval. Alternatively, you can email in to [email protected] or walk-in to AIC links to request for the hardcopy application form.

#3 Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW) Levy Concession

With nearly half of Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs) hired for the purpose of looking after older family members, they have become an important pillar of caregiving support.

Caregivers may often opt for an arrangement where they oversee the planning and care management of their loved one, while their MDW may carry out the care delivery. Splitting the caregiving workload can be beneficial to time-strapped caregivers.

The MDW Levy Concession for persons with disabilities enables families to pay their MDW levy at a concessionary rate of $60 a month instead of $300. Each household is eligible for up to 2 MDW levy concessions to support multiple loved ones.

Eligible persons with disabilities must permanently require some assistance with at least 1 of the 6 ADLs (listed above).

Similarly, care recipients must undergo a disability assessment to obtain a Functional Assessment Report (FAR) to ascertain disability status. AIC will check if the disability and other eligibility conditions are met, and the application will be forwarded to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for approval. Applications can be made through AIC’s eFASS portal with your Singpass.

For persons with disabilities who are below 16 or 67 years old and above, no application is required as they are already eligible under the existing Young Child Scheme or Aged Person Scheme administered by the MOM.

#4 Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund

To help seniors, 60 and above, live more independently within their communities, the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF) provides subsidies for assistive devices, such as walking sticks, wheelchairs, hospital beds, as well as spectacles and hearing aids.

SMF may also help to offset the costs of replacing these devices when they reach their end of lifespan, as well as customised and specialised devices to meet seniors’ care and mobility needs in the community.

Via SMF-Consumables subsidy for home healthcare items, frail seniors who are cared for at home and supported by home healthcare services, can purchase subsidised home healthcare items for products including catheters, milk supplements, thickeners, adult diapers, nasal tubing and wound dressing.

Seniors who are recipients of the SMF-Consumables Subsidy and/or their caregivers can register for an account on the Vertis Portal, a commercial marketplace where they can order subsidised home healthcare items.

Additional Support Schemes For Persons With Disabilities

There are numerous other government schemes that can help caregivers, seniors and persons with disabilities, with specialised support. A comprehensive list of financial assistance schemes is on AIC’s website, and some them include:

– CareShield Life

– Pioneer Generation Disability Assistance Scheme (PGDAS)

Assistive Technology Fund (ATF) for persons with disabilities to purchase assistive technology devices

Car Park Label Scheme (CPLS) for Persons with Physical Disabilities

– ComCare Long-Term Assistance

Public Transport Concession Scheme for Persons with Disabilities

– Subsidies for Services and Drugs at Public Healthcare Institutions

Helping Seniors To Age Well In The Community

A key message during the Singapore Budget 2024 announcement was to enable seniors to age actively and stay connected in the communities. At the same time, seniors can also be caregivers to other seniors.

Apart from “silver upgrades” within residential estates and transportation infrastructure, an extensive network of Active Ageing Centres (AACs) across Singapore provides a diverse range of programmes – from physical activities to volunteering opportunities – to keep seniors engaged.

Potentially, AACs can also help caregivers get some reprieve from their caregiving responsibilities as they function as drop-in social recreational centres that their elderly loved one may attend regularly.

Seniors at the AACs can attend practical courses, engage in fun arts & crafts and games, or even participate in cooking and exercise programmes. AACs also provide an outlet for more active seniors to volunteer, helping with not just the centre activities, but befriending other seniors who may need more support.

These centres also act as information nodes for seniors in the community. They can rely on AACs to get accurate information on available government schemes, grants and support services, as well as referrals to appropriate support channels if required.

Caregivers can make use of the Care Services Recommender (CSR) tool on the SupportGoWhere website to learn more about relevant support schemes. The CSR tool also provides acts as a guide in preparing caregivers for your loved one’s discharge from hospital back home.

To learn more about how to support your loved one, visit

You can also link-up to relevant services or apply for financial grants via the AIC website, or call the AIC Hotline at 1800-650-6060.

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