Home Caregiving Grant to double to S$400 for lower-income households under White Paper proposals
SINGAPORE: In the White Paper on Singapore Women’s Development released on Monday (Mar 28), the Government proposed doubling the Home Caregiving Grant from S$200 to S$400 for lower-income households.
The grant was introduced in October 2019 to offset caregiving costs for those with permanent moderate disabilities, and more than 31,000 individuals have benefited so far, said Parliamentary Secretary for Health Rahayu Mahzam.
“Caregivers are the cornerstone of our society and women tend to shoulder a large part of caregiving responsibilities, sometimes to their own detriment. It is therefore important that we continue to support caregivers in their journey and provide women with the support as necessary,” she said.
In the Conversations on Singapore Women’s Development, participants shared their aspirations for a society where both men and women play equal roles in caregiving responsibilities, said Ms Rahayu.
“They also shared that caregivers typically give a lot of themselves and sometimes have physical, social-emotional and financial challenges. So on this aspect, these are the things that we want to look at to support caregivers.”
The enhanced Home Caregiving Grant will recognise caregivers’ contributions and reduce caregiving costs, with more help provided to the lower-income families, said Ms Rahayu.
Under the proposal, beneficiaries with monthly per capita household income of up to S$1,200 or with no income, who live in a residence with an annual value of up to S$13,000, will receive S$400 a month, up from S$200.
Those with a monthly per capita household income of between S$1,201 and S$2,800 will receive S$250, up from S$200.
The Household Services Scheme, which allows companies to hire more migrant workers to provide part-time domestic services, was made permanent on Sep 1 last year. To better support parents and caregivers, the scope of the scheme will be widened for workers to provide basic child- and elder-minding services.
“Beyond providing financial support, (there are) caregivers who also feel stressed and need help in other aspects of their caregiving journey,” said Ms Rahayu.
“So it is helpful to have like-minded fellow caregivers who can be brought together to create an ecosystem where they could provide a listening ear and share experiences and lend a helping hand to each other.”
The People’s Association, National Council of Social Services and the SGCares volunteer centres will work with social service agencies to form community-based peer support networks for caregivers, she added.
The Agency for Integrated Care will serve as a one-stop resource on caregiving for seniors and providing support for caregivers, Ms Rahayu noted.
“If we all play a part in providing support to caregivers, families can support those who are caregiving within their families. We also want employers to play their role in giving flexibility to workers who have caregiving requirements,” she added.
“So this is an ongoing effort, something that we will need to continue to work on, and we call on (the) whole of society to play a role in supporting caregivers.”