SINGAPORE – About 4,000 people who applied for the Covid-19 Support Grant (CSG) have been rejected, as the Ministry of Social and Family Development could not verify their employment details.

Minister of State for Social and Family Development Sun Xueling said this on Tuesday (Jan 5) in response to Ms Carrie Tan (Nee Soon GRC), who asked how many grant applicants have been rejected because they could not produce retrenchment letters from their employers.

Ms Tan also asked if the ministry would consider applicants favourably as long as they can produce correspondence showing that they faced pressure from their employers to resign.

Ms Sun said the ministry tries to contact employers when applicants do not have supporting documents or Central Provident Fund records.

“However, MSF does not track the number of applicants whose applications were rejected for the specific reason of not being able to produce retrenchment letters from their employers. We recognise that some applicants might have been unable to do so due to reasons beyond their control,” she added.

She cited how the companies might have closed down without issuing their staff termination letters. In such instances, the MSF would verify an applicant’s employment status by checking their CPF records or contacting his former employer.

She added that applicants who claim to have resigned involuntarily due to pressure from their employers could appeal to the Social Service Office.

The authorities will consider supporting evidence like correspondence with former employers, or if there were extenuating circumstances, she said.

About 97 per cent of appeals have been successful, Ms Sun added.

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The CSG provides up to $800 a month, for three months, to full- or part-time employees who lost their jobs, were placed on involuntary no-pay leave or suffered significant salary loss because of the pandemic.

It also provides $500 a month for three months to those who have had at least 30 per cent of their salary reduced for three months.

Applications for the CSG closed on Dec 31.

As at Dec 20, the Ministry of Social and Family Development had approved around 95,000 applications, including about 15,000 who had successfully appealed.

A new Covid-19 Recovery Grant will be launched on Jan 18 to support lower- to middle-income employees and self-employed people who are financially impacted by Covid-19 in 2021. The grant provides up to $700 a month for three months.

Similar to the CSG, those who genuinely are unable to produce documents for the new grant and need help can approach Social Service Offices for assistance, said Ms Sun.



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