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Overview of Financial Assistance for Special Needs (Government Schemes)

Posted on April 10, 2019 by Ann

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If you are just getting started on caregiving, it is normal to feel worried about finances. Generally, a medical social worker, attending doctor or social worker will be able to give you specific advice on applications for financial assistance.

However, we know it is a lot to take in, so here is a quick overview of financial assistance schemes available for the care of a child with special needs. Depending on your specific circumstances, your family may be eligible for these schemes.

Summary of Schemes

More details about each scheme (in alphabetical order):

The lists of criteria in the table below have been summarized to keep this overview concise. For more details, do refer to the respective webpages.

Financial Assistance Schemes and SubsidiesDescriptionCriteria
Assistive Technology Fund• Means-tested subsidies for assistive technology devices such as wheelchairs and hearing aids for independence in daily living
• Up to 90% of the cost of the required equipment, subject to a lifetime cap of $40,000
• Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident
• Certified to have a permanent disability of any one of the following:
o Physical disability
o Visual impairment
o Hearing impairment
o Intellectual disability
o Autism Spectrum Disorder
• Undergone qualified assessor’s assessment to determine the need and type of device(s)
• Household gross monthly income per person of $1,800 and below
Car Park Label Scheme
(Subsidy for Class 1 Label only)
• Allows eligible persons with physical disabilities to park in accessible parking lots
• Subsidised parking fees: No charge for the first hour of using a handicap lot with a Class 1 Label.
For Class 1 Label (Blue):
• Drivers with a valid Singapore driving licence
• Drivers with physical disabilities who are certified by a Singapore registered medical doctor as requiring the use of bulky mobility aids and a wider space to embark or disembark from cars
Caregivers Training Grant (CTG)• $200 subsidy each care recipient every financial year for approved coursesCare Recipient:
• Singapore Citizen
• Have a disability as assessed by a doctor
• Must complete the training course
• Must be the person-in-charge of caring for the care recipient
Early Intervention Programme for Infants & Children (EIPIC)• Subsidised therapy and educational support services for infants and young children with special needs

Note that from July 2019, there will be a 2-year pilot to develop enhanced EI programmes (EIPIC Under-2s and DS-PLUS). (More information here.)
• 6 years old and below
• Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident
• Diagnosed with or at risk of developmental, intellectual, sensory, or physical disabilities or a combination of disabilities.
• Recommended for EIPIC by a doctor from the Child Development Unit (CDU) at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), National University Hospital (NUH) or Singapore General Hospital (SGH), or a private paediatrician.
Enhanced Pilot for Private Intervention Providers (Enhanced PPIP)• Subsidised scheme for children in selected Private Intervention Centres • All EIPIC eligibility criteria apply
• Currently enrolled in an approved programme offered by one of the selected Private Intervention Centres
Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) Direct Application• Subsidy of up to 95% of the total cost of flat improvements• Singapore Citizen
• HDB flat owner
• At least one member in the household aged between 60 and 64 years who requires assistance for one or more of the Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
Note: All In’s query to HDB confirmed that despite the age criteria, if your child requires assistance for one or more of the Activities of Daily Living, you can also submit an application for HDB’s assessment.
Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) Grant• $120 monthly cash payment given to families who need to hire a Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) to provide care to care recipient who is unable to perform three or more Activities of Daily LivingCare recipient
• Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident above 65 years old
• Assessed by a qualified assessor to be permanently unable to perform three or more Activities of Daily Living
• Relationship with the FDW Employer: Spouse; parent/parent-in-law; grandparent/grandparent-in-law; child/child-in-law; grandchild/grandchild-in-law; or sibling/sibling-in-law
• Lives with FDW employer
FDW Employer
• Singapore Citizen
• Household monthly income per person must be ≤ $2,600. If you do not have any household income, annual value of property must be < $13,000.
• FDW must attend AIC-approved FDW Grant caregiver’s training
Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) Levy Concession for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) Scheme• Concessionary rate of $60 per month• Under young child/grandchild scheme:
o Below 16 years old.
o Is a Singapore citizen.
o Staying with you.
• Under the persons with disabilities scheme, the care recipient must be:
o A Singapore Citizen
o Aged 16 to 64 years old
o Living together with the FDW employer
o Certified by an authorised healthcare professional as someone who needs permanent help in at least 1 Activity of Daily Living
Government-funded Intermediate Long-Term Care Services• Means-tested subsidy for intermediate and long-term care servicesThe care recipient must:
• be a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident
• meet the admission criteria
• already be receiving care from an MOH-funded service provider
Medical Fee Exemption Card (MFEC)• Standard medical and hospitalisation treatments at public healthcare institutions (including polyclinics)
• Intermediate and long-term care (ILTC) institutions
• Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents, and are residents of MOH-funded nursing homes, or MSF-funded sheltered and disability homes.
• Monthly per capita family income of $700 or less.
• Personal savings of $6,000 or less.
Public Transport Concession Scheme for Persons with Disabilities• A 25% or more off adult fares for all basic bus and train services
• Free travel for distances travelled beyond 7.2km
• Option to purchase a Monthly Concession Pass with unlimited bus and train rides at $60 per month or the Off Peak Monthly Travel Pass at $40 per month with unlimited travel on basic bus services and trains during off peak hours
Persons who are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents, aged between 7 and 60 years old and are one of the following:
• Has a permanent disability who is a member and/or service user of relevant Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) providing disability services
• Attending Special Education (SPED) schools operated by a VWO
• Certified by a medical practitioner to have a permanent disability of any one of the following: Physical Disability, Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability
Public Transport Concession Scheme for Persons with Disabilities• Subsidised before and after school care services for students with special needs aged 7 to 18• Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident. If the student is a Permanent Resident, at least one immediate family member must be a Singapore Citizen.
• Aged between 7 and 18 years old
• Attending a mainstream or Special Education school
• Certified by a medical doctor confirming disability
• Have a gross monthly household income of less than $4,000 and a gross per capita family income of less than $1,000.
Special Education Needs (SEN) Fund• Provide support in acquiring Assistive Technology (AT) devices and or support services that students with special needs may need in the course of their studies at specific institutesSingaporean students studying in the following institutes:
• ITEs
• Nanyang Technological University Singapore
• National University of Singapore
• Nanyang Polytechnic
• Ngee Ann Polytechnic
• Republic Polytechnic
• Singapore Polytechnic
• Temasek Polytechnic
Taxi Subsidy Scheme• Means-tested subsidy for taxi travel to and from school• Persons with disabilities who are medically certified as unable to take public transport and totally dependent on taxis for travelling to school, work or employment-related training supported SG Enable
• From families with a per capita monthly household income of $2,600 or below, and are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents
• Currently schooling, working or attending employment-related training supported by SG Enable
• Not currently owning any motor vehicles
VWO Transport Subsidies• Up to 80% subsidy for transport fees depending on circumstances• Persons with disabilities on transport services provided by VWOs
• Attending Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC), Day Activity Centres, Sheltered Workshops or Special Education (SPED) schools
• Per capita monthly household income of $2,600 and below for Singapore Citizens, or $1,800 and below for Permanent Residents
Wheelchair Lifter Pilot Scheme• Subsidised cost and maintenance of a wheel chair lifter ($1960 instead of $3920 for the lifter and about $80 for maintenance servicing fee)• Approval for EASE (Direct Application)
• Ramp solutions offered under EASE cannot be installed due to site constraints