What is the Home Caregiving Grant?
Introduced on 1 October 2019, the Home Caregiving Grant (HCG) gives a $200 monthly cash payout to eligible Singaporeans to help families care for their loved ones experiencing moderate to severe disabilities. This grant replaces the Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) Grant and forms part of a new Caregiver Support Action Plan developed by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Under HCG, the $200 cash payout can be used to defray the costs of senior care and caregiver support services in the community apart from the hiring of a Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW), allowing families more flexibility when tapping on this subsidy. This increases the respite options that family caregivers can tap on.
Criteria for Grant Qualification
To qualify for the Home Caregiving Grant, you need to:
- Be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident (PR) residing in Singapore
- Be means-tested to have per capita household monthly income that is S$2,800 or less, or belong to a household with no income and living in a residence with an annual value that is S$13,000 or less;
- Be residing in a proper housing type in Singapore, not a residential long-term care institution
- Have at least permanent moderate disability, meaning that you always need assistance with at least three activities of daily living (ADLs)
What does ‘Permanent Moderate Disability’ mean?
An individual is considered to have permanent moderate disability if they are unable to independently perform at least 3 ADLs and will always require the physical assistance of another individual throughout the entire activity.
The 6 activities of daily living (ADLs) include:
- Washing: The ability to wash your face or body in the bath or shower independently as well as physically getting in and out of the shower.
- Dressing: The ability to choose which clothes to wear, putting them on, and managing your self appearance. This includes securing and unfastening any artificial limbs, braces, and other medical and surgical appliances, if needed.
- Feeding: The ability to feed oneself after the food has been prepared.
- Toileting: The ability to get to and from the toilet, use it properly, and clean yourself afterwards. This includes putting on protective undergarments such as diapers or surgically appliances unaccompanied, if required.
- Mobility: The ability to sit, stand, walk and move from one place to another on level surfaces by yourself.
- Transferring: While similar to functional mobility and sometimes used interchangeably, transferring focuses on all aspects of being able to move from a bed to an upright chair or wheelchair and vice versa.
Comparing Home Caregiving Grant and Foreign Domestic Worker Grant
While the HCG has retained some similarities from the FDW Grant, they still have distinct key differences. Here are some of the key similarities and differences between the two grants.
A means-testing assessment is essentially a method used to assess your financial circumstances and considers the household monthly income per person. Since it assesses whether you have limited financial means, this helps lower-income families in Singapore receive more subsidies than those from higher-income households.
For both the HCG and FDW Grant, the annual value of property for households has to be S$13,000 or less if they do not have an income, or have a monthly income of S$2,800 or less in order to qualify for the schemes.
Assistance with ADLs
Another similarity that both grants have is that applicants need help with at least three activities of daily living (ADL). These include bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, transferring, or walking or moving around.
The former FDW grant that has been phased out was only meant to offset the cost of hiring foreign domestic workers.
With the new HCG, the grant offsets multiple caregiving expenses beyond hiring FDWs such as home care services, senior care services, caregiver support services in the community, transportation to medical appointments.
Previously, the criteria to qualify for the FDW grant was far more stringent. Care recipients had to be Singapore Citizens, or FDW employers had to be a Singapore Citizen caring for a PR who is more than 65 years of age. Hired FDWs were also required to attend AIC-approved Caregiver Training Courses before they could start work.
Today, as long as you are a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident (PR), with a spouse, child, or parent who is a Singaporean, you are qualified for the HCG. Furthermore, there are no age restrictions for applicants. However, they cannot be living in a residential long-term care institution like nursing homes.
In the previous FDW grant, the monthly cash payout was S$120. With the HCG, the monthly payouts were increased to S$200.
How do I apply?
Here is a step-by-step guide to apply for the Home Caregiving Grant:
Step 1: Fill up the HCG Application Form
The Long Term Care Schemes Guide & Application Form is available for download to all applicants via the AIC website. Before filling up the form with all your personal details, ensure that you have read the terms and conditions.
Step 2: Update your household information
Once you have downloaded and completed the application form, check that your household has been means-tested. If you need to update your household information, you may do so on the MOH Household Check Website. If you have opted out from sharing your financial information with MOH in the past, you may also allow eligibility checks on your financial information on the website as well.
Step 3: Undergo a disability assessment
Every HCG applicant needs to undergo a disability assessment to assess a person’s need for assistance with basic activities of daily living. To do so, you can visit your local clinic or make an arrangement with your care provider to obtain a Functional Assessment Report (FAR).
Step 4: Submit your application documents to AIC
Now that you have completed the first three steps, all that’s left to do is submit your application to the AIC. Ensure that you have completed and compiled your HCG application form, FAR assessment, and any other supporting documents that are deemed necessary.
What happens after I submit my application?
Once you have submitted your application, AIC will inform you of the results via mail to your registered address. Due to the high volume of applications, the processing may take up to a month. Successful applicants will receive the monthly payout of S$200 in their bank account as long as the care recipient remains eligible.
Apart from the Home Caregiving Grant, there are also various other avenues where you can receive financial aid and subsidies for the elderly. To make healthcare more affordable and readily available for Singaporeans, the government has implemented multiple schemes to alleviate any financial burden. However, many seniors and caregivers are unaware of their eligibility and even the existence of some of these programmes.
Read our financial guide here to learn more about the different financial assistance schemes available for elderly persons in Singapore and get access to all the information you need. This comprehensive guide covers everything from MediSave Care, CareShield Life, Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS), Foreign Domestic Levy Concession, Medical Fee Exemption Card and more.
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