What is the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF) all about?
Established by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF) extends subsidies to elderly persons in Singapore aged 60 years old and above, who require:
- Assistive devices for increased mobility
- Home healthcare items to facilitate ageing in place
- Specialised transportation services
Not only does this provide them with the necessary tools and equipment for mobility, but also holistic support as they continue to live independently in their golden years.
Benefits of the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF)
Eligible seniors who meet the criteria for the SMF can receive subsidies for assistive devices or home healthcare items to help them age in place with more ease — physically and financially.
The exact amount of subsidy you will receive depends on the outcome of your means-testing assessment, but in general, you will receive up to 90% subsidy for the cost of the mobility aid or 90% of the maximum device subsidy cap, depending on which is lower.
This refers to any equipment, machines, or apparatus that will help seniors move about from one place to another, or tools that enable them to better perform their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).
Seniors who are supported by the SMF need to take note that repeat applications for the same device category is not allowed. Reimbursement for any purchase made prior to the approved application is also prohibited.
The types of assistive devices covered by SMF subsidies include:
- Basic wheelchair/pushchair
- Commode/shower chair
- Geriatric chair
- Hearing aids
- Hospital bed
- Motorised wheelchair/scooter
- Pressure relief cushion
- Pressure relief mattress
- Walking aids
- Other special equipment like suction pumps, transfer boards, or oxygen concentrator
Home Healthcare Items
Elderly persons in Singapore who choose to stay at home instead of a nursing home or can receive subsidies for various home healthcare items and services that will allow them to age in place comfortably and conveniently.
Depending on the level of care required and nature of one’s illness, the list of home healthcare items necessary for seniors vary from person to person. Usually, healthcare professionals will provide their patients with a list of what is required and even provide recommendations on the different brands and their features.
The types of home healthcare items that can be covered by SMF subsidies include:
- Adult diapers
- Catheters and catheter sets
- Milk feeds
- Nasal tubing
- Nasogastric tubes
- pH indicator test strips
- Wound dressings
Apart from assistive devices and home healthcare items, the SMF also provides subsidies for transportation to seniors currently receiving care at various hospice care centres, eldercare centres and dialysis centres funded by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Am I eligible for the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF)?
In order to be eligible for the SMF, applicants must:
- Be a Singapore Citizen aged 60 years old and above
- Have a total monthly household income per person of S$2,000 and below, or have an Annual Value (AV) of residence of S$13,000 and below reflected on your NRIC (for households with no source of income)
- Pass the means-test under MOH’S Intermediate and Long-Term Care (ILTC) non-residential framework
- Be applying for the Assistive Devices or Home Healthcare Items category for the first time and not have made previous claims under the SMF for the same category
- Be living within the community and not residing in a sheltered home, nursing home, or assisted-living facility
- Be able to co-pay for the assistive device or home healthcare item
- Be assessed on the type of device required by a qualified assessor such as a registered doctor or nurse, therapist, audiologist, or optometrist.
How can I apply for the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF)?
The application process for the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund is relatively simple, swift, and straightforward. With multiple channels available such as participating community hospitals and home care providers, it ensures a seamless application process for elderly adults and their families.
There are two ways you can apply for the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF).
If you are currently undergoing therapy sessions with fully registered therapists or have regular medical appointments at the hospital, let them know that you would like to apply for the SMF. Medical professionals at participating establishments can then perform the assessment and submit your application to AIC on your behalf. Once your application is approved by AIC, they can then go on to order the device.
Alternatively, eligible seniors can also contact AIC directly to apply for the subsidies.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a means-test and what type of means-testing will be done?
A means-test is essentially a method used to calculate the amount of subsidy each applicant is eligible for. This ensures that individuals from lower-income households are prioritised over higher-income households when it comes to receiving subsidies for assistive devices or home health care items.
Typically, the test will assess your regular household income and applicants must pass the means-test under MOH’s Intermediate and Long Term Care (ILTC) non-residential framework before their subsidy application can be approved.
The simplest way to undergo a means-test is to:
- Fill up the Means-Test Declaration Form
- Ensure that the main applicant and all other household members aged 21 and above have signed the form and granted consent for means-testing OR have a parent/legal guardian for applicants below 21 years old give consent/declaration on their behalf
- Attach photocopies of the NRIC/FIN (both front and back) for the main applicant and all household members
- Submit the completed form and all other supporting documents to Harbourfront Centre Post Office, P.O. Box 074, Singapore 910932
Do note that any forms that are incomplete, lacking consent signature, and missing other supporting documents will be sent back to the applicants for completion.
How much subsidy will be granted to each successful applicant?
Depending on which is lower, eligible seniors can receive up to 90% subsidy for the cost of the mobility aid or 90% of the maximum device subsidy cap.
Getting Financial Assistance Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult
With the cost of living in Singapore rapidly increasing each year, purchasing assistive devices and home health care items to remain ambulant in the community have become more challenging, especially for lower-income families.
Through various subsidies provided by the government just like the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund, our pioneer generation in Singapore can be financially supported by covering the majority of the costs of the necessary equipment and services.
To learn more about the SMF and other subsidies available for the elderly and their caregivers, read our comprehensive guide to financial assistance schemes in Singapore, which provides you with all the information you need and help you find the schemes that best suit your needs.
- Grey, H. (2020, December 30). A Complete Guide to Hospice Care in Singapore. Retrieved January 11, 2021, from https://www.homage.sg/resources/hospice-care/
- Grey, H. (2020, November 20). Activities of Daily Living (ADL) in Singapore. Retrieved January 11, 2021, from https://www.homage.sg/resources/activities-of-daily-living-adl/
- Grey, H. (2020, November 22). A Complete Guide to Singapore Community Hospitals. Retrieved January 11, 2021, from https://www.homage.sg/resources/community-hospital-singapore/
- Hui, T. (2020, November 20). Financial Assistance for Elderly & Caregiver Grants. Retrieved January 11, 2021, from https://www.homage.sg/resources/financial-assistance-for-elderly-and-caregiver-grants-singapore/
- Ministry of Health Singapore (n.d.). Subsidies for Government-funded Intermediate Long-Term Care Services. Retrieved February 7, 2021, from https://www.moh.gov.sg/cost-financing/healthcare-schemes-subsidies/subsidies-for-government-funded-intermediate-long-term-care-services/.