The past two years have undoubtedly taken a huge toll on our healthcare workers, many of whom have worked tirelessly in holding up the fort in our hospitals, clinics, and care facilities. As the peak of the Omicron wave is over — and the number of cases in general wards is about half the level than it was at the peak — health experts share that the healthcare system in Singapore should be able to cope better with the latest easing of COVID-19 measures which took effect on 29 March 2022.
With the gradual reopening of our economy, Singapore will be focusing on measures that will place the country in a stronger position after the pandemic. Adjustments have been made to the application criteria of various schemes, one of which includes The Courage Fund (TCF), as part of Singapore’s plans to channel funds to those who need them more.
Find out more about the new adjustments of TCF and how you can apply for it as a healthcare worker who has been involved in COVID-19 operations.
What is The Courage Fund?
When the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak was detected in Singapore back in 2003, TCF was established to provide support for SARS victims and healthcare workers. With the COVID-19 outbreak hitting Singapore in 2020, TCF was relaunched to provide relief to healthcare workers and lower-income households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the assistance of Community Chest, who helped in rallying the community to donate, TCF has received approximately $18.5 million in donations for COVID-19 as of 31 January 2022, with an estimated $7.4 million being disbursed to more than 6,660 beneficiaries.
On 14 February 2022, the eligibility criteria for TCF was adjusted to prioritise healthcare workers who are at the frontline of Singapore’s fight against COVID-19. Read the full press release of the adjustments here.
Who can apply for The Courage Fund?
Based on the most recent adjustments in guidelines, these are the latest application criteria for the various schemes under TCF, as of 14 February 2022.
1. Scheme for healthcare workers who have contracted COVID-19 in the line of duty [New adjustments]
- You are a healthcare worker* involved directly in patient-fronting COVID-19 duties**
- You are fully vaccinated or are medically ineligible for the COVID-19 vaccination
- You are a Singapore Citizen, Permanent Resident, holder of a valid Employment Pass or Work Permit
- You have contracted COVID-19 while working in environments which held COVID-19 patients or provided services which would reasonably bring you in contact with confirmed/suspected COVID-19 patients
- You are a first-time applicant (You can only apply for The Courage Fund once, regardless of the number of times you have contracted COVID-19)
*Healthcare worker refers to all healthcare workers employed in Singapore in both government-restructured and private hospitals, clinics and step-down nursing care-facilities, and all persons employed by a sub-contractor company engaged by a hospital/clinic/nursing care facility to provide essential services within the premises of a hospital/clinic/nursing care facility.
**Patient-fronting COVID-19 duties mainly refer to healthcare workers serving COVID-19 wards, Community Facilities serving positive COVID-19 patients, ambulance services ferrying COVID-19 patients, swabbing operations for positive COVID-19 patients, Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs), and non-PHPCs serving acute patients.
You will get a one-time payment of S$5,000.
How to apply?
Applications are to be submitted and endorsed by the organisation on behalf of nominees via the online form here.
When should you apply?
Applications should be made within 6 months from the date of COVID-19 contraction.
How long does it take to receive the funds?
It may take up to two months for the verification of details.
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2. Relief for dependents of healthcare workers involved in COVID-19 patient-fronting duties who passed away due to COVID-19 [New adjustments]
- The dependent’s’ parent was a healthcare worker* directly involved in patient-fronting COVID-19 duties**
- The dependent’s parent was fully vaccinated or was medically ineligible for the COVID-19 vaccination
- The dependent’s parent was a Singapore Citizen, Permanent Resident, holder of a valid Employment Pass or Work Permit
- The dependent’s parent passed away due to COVID-19 while working in environments which held COVID-19 patients or provided services which would reasonably bring him/her in contact with confirmed/suspected COVID-19 patients
- The dependent is studying in Singapore (applicable for the Education Grant)
The dependent will receive a lump sum relief amount of S$30,000. Do note that if you have already received grants from the above scheme (“Scheme for Healthcare Workers who have contracted COVID-19 in the line of duty”), the lump sum relief amount will net off the amounts already disbursed. If the dependent is studying in Singapore, he/she could also be covered by the Education Grant which will cover educational expenses and living expenses of the dependant up to tertiary level.
How to apply?
Please contact the Courage Fund (COVID-19) Secretariat at [email protected] or 6210 2679. For the Education Grant, eligible families will be contacted to apply.
3. Appreciation of healthcare workers, frontline workers and community volunteers involved in the fight against COVID-19 [No change]
- Your nominees are working in sectors such as healthcare and social services and have stepped up to contribute toward the national response against COVID-19. This includes:
- Providing care to COVID-19 patients
- Supporting duties in healthcare institutions
- Supporting duties in COVID-19 community care or quarantine facilities
- Involved in swab operations
- Contributed to the essential services for the vulnerable groups for service continuity
- Your organisation must be a non-profit entity and have a valid registration with the Commissioner of Charities (COC), Registry of Societies (ROS) or Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
Eligible organisations may receive up to S$20,000 – capped at S$100 per staff.
How to apply?
Applications are to be submitted by the organisation on behalf of nominees via the online form here. There is no closing deadline for the application of this scheme.
4. Relief for lower-income households directly affected by COVID-19 [No change]
- At least one household member is a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident
- At least one household member was issued a quarantine order (QO), stay-home notice (SHN), mandatory leave of absence (LOA), an isolation order (IO), or hospitalised due to contracting COVID-19
- In the affected month, household has gross monthly income of ≤S$6,200, or gross monthly per capita income of ≤S$2,000
- Household experienced a complete or partial (of at least 10%) loss of household income as a result of the second point
Do note that you may still apply for this scheme if you are currently receiving assistance under ComCare, the COVID-19 Recovery Grant, or the COVID-19 Recovery Grant – Temporary.
If monthly household income per capita post-IO/QO/mandatory LOA/SHN/hospitalisation is:
- S$650 or less: One-time payment of S$1,000
- More than S$650, and up to S$1,350: One-time payment of S$750
- More than S$1,350 and up to S$2,000: One-time payment of S$500
How to apply
Prepare the following documents for your application:
- Proof of documentation which shows that you or your household member(s) were placed on a/an IO/QO/LOA/SHN or was hospitalised due to contracting COVID-19
- Documentation which reflects the loss of income as a result of COVID-19 (e.g. payslips before and after the IO/QO/LOA/SHN/hospitalisation due to contracting COVID-19)
You may complete the online application form here. Regardless of the outcome of your application, you will be notified of the results.
Where can you find more details?
Other grants and subsidies
While the eligibility criteria of The Courage Fund has been tightened, do check out other grants and subsidies available that you may also be eligible for:
- Home Caregiving Grant
- Financial assistance schemes for the elderly and caregivers
- Caregivers Training Grant (CTG)
- Interim Disability Assistance Programme for the Elderly (IDAPE)
- Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS)
Are you a healthcare worker suffering from burnout?
Despite having regained some sense of normalcy with the latest revision in safe management measures in Singapore, let’s all remember to remain vigilant and responsible in our fight against COVID-19 such that we do not overwhelm our healthcare system and workers.
If you are a healthcare worker who has been struggling with workplace burnout and are looking for more work-life balance and better control over your schedule, Homage offers a range of flexible Care Pro careers such as nurses, caregivers, and therapists.
Earn competitive rates across our freelance and fixed positions, receive professional training opportunities, and gain exposure to a variety of care settings — amongst other benefits — when you join us to be Care Pro.
- Baker, J. A. (2022, Mar 25). Easing of Singapore’s covid-19 measures timely, healthcare system can ‘Cope well’, experts say. CNA. Retrieved from https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/easing-covid-19-measures-singapore-timely-healthcare-system-masks-gatherings-2586031
- Begum, Y. (2022, Mar 18). Hospitals still under stress due to large number of non-COVID related A&E admissions: Ong Ye Kung. CNA. Retrieved from https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/covid-19-hospitals-under-stress-omicron-ong-ye-kung-2573356