Why stop Public Assistance?

Why stop Public Assistance?

The ComCare Long Term Assistance Scheme is designed to help those who are permanently unable to work due to old age, illness or disability, and have little or no means of income and family support.

04 May 2016

HOTA mockup

An online article recently implied that Government stopped giving an elderly woman Public Assistance because she was dying from terminal cancer. It suggested that Government wanted to “stop wasting money on those who are dying”. What’s the truth?

Public Assistance

The ComCare Long Term Assistance Scheme, also commonly known as Public Assistance Scheme, is designed to help those who are permanently unable to work due to old age, illness or disability, and have little or no means of income and family support. The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) reviews recipients’ cases periodically to ensure that those who need additional assistance will get the help they need.

The case highlighted in the online article involved an elderly woman who had received Public Assistance since 1990, after she became unemployed. A recent review found that she had substantial CPF monies which she could tap on for monthly payouts, as well as a paid-up flat. She also had a reasonable sum in her Medisave Account. As such, her financial assistance under the Public Assistance scheme could not be extended as she did not meet the criteria.

MSF explained to her that she could get monthly payouts from her Retirement Account. In the meantime, MSF continued to give her other forms of financial assistance and also a Medical Fee Assistance Card for her medical expenses at public healthcare institutions. This would be on top of existing medical subsidies.

MSF will review her case again in July 2016.

Assistance with medical bills

No one will be denied the medical care they need. The Ministry of Health has safety nets in place to help Singaporeans who do not have family support, and do not have sufficient money in their Medisave account to pay their medical bills. One of the help schemes available is Medifund.

Click on the links below for more information on schemes and subsidies available to needy Singaporeans:

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