Many Singaporeans grow up with the concept of filial piety, meaning children feel responsible for looking after their parents as they age. However, balancing work, childcare, and senior care, especially when a patient has severe disabilities, can make the task doubly hard.
In cases when your loved one needs elderly care in Singapore, you may want to consider hiring professional help. However, not all families can afford home caregiving costs or the services of a part-time caregiver or a foreign domestic worker FDW.
But don’t fret; you can look into grants available if you’re a permanent resident or Singapore citizen. Such grants, including Home Caregiving Grant HCG, can help defray the expenses of caring for a loved one at home.
Let’s talk about the scope of the Home Caregiving Grant HCG, its annual value, the caregiver support services and the caregiving expenses it covers. Who can avail of the home caregiving grant, and how can you obtain it if you’re a permanent resident or Singapore citizen? What’s the monthly cash payout of the grant, and most importantly, how can it reduce caregiving costs?
A Brief Overview of Home Caregiving Grant HCG
On October 2019, Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) Grant in Singapore was officially replaced by the Home Caregiving Grant (HCG). The Home Caregiving Grant HCG has a $200 monthly cash payout for people with moderate persistent disabilities who need assistance with at least three activities of daily living.
It enables care recipients to cut their expenses on hiring care services, including those for eldercare, community caregiver support services, or employing a foreign domestic worker.
A Singapore permanent resident or Singapore citizen who meets the requirements for the Home Caregiving Grant HCG is entitled to a monthly cash payout of S$250 or S$400 financial support.
This home caregiving grant was established to assist eligible beneficiaries in providing care for loved ones with moderate to severe disabilities. It was all part of the Caregiver Support Action Plan by the Ministry of Health.
Moreover, effective March 2023, the home caregiving grant has undergone a facelift that includes more benefits and a higher monthly payout to families and caregivers.
Eligibility Criteria – How Does a Family/Individual Qualify for the Home Caregiving Grant?
You must meet the following criteria to qualify for the Home Caregiving Grant:
- A permanent resident or Singapore citizen lives in the country (with a Singapore citizen parent-child or spouse)
- Care recipients with permanent moderate disability (requiring assistance with three or more activities of daily living; click here to know more)
- Not staying in a long-term care institution e.g nursing home
- Residence must be a proper Singapore housing type and not a care institution e.g nursing home
- Have been means-tested, proving that the household monthly income per capita is equal to or lower than S$2,800 or no household monthly income at all (lower-income households will get higher benefits)
- The residence where you live has an annual value of S$13,000 or less; owning multiple properties would mean a lower HCG payout or lower monthly payout.
All About Permanent Moderate Disability
Part of the MOH guidelines on HCG disability assessment of a care recipient is that they must not be able to perform at least three activities of daily living on their own. This means that the care recipient will always rely on a family member (parent child or spouse), caregivers, or foreign domestic workers for daily living activities.
For reference, here are the six activities of daily living. A care recipient qualifies for a home caregiving grant when they can’t do at least three of the following:
A care recipient can’t move independently from a bed to a wheelchair or an upright chair or return to the bed without help.
A care recipient finds it difficult or lacks the mental capacity to move about, walk, stand, and sit even at near distances or level surfaces.
This means that the care recipient cannot go to the toilet on their own. And after finishing their business, they cannot clean up after themselves or put on fresh underwear or diapers.
A care recipient cannot eat independently even when the food has already been prepared.
A care recipient cannot pick what to wear or put clothes on. This also includes the inability of a care recipient to unfasten and secure surgical or medical appliances, such as braces and artificial limbs.
A care recipient cannot bathe or wash on their own; they cannot get in or out of the bathroom by themselves and can’t wash their body or face independently.
The Benefits Included in a Home Caregiving Grant
Here’s a look at the revised payouts for the beneficiaries of the Home Caregiving Grant depending on the household’s monthly per capita income or monthly income per person:
- $400 payout for $0 to $1200 capita household monthly income or monthly income per person (or a no-income household with a residence with an annual value of $13,000 or less)
- $250 payout for $1201 to $2800 household monthly income per capita or monthly income per person
A Singapore citizen with an approved home caregiving grant is eligible to use their monthly payouts for any of the following caregiving expenses:
Hiring caregivers to perform home caregiving duties, specifically in helping the patient in their activities of daily living
Specialised Care Services
Request for home caregiving assistance, depending on the patient’s medical condition (e.g. cancer care and dementia care)
Home nursing procedures
Obtaining the services of home nurses to render procedures, such as urine bag drainage, NGT feeding, wound care and dressing, private nursing, and IV drip
Home therapy sessions
Patients needing therapy sessions and personalised exercise treatment to rehabilitate and recover from an injury or illness
Hiring a foreign domestic worker FDW
Employing a stay-in help or caregiver to assist and monitor the patient 24/7
Other eldercare costs
Employing people to render medicine delivery, home medical consultations, and home visits of a general practitioner and other medical professionals
Foreign Domestic Worker FDW Grant and Home Caregiving Grant – Similarities and Differences
How is the Home Caregiving Grant similar or different to the Foreign Domestic Worker FDW Grant? Here are the similarities between the two:
- ADL assistance
They both require the patient to constantly need assistance with at least three activities of daily living.
Both grants come up with a functional assessment report via the means-testing assessment.
Here are the differences between the two grants:
- Monthly payout
The Home Caregiving Grant has a higher monthly payout than the FDW grant
- Coverage of expenses
The FDW grant only covers the expenses of employing a foreign domestic worker. On the other hand, the home caregiving grant covers expenses including hiring FDWs, transportation to medical appointments, caregiver support community services, senior care services, and home care services.
- Qualification criteria
The FDW grant was stricter; it required the employed FDWs to attend caregiver training courses approved by the AIC before they could work. The employer must also be a Singaporean citizen, and the care recipient must be 65 years or older.
The age restrictions have been lifted in the home caregiving grant. Additionally, you can apply if you are a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident with a Singaporean parent, child, or spouse.
How To Apply for a Home Caregiving Grant
Here’s the step-by-step process for applying for the grant:
- Online application begins by downloading and filling out the application form
Before you can apply online, visit the Agency for Integrated Care AIC website to download the Severe Disability Schemes or Long Term Care Schemes Guide & Application Form. Fill it out with the correct details about you (double-check to be certain).
- Verify household information
This means that you must have completed a means-testing of your household, and all details you input in the form are correct. If you need to update the information, you can do so at the MOH Household Check Website.
- Undergo disability assessment visit
You can arrange with your preferred assessor, or local provider or visit your clinic to obtain FAR or a functional assessment report.
- Complete your application
Submit the form, including all the required documents, to the Agency for Integrated Care. You can call the AIC hotline to check that you have all the documents.
What Do You Do After Submitting Your Application?
You will get notified by the AIC regarding the results of your application. This can take up to a month, depending on the volume of applications they’re getting. If the care recipient is still eligible once the application has been approved, you will get S$250 or S$400 (depending on the assessment results) directly to their nominated bank account.
How to Use the Home Caregiving Grant in RC Caregivers
Home Caregiving Grant eases the strains of the physical labour and financial burden of caring for an ageing or sick loved one. You can spend quality time with them and have peace of mind by utilising the grant to pay for home care services.
RC Caregivers provides a broad spectrum of interim caregiving solutions, such as dementia care, cancer care, and end-of-life care, to ensure your loved ones receive the necessary care while remaining in the comfort of their homes. You can utilise the Home Caregiving Grant to procure professional services for the elderly and home care in Singapore.