Silver Support Scheme and its impact

An elderly woman came and sat beside me at a UOB Branch this morning. She said that she had bad eyesight and asked me how much was the balance in her passbook. When I mentioned $302, she was disappointed. She was hoping to see an additional $750 in the account. She told me that this amount is money from the Government (which I understood is the Silver Support Scheme introduced this year).

Silver Support Scheme pays out to those eligible between $300 to $750 per quarter starting April 2016. It is targeted at helping bottom 20% of seniors aged 65 and above and with some support extended to the next 10%. Criteria of eligibility include lifetime wages, housing type, and household support. There is no need for application and it will be paid automatically. More details of this are in the website of MOM.

She was excited to get $750 (perhaps unaware that she will get double the amount since this first payment covers two quarters). Payouts will reach all recipients by end July. Today is 28 July.

Total amount set aside by the government for this scheme is $320 million for this year. About 140,000 elderly citizens will benefit from this Silver Support.

The woman who sat beside me was happy that she could receive some money. It may not be a lot for people who work. But to this elderly person, it was! Every cent counts towards their cost of living.

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