Madam Tan Bee Lian, a single mother, was working as a cleaner when her health and finances took a hit in late 2019. She was diagnosed with bone spurs in her feet, a medical condition in which bony outgrowths put pressure on her nerves and restricted her movement.
Under strict orders not to work and given a year’s medical leave, the 47-year-old was placed on the ComCare Short to Medium Term Assistance scheme, which provides financial assistance to help families like Madam Tan’s meet their basic living expenses.
With the prolonged economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, MSF automatically extended ComCare assistance by six months for beneficiaries whose assistance was due for review between May and October 2020. This has given individuals like Madam Tan greater assurance and peace of mind as her financial assistance has been automatically extended till December 2020, without the need for her to apply for renewal at the SSO. With ComCare cash assistance, Madam Tan has been able to support herself and her sons, as well as buy daily necessities.
As at end October, some 12,000 households have benefited from ComCare assistance extension.
Helping Madam Tan navigate through this difficult period was her social service officer Ms Florence Chang. “I’ve assured Madam Tan that she can re-apply for ComCare assistance if her family situation remains the same after her auto-extension period has ended. We will continue to do our best to help her,” Florence says.
“She has been most helpful,” Madam Tan says, adding that in addition to being detailed in her explanation of policies, Florence is also very empathetic. “She understands that it is important for my kids to find a job,” she adds, “so they can help me and I can rest.” Although the road ahead is uncertain, Madam Tan is thankful to everyone who has helped her, including friends who urged her to apply for financial assistance. “I’m grateful for all the kind-hearted people I’ve met who have made efforts to help me”.
|If you come across individuals or families who require support, please call the ComCare hotline at 1800-222-0000 or approach the nearest SSO (www.msf.gov.sg/ssolocator).|