Government Assistances

Over the years, the government has put in place numerous schemes and policies to support our seniors during their golden years. These schemes are administered by various government departments including the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Central Provident Fund Board (CPF Board) and Housing and Development Board (HDB).

One of the greatest challenges facing health and social care workers in Singapore is getting the right information to the right people. Though there are plenty of schemes, subsidies and grants available to the elderly in Singapore, many eligible seniors may not be utilising them because they are not even aware that they exist.

We hope the information provided in here allows you having a better understandings on the various schemes, grants and subsidies that you can tap on to support yourself, or your loved ones.

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Interim Disability Assistance Programme For The Elderly (IDAPE)

Since ElderShield was introduced in 2002, there are some citizens who may not have been eligible to join at the time because they exceeded the maximum entry age or had pre-existing disabilities.

If these seniors develop severe disability, they can receive $150 or $250 monthly cash payout (depending on their financial circumstances) for up to 72 months.

One of the eligibility criteria is age. The applicant must be

  • Born on or before 30 September 1932; OR
  • Born between 1 October 1932 and 30 September 1962 (both dates inclusive), with pre-existing disabilities as of 30 September 2002.​

Note that the coverage for IDAPE and ElderShield do not overlap. You are either eligible for one or the other,

For more information and application, click here.

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Pioneer Generation Disability Assistance Scheme (PGDAS)

The Pioneer Generation Disability Assistance Scheme (PioneerDAS) is part of the Pioneer Generation Package, which honours what Singapore’s Pioneers have done for the country. Under this scheme, Pioneers who have disabilities can receive $100 a month, which they can use for expenses.​

For more information and application, click here.

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Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS)

CHAS, enables Singapore Citizens from lower-to-middle-income households, as well as all Pioneers (aged 65 and above in 2014), to receive subsidies for medical and dental care at participating General Practitioners (GP) and dental clinics near their home.

CHAS is a tiered subsidy scheme. This means lower-income families will enjoy higher subsidies. The subsidy tier depends on the average household monthly income per capita. If your household has no income, the subsidy tier will be tied to the annual value of your home, as assessed by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.

However, seniors who qualify for the Pioneer Generation Package will enjoy enhanced CHAS benefits, regardless of their household income.

Here is the eligibility criteria for CHAS and the various subsidies that you receive.

Source: CHAS

How to apply?

Pick up an application form at any to any public hospital, polyclinic, Community Centre (CC) or Community Development Council (CDC). You can also download the application form here.

Family members (living in the same NRIC address) only need to submit one application form.

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Medical Fee Exemption Card (MFEC)

This card covers standard medical and hospitalisation treatments for free at public healthcare institutions (including polyclinics) and intermediate and long-term care (ILTC) institutions for needy residents of MOH-funded nursing homes, or MSF-funded sheltered and disability homes.

How to apply?

Applications can be made through the MOH-funded nursing homes, or MSF-funded sheltered and disability homes housing the resident.

For more information, click here.

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MediSave, MediShield Life, MediFund (3M)

Medisave, Medishield and Medifund are the three pillars of our healthcare financing system to ensure no Singaporean is being left out.

The Singapore Government is committed to keep healthcare costs affordable and to ensure that no one is denied medical treatment because they could not afford it. Medisave, Medishield and Medifund are the three pillars of our healthcare financing system to ensure no Singaporean is being left out. Here, we explain these three pillars in more details.


Medisave is a national savings scheme to help individuals save part of their money for their medical expenses or their immediate family members’ hospitalisation bills. Medisave can be used in public hospitals, national specialty centres and polyclinics. It covers daily ward charges, daily treatment fees, investigations and medicines during hospitalisation stay. It can also make use to pay for the Medishield Life premiums which will help to cover large hospital bills and expensive outpatient treatment. Furthermore,  Medisave can also be used to pay for outpatient treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke and even osteoporosis etc.

Medishield Life

Medishield Life is a basic health insurance administered by CPF Board, which helps to pay for large hospitalisation bills and costly outpatient treatments. The coverage extends to treatment in Class B2/C wards of public hospitals and even those who choose to stay in Class B1/A in a private hospitals. Starting from 1 November 2015, Medishield Life will cover protection for ALL Singaporeans and Permanent Residents for life even though they may have pre-existing conditions. The Government has also announced plans to provide support to keep premiums affordable through subsidies to lower to middle-income groups and Pioneer Generation members.


Medifund is the final step to ensure that the healthcare financing system leaves no one uninsured. It is an endowment fund set up by the Government to help needy Singaporeans who are unable to pay for their medical expenses after utilising both Medisave and Medishield Life.

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ElderShield is a severe disability insurance scheme which provides basic financial protection to those who need long-term care. It provides a monthly cash payout of $400 per month (ElderShield 400) to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses up to a maximum period of 72 months.

CPF members with a Medisave Account (MA) will automatically be enrolled in ElderShield at the age of 40, unless they opt out of the scheme. No registration or medical assessment is needed.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has appointed three private insurers to manage ElderShield. They are Aviva Limited, Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Limited, and NTUC Income Insurance Co-operative Limited.

If you are under 65 years old and are not covered, you can apply for ElderShield from any of the ElderShield insurers, subject to medical assessment.

For more information and application, click here.

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Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF)

The Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF) provides holistic support for seniors to help them remain mobile and live independently within the community. The fund provides subsidies for assistive devices or home healthcare items.

  1. Assistive Devices

  • This refers to items that help an elderly person move around, such as walking stick, wheelchair and pushchair. It also includes things that an elderly person may need at home, such as commode, pressure relief cushion and hospital bed as well as spectacles and hearing aids. It also covers motorised wheelchairs, pressure relief cushions and mattresses, hearing aids and ventilators.
  • Application for each device category is only once per lifetime. Repeat application for the same device category is not allowed.

Subsidy cap

Up to 90 per cent of the device’s actual cost will be subsidised. the maximum subsidy will depend on the type of device required. Applicants must be assessed by a qualified assessor to certify the need and type of device required.

  1.  Home Healthcare Items

  • Frail seniors who are eligible for nursing homes but choose to stay at home and be supported by home healthcare services in their community can get subsidies for the cost of catheters, milk supplements, thickeners, adult diapers, nasal tubing and wound dressings.

Subsidy cap

The subsidy amount will depend on the income means test result.

How to qualify and apply? Click here.

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HDB Enhancement For Active Seniors (EASE)

Falls are common causes of elderly injuries at home. If you or your loved one want to move around safely in your own home, you can consider installing special tools around the house to help prevent falls.

This scheme allows HDB owners who are 65 or above, or have a family member in the household who is 65 and above, to make their flats elder-friendly by installing useful items such as grab bars, slip-resistant bathroom floors and ramps.

How to qualify and apply? Click here.

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Intermediate And Long-Term Care (ILTC)

(Source: Ministry of Health)

Intermediate and long term care (ILTC) services are typically required for persons who need further care and treatment after being discharged from an acute hospital as well as community-dwelling elderly who may be frail and need supervision or assistance with their activities of daily living. There are a few types of ILTC services, namely Residential ILTC Services, and Home and Centre-based Services (Non-Residential Services).

Residential ILTC services

They comprise of community hospitalschronic sick hospitalsnursing homesinpatient hospices and sheltered home for the ex-mentally ill. Respite care is available at some of the community hospitals and nursing homes where provision for short-term care of a few weeks could be arranged with the institutions separately.

Home-based Services

Home-based services are provided within the homes of frail and home-bound elderly. The services address the health and social needs of the person and support families in the care of their seniors. The services include:

  1. Home Medical Care
  2. Home Nursing Care
  3. Home Personal Care
  4. Palliative Home Care
  5. Meals-On-Wheels
  6. Home Personal Care

Centre-based Services

Centre-based healthcare services cater to older persons who require care services during the day, usually on a regular basis. These centres are mostly located within the community, enabling those in need to receive services in a familiar environment close to their homes, and allow working caregivers to conveniently drop off their seniors at during work.

The three types of services available: Community Rehabilitation Services, Dementia Day Care Services and Social Day Care Services.

Click here for more detail information on all the ILTC services.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Are Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents
  • Meet the admission criteria of the ILTC services required
  • Are receiving care from MOH-funded service providers


A means-test is used to determine the amount of subsidies each person needing care is eligible for. Persons from lower income households will be granted higher subsidies under the means testing framework.

Medical social workers or administrative staff of Government hospitals or MOH-funded ILTC service providers will assist people needing care with their application for Government subsidies.

Subsidy Framework

The subsidies are tiered according to monthly household income per person, and vary according to the type of care required.

For more information on the ILTC subsidies, click here.

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