THE first batch of 51 families will receive a government grant to help them offset the costs of hiring a maid to take care of frail, elderly, or disabled family members.
They will get the grant of $120 a month from November.
The government stipend comes from the Foreign Domestic Worker Grant, expected to cost $25 million over the next five years. More than 6,000 middle- and low-income families are expected to receive the grant.
Employers generally pay their maids a monthly salary of $400 to $450, as well as a monthly levy of $265 to the Government.
Households with family members above 65 years old now pay a discounted levy of $170. The new grant is given on top of this monthly concession.
Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports Halimah Yacob said on Wednesday that more than 330 applications have been filed since Aug 7, when the grant opened for applications. But only 51 applications were approved as the rest were incomplete and did not come with the necessary documents, the minister said.
To qualify for the grant, households must have a per capita monthly income of $2,200 or less.
The elderly or disabled family member must have been assessed by a doctor as requiring help when taking a shower or moving around, for example.