More Support For Early Intervention Services And Transport For Persons With Disabilities
13 Mar 2014
The Ministry of Social and Family Development announced details on the increase in support for children with special needs and transport schemes for persons with disabilities.
Children with special needs
Helping children with special needs early can uplift their potential. MSF will expand coverage and raise subsidies for children in the Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC):
- Every Singaporean child enrolled in EIPIC will receive a monthly base subsidy of $500, up from $300.
- More households will enjoy additional subsidies on top of the base subsidy. The eligible per capita income will be raised from $1,500 to $3,000, covering 80% of households.
- The quantum of additional subsidies will also be raised.
With these changes, the EIPIC programme will cost the Government $32 mil per year, a 74% increase over the amount today. Please see details in Annex A.
The Government will also provide more resources to reduce transport costs for persons with disabilities. This will lower barriers for persons with disabilities to attend school, work or care services.
The range of subsidy support will cater to different needs and transport options:-
- Public Transport Concession – As announced previously, persons with disabilities pay 25% off adult fares for travel by bus and rail, with no additional fares for distances beyond 7.2km. This will take effect from 6 July 2014
- VWO Transport Subsidies – From 1 July 2014, those taking dedicated transport to attend EIPIC, Special Education (SPED) Schools, Day Activity Centres and Sheltered Workshops operated by VWOs, can enjoy transport subsidies for these services. The subsidy will cover about two-thirds of households by income.
- Taxi Subsidies – From 1 October 2014, government will subsidise up to 50 per cent of taxi fares for those who are unable to take public and dedicated transport to work or school. It will cover about half of households by income.
In addition to providing the new transport subsidies, MSF will work with a few transport operators to provide and expand customised transport services for persons with disabilities.
Together, the three new transport schemes are expected to benefit over 50,000 persons with disabilities. They will cost the government $24 mil a year.
All three transport schemes will be administered by SG Enable. Applications for the schemes will open in April 2014. Please see Annex B for details.
Dr Winnie Goh, a member of the Enabling Masterplan (EM) Implementation Committee said, “We welcome the new initiatives. This will ease the burden on the family. More can still be done under the EM and we will press on to improve the lives of persons with disabilities.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development, Ms Low Yen Ling said, “We have seen significant support for two important areas: EIPIC and transport. These are part of our commitment to the disability community under the Enabling Masterplan. In partnership with the community, we will continue to do our best to uplift the lives of persons with disabilities.”
MSF will continue to work with its partners to implement the Enabling Masterplan. Please refer to Annex C for a progress report.
Enhancements to the Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC)
The EIPIC programme was introduced in 2003 to provide developmental and therapy services for children with moderate to severe disabilities. Today, EIPIC services are provided through 17 centres run by 10 voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs). There are currently 2,100 children aged below 7 years enrolled in EIPIC.
Table 1: Revised Subsidies for EIPIC Services (wef Oct 14)
New Transport Schemes
Public Transport Concession
Under the public transport concession scheme, persons with disabilities can enjoy 25% discount off adult fares, with no additional fares payable beyond 7.2km travelling distance.
Persons with disabilities who travel frequently on public transport can also purchase a Monthly Concession Pass priced at $60 that allows unlimited travel on bus and rail services.
Eligibility Criteria: Persons aged below 60 years old, who are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents, and:
a) Are beneficiaries of existing disability schemes and services; or
b) Persons with permanent disability who are members or service users of relevant Voluntary Welfare Organisation (VWO); or
c) Attended Special Education (SPED) schools operated by a VWO; or
d) Are certified by a medical practitioner to have a permanent disability of one or more of the following:
i. A physical disability; or
ii. A visual impairment; or
iii. A hearing impairment; or
iv. Autism Spectrum Disorder; or
v. Intellectual Disability
New diagnosis of visual impairment, hearing impairment, Autism Spectrum Disorder or intellectual disability can need to be conducted by specialists.
Persons with disabilities who are receiving Workfare Income Supplement and hence are also eligible for the Workfare Transport Concession Card, will be eligible for only one concession i.e. the concession card for persons with disabilities, which has a higher discount off the adult fare.
Persons with disabilities who are below 7 years of age, students (Primary, Secondary, Junior College, ITE, Special Education School) and Senior Citizens are already covered under existing concession schemes.
VWO Transport Subsidies
Subsidies for persons with disabilities accessing SPED schools and community-based programmes such as EIPIC, Day Activity Centres and Sheltered Workshops . The subsidies will be means-tested as per Table 2.
Table 2: Subsidy Levels for VWO Transport Subsidy Scheme
Taxi Subsidy Scheme
For persons with disabilities who are unable to take public transport and rely on taxis to commute to work and school. The subsidies will be means-tested as per Table 3.
Table 3: Subsidy Levels for Taxi Subsidy Scheme
Enabling Masterplan 2012-2016 Progress Report
The Enabling Masterplan 2012-2016 is a five-year roadmap to provide better support for persons with disabilities throughout their life stages. Please see attached for the Progress Report. Download: EM Progress Update Brochure
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