Financial Assistance Schemes Part 1: Special Needs

Welcome to Irisada‘s blog. We focus on solutions and awareness for families living with differently-abled loved ones so they can live life to the fullest.

Previously on Irisada…

We ran an article covering various financial assistance schemes for persons with disabilities in Singapore. Having a disability or caring for a loved one with a disability can be challenging in many ways, and financial strain is one of the difficulties we often run into.

When we covered financial assistance schemes for our last article, we were encouraged to find that Singapore had been channeling more funding into helping the disabled. Today, we bring you an updated list of financial assistance schemes! We’ll be covering schemes targeted at children and youth with special needs, mainly focusing on help with education, as well as adults with special needs. In the next installment, we’ll be covering schemes helping seniors and caregivers.

Photo Credit: Scott Maxwell (http://www.lumaxart.com/)

For Children and Youth with Special Needs

  1. Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC)

What is it?

EIPIC is the government-funded early intervention programme for infants and young children with special needs, providing education and therapy. Fees are means tested, with the lowest tier of payments at <$10 monthly fees.

Refer to https://www.sgenable.sg/uploads/EIPIC%20Fee%20SC.pdf for specific fees. Fees will vary by centre, intensity of programme, and income level.

Who is eligible?

Young children (0-6 years) with developmental disabilities

How to apply?

To apply, you will need a referral via the Child Development Unit (CDU) at SGH, NUH or KKH, or by a private paediatrician. Means testing is carried out by individual service providers – see VWO websites for more information!

2. Integrated Child Care Programme (ICCP)

What is it?

Under the ICCP, selected childcare programmes integrate children with special needs with their mainstream peers. There is a standard $300 subsidy for working mothers, $150 for non-working mothers, with additional subsidies depending on means testing.

3. Enhanced Pilot for Private Intervention Providers (PPIP)

What is it?

The scheme provides subsidies for parents who choose to enrol their children in selected private intervention centres. Subsidies range from around $300 to $1,000, depending on centre, programme and income level.

Refer to https://www.sgenable.sg/uploads/Enhanced%20PPIP%20Fee%20Matrix%20SC.pdf for the full list of eligible centres!

Who is eligible?

Young children (0-6 years) referred to EIPIC, currently attending private early intervention centres approved by MSF

How to apply?

Obtain the application form from SG Enable once your child has been enrolled in private intervention. The form should be sent to MSF. Subsidies are given via reimbursement, 1-2 months after payment of fees to the centre, not upfront payment.

4. SPD Bursary

What is it?

A bursary for school fees, for students with disabilities. The value of the SPD Bursary ranges from $300/year to $6,000/year for primary school to university level respectively.

Who is eligible?

Students with physical or sensory disabilities from low-income households, studying in mainstream schools

How to apply?

Download application form from SPD website (http://www.spd.org.sg/spd-education-programme.html), refer to SPD website for further details.

5. SPD Youth Aspiration Award

What is it?

A $5,000 grant for youths with disabilities, aimed at helping youths realise their dreams and potential in the visual or performing arts, sports or community service.

Who is eligible?

Youths with physical or sensory disabilities, from Sec 1 to university

How to apply?

Download application form from SPD website (http://www.spd.org.sg/spd-education-programme.html). The yearly application window is open until November each year.

6. APB Foundation Scholarship

What is it?

The APB scholarship is a tertiary scholarship for undergraduate education worth $12,000/year. It is bond-free and is sponsored by the Asia Pacific Breweries. The scholarship recognises excellent academic achievement by students with disabilities.

Who is eligible?

Students with physical, hearing, visual or speech impairment, as well as developmental disabilities, who are planning to pursue or are currently pursuing undergraduate education at a local institution

How to apply?

Download application form from SPD website (http://www.spd.org.sg/scholarships.html)

7. Assistive Technology Fund (ATF) (also applicable to adults)

What is it?

The ATF provides a subsidy of up to 90% of the cost of assistive technology devices, with a lifetime cap of $40,000. The subsidy amount depends on household income, and can be used to buy assistive technology devices such as wheelchairs and hearing aids or to improve or repair them.

Who is eligible?

Individuals who are certified to have a permanent disability, with a household income per person of $1,800 and below

How to apply?

Approach a therapist or social worker from a hospital or VWO, who will help you to complete and submit the application form.

For Adults with Special Needs

  1. Public Transport Concession Scheme for Persons with Disabilities (also applicable to children and youth)

What is it?

A concession scheme entailing 25% or more off adult fares for bus and train services, with free travel for distances beyond 7.2km

Who is eligible?

Individuals who are certified to have a permanent disability, attending a SPED school run by a VWO, or using disability services offered by a VWO

How to apply?

Members of VWOs and those who have attended SPED schools can apply on the TransitLink website. Those who do not fit the above can still apply, by contacting SG Enable!

2. Taxi Subsidy Scheme

What is it?

A means-tested subsidy for taxi travel to school, work, or training, supported by SG Enable.

The subsidy ranges from 30% to 80% subsidy of total taxi fare for Singapore citizens (15% to 55% for permanent residents).

Who is eligible?

Individuals with disabilities who are medically certified to be unable to take public transport, and thus, require taxis to travel to school, work or training. Their per capita household income must be below $2,600, and they must not own a car.

How to apply?

The application has 2 stages:

        1. Submit NRIC and certification of disability, as well as supporting documents, to SG Enable
        2. Undergo medical assessment to determine whether taxi travel is the only option
3. VWO Transport Subsidies (also applicable to children and youth)

What is it?

A subsidy for VWO-provided transport services to school and care services

Who is eligible?

Individuals attending VWO-provided services including: EIPIC, SPED school, DAC, sheltered workshops, and using VWO-provided transport to travel to these services. Their per capita household income must be below $2,600.

How to apply?

Apply through the SPED school, VWO or service provider. Students with disabilities attending mainstream schools may also apply through SG Enable.

4. Disabled Persons Scheme (DPS)

What is it?

The DPS is a means-tested scheme for persons with disabilities who require a vehicle to make a living. It provides exemptions from payment of Certificate of Entitlement (COE) and Additional Registration Fee (ARF) when purchasing a vehicle.

Who is eligible?

Individuals certified as permanently disabled, but competent to drive. They must require a vehicle to earn a living, possess a Class 3 Driving License, and have a monthly household income not exceeding $6,500 for a 4-member household.

How to apply?

Submit the application form and supporting documents to SG Enable. A medical assessment is required and must be taken at AMK-THK Hospital Rehabilitation Centre.


We hope that this overview of financial assistance schemes for children, youth and adults with special needs has been helpful for you. If you have a specific situation for which you need financial help, and are unsure where to turn, feel free to drop us a message and we will do our best to help you!

Keep an eye out for Part 2 – financial assistance schemes for seniors and caregivers!

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Linette Chan

Linette is a university student interested in social issues and the vision of inclusivity. She writes for Irisada's blog and loves learning from the community.

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