Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song asked the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) between 2018 and 2021, how many applications has SGEnable received for the (i) VWO Transport Subsidy Scheme and (ii) Taxi Subsidy Scheme; (b) how many applications have been successful for each of these schemes; and (c) among the unsuccessful applications, what are the reasons for such outcomes.
Mr Masagos Zulkifli B M M: The means-tested Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS) helps defray the cost of taxis and private hire vehicles for persons with disabilities who are unable to take public transport to go to school, work or employment-related training.
From 2018 to 2021, SG Enable processed an average of 20 applications a year for the TSS. On average, more than 13 applications were successful and more than six applications were rejected a year. The reasons for rejection were because the applicants (i) were able to take public transport, (ii) wanted to use the subsidies for other purposes beyond what the scheme covers, (iii) did not meet the means-test, or (iv) were already receiving support for their transport.
The Voluntary Welfare Organisation Transport Subsidy (VWOTS) subsidises persons with disabilities taking dedicated transport to Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children, Special Education Schools, Day Activity Centres, Sheltered Workshops and Special Student Care Centres. Persons with disabilities are offered the subsidies through the Social Service Agencies if they meet the means-test criteria. We do not track the number of VWOTS applications submitted to Social Service Agencies.
On average, about 5,000 persons with disabilities per year benefitted from the scheme between 2018 and 2021. To better support persons with disabilities and their caregivers, subsidies under the VWOTS have been increased from 1 July 2022. This will help to reduce the transport cost for persons with disabilities who take dedicated transport to attend Special Education Schools and community-based programmes. These increases are expected to benefit more than 3,000 persons with disabilities. The scheme has also been renamed the Enabling Transport Subsidy.
Ministry of Transport
4 July 2022