The Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF), also known as the Senior Mobility Fund, is a financial assistance scheme designed to help the elderly in Singapore age in place. Offered by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), this scheme provides subsidies on selected assistive devices and home healthcare items to seniors above 60 years old.
In this article, we’ll explore the types of devices covered under the SMF and the eligibility criteria for this scheme. We’ll also share the steps for applying for the fund and cover some frequently asked questions. Read about it below!
Senior Mobility Fund Subsidies
Generally, applicants can receive up to 90% of the cost of the assistive device or mobility aid, or 90% of the maximum subsidy cap on the device, depending on which is lower.
It’s important to note that purchases made before the approval of the application won’t be reimbursed.
Assistive and motorised devices
According to the AIC, any apparatus, equipment or device that aids seniors in moving about or better performing their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are categorised as assistive or motorised devices.
Examples of the devices covered under the SMF include (but are not limited to):
- Basic or motorised wheelchairs
- Geriatric chairs
- Hearing aids
- Hospital beds
- Pressure relief cushions or mattresses
- Shower chairs
- Walking aids
Home healthcare items
The elderly who opt to live at home instead of in a nursing facility can obtain financial support for a variety of home healthcare items. The items needed for each individual may vary depending on their medical condition and the level of care required.
However, in general, these are the items that are covered under the SMF:
- Adult diapers
- Catheters and catheter sets
- Milk feeds
- Nasal tubing
- Nasogastric tubes
- pH indicator test strips
- Wound dressings
Eligibility Criteria for the Senior Mobility Fund
To be eligible for the SMF, you or your loved one is required to meet the following criteria:
Assistive and motorised devices Home healthcare items Nationality Singapore citizen Age 60 years old and above Residence or care services Must not be residing in a nursing home or sheltered home Must be receiving one of the following services: First-time application Must not be applying for the same device category Must not be already receiving subsidies for the same items Household monthly income Assessment Must be assessed by a qualified assessor* on the type of devices required Must be assessed on the needs and the type of healthcare items required Others For motorised devices: - Assistive and motorised devices Home healthcare items Nationality Singapore citizen Singapore citizen Age 60 years old and above 60 years old and above Residence or care services Must not be residing in a nursing home or sheltered home Must be receiving one of the following services: First-time application Must not be applying for the same device category Must not be already receiving subsidies for the same items Household monthly income Assessment Must be assessed by a qualified assessor* on the type of devices required Must be assessed on the needs and the type of healthcare items required Others For motorised devices: -
*This includes a certified audiologist, fully-registered therapist, doctor, nurse or optometrist.
To enjoy the benefits of this financial scheme, you or your loved one must be capable of contributing towards the assessment fee and the cost of the device. Furthermore, you shouldn’t be receiving or applying for any other public or private grant that would surpass the co-payment amount set by the SMF.
Note: If you’re applying for the scheme to replace an assistive or motorised device, you must declare that the device is no longer usable.
How to Apply for the Senior Mobility Fund
If you or your loved one has met the eligibility criteria for the SMF, read on to find out how to apply for this financial scheme.
Note: Hearing Partners does not provide services to assist with the application of the SMF. Please refer to the following methods and instructions to apply for the subsidy.
Elderly under the care of public or community hospitals, home care providers or senior care centres
- Assistive and motorised devices
If you or your loved one is currently receiving treatment from a licensed therapist or visiting a hospital for routine medical checkups, you can inform the therapist or hospital of your intent to apply for the SMF.
The healthcare provider at the participating institution will conduct the assessment and submit your application to the AIC on your behalf. After the application has been approved, the device will be ordered.
- Home healthcare items
To apply for subsidies for home healthcare products, you’re recommended to approach your home healthcare service provider for assistance.
Elderly NOT under the care of public or community hospitals, home care providers or senior care centres
- Hearing aids
To receive a subsidised hearing assessment at a public hospital, you can obtain a referral letter from a polyclinic or a CHAS general practitioner (GP). An audiologist will conduct the evaluation and assist you with your SMF application.
If you don’t wish to take the hearing assessment at the hospital, you may attend a Functional Screening assessment in the community. However, if further evaluation is necessary, you’ll still be referred to a public hospital.
Note: Hearing Partners does not provide services to assist with the application of the SMF. Please refer to the above instructions to apply for the subsidy.
- Other assistive and motorised devices
For other assistive and motorised devices, you or your loved one is required to submit a series of physical documents to the AIC. This includes the following:
- Application form
- Front and back copy of the applicant’s NRIC or an image of the digital NRIC from SingPass
- Financial assistance documents (if applicable)
- Medical reports (if applicable)
What to Do if You Are Not Eligible for the Senior Mobility Fund
If you’ve just been informed that you aren’t eligible for the SMF, you may be wondering – what’s next?
For those who’ve applied for subsidies on a hearing aid, you may choose to purchase a device from the hospital at a non-subsidised rate of $3,000. Alternatively, you may opt to continue your journey with a private clinic like Hearing Partners.
At Hearing Partners, you’ll be offered a package that includes hearing aids similar to those offered to hospitals. The package will also come with some essential hearing aid accessories and free follow-up appointments. Moreover, booking appointments is easier and you can enjoy a shorter waiting time.
FAQs About the Senior Mobility Fund
Does the Senior Mobility Fund cover hearing aids?
Yes, hearing aids are assistive devices according to the AIC. Thus, the SMF can be used to subsidise the cost of these devices.
Is means-testing required as part of the application?
Yes, you’re required to take and pass a means-test to be eligible for the SMF. You’ll be evaluated based on household monthly income per person or the AV of residence reflected on the applicant’s NRIC.
What is the cap on the Senior Mobility Fund?
The maximum amount you can receive from the SMF is 90% of the cost of the assistive device or 90% of the device subsidy cap, depending on which is lower.
Can I apply for the Senior Mobility Fund if I applied for the Assistive Technology Fund (ATF) before?
If you’ve successfully applied for the ATF before the age of 60 years old, you’ll continue to receive support under that scheme. On the other hand, if you weren’t able to apply for the ATF previously, you can apply for the SMF.