The government has launched a number of initiatives as part of the RM250 billion economic stimulus package to help the rakyat during the MCO and COVID-19 outbreak. This includes cash grants, discounts on your utility bill and the deferment of bank loans and financing.
We've outlined some of the support that are out there so you know what’s available to you. We will update this blog when we know more.
Support for individuals and households
Bantuan Prihatin Nasional
The government is offering a one-off cash assistance to help families and individuals in the B40 and M40 group financially cope during the MCO.
If your household earns under RM4,000 a month, you will receive RM1600. RM1,000 in April and RM600 in May.
If your household earns between RM4,000 and RM8,000 a month, you will receive RM1,000. RM500 in April and RM500 in May.
If you are a single individual above 21 years old earning under RM2,000 a month, you will receive RM800. RM500 in April and RM300 in May.
If you are a single individual above 21 years old earning between RM2,000 and RM4,000 a month, you will receive RM500. RM250 in April and RM250 in May.
Applying for Bantuan Prihatin Nasional
If you are eligible, LHDN will notify you via SMS or email. If you have already received that SMS or email, you do not need to contact LHDN. The money will be paid directly into your bank account registered with LHDN.
If you are not registered with LHDN, apply on the LHDN website now between 1 April and 30 April 2020. You can also make an appeal if you meet the requirements but are told you are not eligible.
Discount on electricity charges and free internet
From 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020, you will get a tiered discount on your electricity bills based on your usage:
50% discount if you use below 200 kWH
25% discount if you use between 201 kWH and 300 kWH
15% discount if you use between 301 kWH and 600 kWH
Additionally, the government has announced that everyone will get free internet from 1 April 2020 until the end of the MCO.
i-Lestari Account 2 Withdrawal Scheme
If you are below the age of 55, you can also withdraw a maximum of RM500 monthly from your available EPF Account 2 savings should you need more money. This scheme is available from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. Learn more and apply here.
Support for those who have lost their income and employment
The Employment Retention Programme (ERP)
If your employer forced you to take unpaid leave because of COVID-19, the government will offer you RM600 a month for a maximum of 6 months. You are eligible if:
You are a private sector employee who have registered and are contributing to the Employment Insurance System (EIS).
You earn less than RM4,000 a month.
You received a notice of No-Pay leave of a minimum of 30 days from your employer.
If you meet all the requirements, your employer needs to make the application on your behalf. Once the application is successful, SOCSO will make the payment to your employer. Your employer will then need to transfer the money to your bank account within 7 days. Learn more about ERP here.
Bantuan Khas COVID-19 Programme
You are eligible for a RM100 a day payment if you lost your job or were not paid during the MCO, or were not paid while receiving hospital treatment for COVID-19. Learn more and apply here.
Support for individuals and SMEs with existing loans
Automatic repayment deferrals
Individuals and SMEs are given more time to make their bank loan and financing repayments.
Bank loan and financing repayments have been deferred for 6 months (between 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020). This means you won't need to make a repayment for this period and you won't be charged any late payment fees or penalties.
Your loan or financing does not qualify for the deferment if:
Your repayment is overdue for more than 90 days as at 1 April 2020.
It is not denominated in ringgit.
It is a credit card loan.
You do not need to apply for the deferment if you meet the requirements as it will be done automatically. You can also choose to opt out if you want.
Conversion of credit card debt to term loan
To help you manage your credit card debt, banks are also giving you the option to convert your credit card debt into a 3-year term loan. You will be charged a reduced interest rate of not more than 13% per annum. At any point until 31 December 2020, you can ask your bank to convert it.
Once you have converted your credit card debt into a term loan, you are also eligible to ask for a 6 months deferment of loan until 30 September 2020. To know more, read this FAQ by Bank Negara or contact your bank.
Support for students and graduates
Bantuan Prihatin Nasional
You are eligible for a one-off RM200 payment in May 2020 if you are in higher education. This includes those in Matriculation, Community Colleges, Polytechnics, Public and Private Higher Learning Institutions.
Deferment of government education loan
If you have a PTPTN or PTPK loan, the repayment will be delayed for 6 months starting April 2020.
Support for civil servants, government pensioners and frontliners
Civil servants (and contracts workers) grade 56 and below will get a one-off RM500 payment in April 2020.
Government pensioners will also get a one-off RM500 payment in April 2020.
Government medical staff directly involved in COVID-19 will receive RM600 a month until the end of COVID-19.
Police, military, customs, civil defence and RELA members who are enforcing the MCO will receive RM200 a month until the end of COVID-19.
Mental health support
Taking care of your mind as well as your body is really important while staying at home because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mental health helplines
If you are or know someone who is feeling depressed or anxious, know that support is there for you. These helplines can offer expert advice.
Mercy Malaysia - get access to qualified mental health first aiders and get practical support to cope with the MCO. Call +603-29359935 from 8am to 5pm daily.
24/7 Talian Kasih - 528 counsellors are on standby to help you deal with the effects of COVID-19 and the MCO. Call them toll-free at 15999 or +6019-2615999 (WhatsApp).
Befrienders KL - the non-profit organisation is offering emotional support to those feeling depressed, distressed or suicidal. Call them using Skype or call +603-79568145.
BigPay 24/7 support
We are taking every measure available to us to deliver the same quality service you are used to even if we are all working from home. All BigPay services are working as they have always been.
BigPay chat is live 24 hours daily.
We are still working to release new features, updates and fixes to build better financial products for you.
We are keeping a close eye on financial scams on COVID-19 and will continue to share tips on how to avoid scams.
Helping those in need
The past few weeks have been tough for everyone, but more so for refugees, those without permanent shelter and the Orang Asli community in Malaysia. Many of them have lost their source of income and have lack access to daily necessities.
We’ve teamed up with AirAsia Foundation to provide food and sanitary supplies to these vulnerable groups. Soon, we will be launching Donations so you will be able to lend a helping hand to those in need. Watch out for an announcement soon.
The above is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for official government advice.