Enhancing Zakat Assistance to Support Low-Income Houesholds

Review of assistance criteria and disbursement of additional Year-End payout reaching out to more than 6,000 low-income households

26 December 2023

1. The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) disbursed approximately $3.7 million in a special additional Year-End (YED) payout to more than 6,000 low-income households. The YED is an added payout on top of the monthly zakat financial assistance that Muis’ beneficiaries receive.

2. The Year-End disbursement will provide supplementary financial support to the zakat beneficiaries to help manage their year-end household expenses such as accumulated bills, outstanding payments, and loans. For families with school-going children, this disbursement can help with preparatory costs for the upcoming school year. Muis has featured this additional payout since 2012 as an enhancement to its support for the zakat beneficiaries to cope with these stressful financial needs.

3. The YED package also allocates a study (reqab) assistance of about $620,000 for families with children aged 18 years old and below. This provision is expected to benefit approximately 8,800 school-going children. The help is specifically designed to ease the education and developmental expenses for these households.

4. Eligible zakat beneficiaries will be notified through mail within the next one to two weeks.

Increase of PCI Qualifying Criteria for Zakat Financial Assistance

5. Muis is enhancing the support to low-income households through a review of its zakat financial assistance by increasing the Per-Capita-Household Income (PCI) qualifying criteria of $400 to $500. This increase is part of Muis’ zakat financial assistance policy review cycle, which involves a periodic evaluation of its assistance schemes. These reviews analyse income patterns and cost of living markers to ensure the needs of beneficiaries are still met. With a PCI increase to $500, it is projected that zakat assistance will reach out to more than 1,200 new households.

Zakat Strengthens the Community

6. The review is made possible only because of the strong support from the community. Through the community’s zakat contributions, Muis is able to enhance its reach to help more low-income families. Muis is committed to ensure that the needs of its beneficiaries and other vulnerable groups are supported through zakat assistance.