In Malaysia, more people are living longer with a higher life expectancy that is comparable to first-world nations. With the development of public health and economic growth, an older person aged 60 years old in 2015 is estimated to live for another 20+ years, taking into account their gender and ethnicity.
Between 2020 and 2046, Malaysia’s 65+ population will double from 7% to 14%. The World Bank’s “Malaysia Economic Monitor” report highlighted how important it was to look into ensuring Malaysians have enough income for their old age.
With these projections, it is high time we look into how to manage and plan ahead of time for the now and future of our loved ones. We hope that this all-in-one guide will be able to help Malaysians in defraying the high costs associated with caregiving and what is available out there for seniors and families alike including the latest Budget 2022.
Monetary Assistance for Seniors Citizens
a) Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM)
Offering a direct cash aid scheme for Malaysian households, the Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) scheme helps families with three or more children, single parents, and senior citizens. As announced during Budget 2022, an elderly person aged 60 years and above is entitled to a cash aid of RM300
b) Senior Citizenship Appreciation Programme by the Penang State Government
This programme offers a cash aid of RM100 annually to registered senior citizens in Penang. Family members of registered senior individuals will also be eligible for a one-off RM1,000 for funeral expenses.
Amongst the criteria for eligibility are applicants who will have to be 60 years old and above and are registered voters in Penang. Find out more here.
c) Skim Mesra Usia Emas (SMUE)
Started in 2008, seniors in Selangor can apply for this annual RM100 cash aid for groceries. A one-off RM500 cash aid will also be given to family members of \ senior individuals for funeral expenses provided that both senior individuals and next-of-kin are registered. Applicants are able to apply on their website here or via the Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor (YAWAS) Careline at 03-54818800.
Criteria for application:
- Open to senior citizens aged 60 and above and the disabled. (Subject to SMUE application eligibility requirements)
- Application is FREE and application forms are available at all DUN Service Center offices in the State of Selangor
- Registration is according to the residential address as stated in the Applicant Mykad ONLY. (Subject to address in Selangor State area only)
- Applicants born in the State of Selangor but residing outside the State of Selangor are NOT ELIGIBLE to be registered as a Member and receive any benefits under this scheme
Medical and Health Benefits
a) Medical Tax Relief
Under the Budget 2022 tax relief, senior citizens can enjoy tax relief for self-funded booster shots and the expansion of tax relief for full medical checkups which now includes mental health examinations.
b) Prosthetics and Medical Devices
The objective of the aid is to assist Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) who are unable to purchase devices such as artificial legs and arms, callipers, crutches, wheelchairs, hearing aids, special glasses, special shoes, and other devices or mobility aids that are recommended by the doctor or specialist. For more information, visit the JKM portal here.
c) Outpatient Fee Exemption
Malaysia’s public healthcare is known to be heavily subsidised and it is no different for senior citizens in the nation. Senior citizens are given exemptions for outpatient service and health charges.
d) Medical Relief Fund
The Tabung Bantuan Perubatan (TBP) or Medical Relief Fund helps to partially or fully fund the cost of treatment, medical equipment, rehabilitation devices and medicines of those that are in need worth more than RM50,000.
The medical conditions covered include:
- Blood disorders
- Bone and joint disorders
- Ear and hearing disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Eye disorders
- Genetic and metabolic disorders
- Heart diseases
- Immune disorders
- Interventional radiology
- Long term care following surgical intervention.
- Neurological and neurodegenerative disorders.
- Orthopaedic conditions requiring surgical interventions.
- Renal disorders
- Respiratory disorders
Other medical conditions are assessed on a ‘case-by-case’ basis and are required to have a referral from the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Business Support for Seniors
a) Launching Grant by the Department of Social Welfare
Interested to start a business and be an entrepreneur? Get started with this grant to launch your business, where individuals can get up to RM2,700.
b) Ex-Army Personnel Entrepreneur Financing Scheme
This financing scheme is also known as Skim Pembiayaan Usahawan Bekas Tentera (SPBT) is a loan programme made available to former military personnel as well as their wife and children who are interested to venture into business and entrepreneurship.
a) MyRapid Senior Citizen Concession Cards
Taking public transport is now more affordable for senior citizens as they are able to benefit from transportation discounts with MyRapid. Individuals aged 60 years old and above are eligible for a fare discount of 50% on the cash rate for every journey via RapidKL Bus, BRT, LRT, monorail, and MRT services.
Applicants can head to the station counters or apply online here.
b) Senior Citizen Commuter Link
Also known as the Komuter Link Warga Emas, seniors are able to enjoy concession card discounts for up to 10 years. Individuals will be able to get 50% off all KTM Komuter station destinations.
Beyond these financial assistance schemes for senior citizens, here are some Budget 2021 highlights as well that will benefit senior loved ones and family caregivers.
EPF & Retirement
Do refer to the key highlights from the Budget 2022 here.
We hope that this compilation of information will help you in making the most informed decisions to plan ahead financially for your senior loved ones, as well as to enjoy the benefits that are offered in hopes that it will be able to better support caregivers in their caregiving journey.
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