The Korean government will provide KRW 1 million won in emergency disaster assistance to households in the bottom 70 percent income bracket to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.
Depending on the level of household income, the four-person households can benefit from up to KRW 3 million won, including emergency disaster support, consumption coupons and health insurance reduction. If local governments’ support is added to the total amount, the amount will increase further.
Households with the lowest income of 45% and four persons receive 2.968 million won
Assuming that there is a four-member family with a couple and a 4-year-old and 6-year-old child as members, the A family can receive about KRW 3 million won in support if their income is about the bottom 45 percent.
First, the A family gets KRW 1 million won, the maximum amount of emergency disaster support, because it is equivalent to the bottom 70 percent of their income. The so-called bottom 70 percent is KRW 400,000 won for single-person households, KRW 600,000 won for two-person households and KRW 800,000 won for three-person households. Households with more than four people will be paid KRW 1 million won.
The family will also receive a reduction of KRW 88,000 won, or 30 percent of health insurance premiums, for three months. The government has decided to implement a social insurance premium reduction, with those in the bottom 20 to 40 percent of the health insurance premiums falling 30 percent between March and May.
On top of that, they will receive consumer coupons worth KRW 1.08 million won for low-income families. In addition, special care coupons totaling KRW 800,000 won will be provided, KRW 400,000 won per person, as there are two children under the age of seven. The gift certificates, which were supposed to be paid to low-income families and children through the first extra budget, will be paid in duplicate regardless of whether they receive emergency disaster support.
In conclusion, A family will receive a total of KRW 2.968 million won in emergency disaster support, KRW 88,000 won (30% of reduction rate), KRW 1.08 million won (4 months) for low-income households, and KRW 800,000 won (400,000 won per child, 4 months) for two children.
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Local government funding can be overlapping; 4.77 million won if you live in Pocheon
The funding will increase further depending on where the A family lives. The government plans not to prevent duplicate payments since it has decided to pay the subsidies by providing them with its own funds.
For example, if a family lives in Pocheon, Gyeonggi Province, they can receive up to KRW 4.968 million won, including KRW 2.968 million won, KRW 400,000 won for four people, and KRW 1.6 million won for four people. On top of that, since the local government has to share 20 percent of the funds for emergency disaster assistance, it is highly likely that the family will receive about KRW 4.77 million won, excluding KRW 200,000 won, or 20 percent of the emergency disaster support fund (KRW 1 million won).
Gyeonggi Province will give KRW 100,000 won each to all 13.64 million residents next month in the form of a three-month local gift certificate. The city of Pocheon also said it will provide additional disaster support of up to KRW 400,000 won per person.
Since the A family is equal to less than 100 percent median income, most local governments that give disaster support can receive additional support. Depending on the area where they live, they include KRW 500,000 won in Seoul, KRW 500,000 won in Incheon, KRW 500,000 won in Gwangju, Sejong, KRW 500,000 won in South Jeolla and South Gyeongsang provinces, and KRW 400,000 won in Ulsan.
There is a possibility that redundant support may not be possible depending on the local government’s criteria for payment of the aid. “For cities and counties in Gyeonggi Province, which provide selective support instead of basic income for disasters, the city’s selective support and the central government’s disaster support are expected to be banned,” Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae-myung said on Facebook on March 31. “Other metropolitan areas and local governments that do not earn basic income from disasters will choose a large amount of government support and selective support.”