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Welfare, Health & Security News

  • Approachable Welfare Services and Expanded Support for Vulnerable Classes Affected by COVID-19

  • Welfare, Health & Security News SMG 1114

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) will make welfare services more approachable as well as reinforce infrastructure and support in 2021, aiming at not only caring for the vulnerable classes but also households in crisis due to the decline of income and the need for care services.

    The SMG announced Seoul’s changes to welfare for 2021, and remarked that it will become a reliable pillar for vulnerable classes and households in crisis due to COVID-19 so that they can safely pass through the tunnel of crisis. The major contents of the announcement include: expanding care services for the elderly and the handicapped; making welfare services more approachable, including the abolition of the duty-of-support system; expanding infrastructure for welfare; creating new jobs for each age group; and reinforcing disinfection in social welfare facilities and the vitalization of contactless services.

    Expansion of Support Targets at Dolbom SOS Care Centers and Reinforcement of Care Services for the Elderly and the Handicapped

    Celebrating the third year of its opening, Seoul’s Dolbom SOS Care Centers, which have been well received by citizens for its emergency care services, have reinforced its support for citizens outside of the existing service targets. Even if you are not qualified by the present qualifications, you can be eligible if you are in urgent need. The services are provided in a “support first, verify later” manner in order to prevent the latency during the process of income verification conducted to check for eligibility for financial support (earning less than 85 % of median income (earning less than 100% of median income due to the urgent situation caused by COVID-19 until Wed, Jun. 30, 2021)).

    The SMG has also made it mandatory for households in crisis to be monitored regularly and the frequency will differ according to their level (1-4). The level 1 households that are in the most severe crisis will be monitored once a month, the level 2 households once a quarter, and the level 3-4 households once every six months or a year. Through regular monitoring, the city will check and change the crisis levels of households while examining the amelioration or deterioration of their conditions.

    In addition, the SMG enhances the quality of care services by expanding the number of caregivers specialized in serving the elderly to protect vulnerable local senior citizens. The SMG is also implementing the pilot project to support the disabled elderly, which is a project that was launched by the SMG and expanded into a project by the central government. The surge of single households and the outbreak of COVID-19 have made it difficult to provide face-to-face care service. Thus, the SMG is using IoT in smart care for vulnerable classes, preventing the gap in care.

    Relaxation of Criteria for Seoul-type Urgent Welfare, Reinforcement of Welfare Safety Network through Abolition of Seoul-type Duty-of-support System for Basic Security

    The qualification for Seoul-type urgent welfare was relaxed starting in July 2020: earning less than 100% of median income (KRW 4,876,290 for a household of four) and possessing less than KRW 326 million. This relaxed qualification will be extended until Wed, Jun. 30, 2021. The beneficiary households will be provided up to KRW 3 million for living, housing, and medical expenses. In particular, the SMG will abolish the duty-of-support system for basic security for households of the elderly and single parents, and relax the income criteria which will reinforce the welfare safety network.

    Expansion of Welfare Infrastructure for the Elderly, Handicapped, and Middle-aged

    Dongdaemun Silver Care Center is about to open in July 2021 and be operated to provide care for the elderly with geriatric diseases. Dongbu Senior Care Center and Seobu Senior Care Center will be transformed into facilities specialized in dementia to satisfy the demand for care for the elderly with dementia.

    Various customized facilities related to the handicapped, including the supporting facilities for the handicapped with different disabilities, such as the brain, developmental, visual and hearing disorders, and facilities to support the family of the handicapped, will be expanded as well. The SMG will establish two vision centers for brain-disabled individuals, five life-long education centers for individuals with developmental disabilities, and three support centers for the family of the handicapped, which will lead to a balanced service in all autonomous districts starting in 2021. The SMG will establish more shelters for the visually disabled and the hearing-impaired to make the city “a city where disabilities are no more hurdles.” While there are nine 50 Plus Centers in Seoul as of January 2021, there will open an additional one in Yangcheon in July 2021 and one in Gangdong in August.
    The SMG will also support the settlement in local society and the residence stability of the handicapped, homeless and elderly by additionally securing support houses for the housing stabilization of the vulnerable classes. Houses with convenient facilities will be increased exclusively for the handicapped, homeless and elderly. A housing coordinator, who supports the customized services including the living and health care, will be assigned to each house to help dwellers settle well in the local society.

    Creation of Income Foundation, Support for Lively Later Year’s Life and Economic Independence through Creating Jobs for Welfare for Each Generation

    The qualification for jobs for public interest will be expanded from those older than 65 who receive the basic pension to those who receive medical/education/housing expenses.

    A total of over 70,000 jobs for the elderly will be provided, such as domestic assistant for vulnerable classes and managers of dog parks. For stable jobs for the handicapped, the SMG created 260 jobs for those living outside the facilities with the most severe disabilities, who have been excluded in the labor market, providing them with 3,399 public jobs, which were increased from 2,955 of the last year.

    For more details, please visit the SMG’s welfare portal (https://wis.seoul.go.kr/) or contact Dasan Call Center at +82-2-120.