Seoul Metropolitan Government will be providing basic social security benefit starting July.
About 40,000 people in Seoul will start receiving an amount that will cover the minimum cost of living. They include those who have not been able to receive subsistence benefit due to the fact that they have children (i.e., people who should support them), although their income does not reach 60% of the minimum cost of living. This is particularly significant, since Seoul has become thefirst metropolis to start providing such welfare benefit to low-income people. It also signifies the launch of a representative program of Seoul Welfare Standard, which won the UN Public Service Award (UNPSA).
Under the Seoul-type basic social security system, those from poor households who could not get benefits from the central government due to legal requirements now stand a chance. The system applies less stringent criteria than the same system operated by the central government concerning the recipient’s income level, asset level, and matters related to descendants. Application for the benefit may be submitted to the community service center of the area where one has resided for more than six months.
As to eligibility for the benefit, one’s income level should be 343,301 won for a one-person household or 927,839 won for a four-person household (i.e., 60% of the minimum cost of living) or less. The national scheme of the basic social security system does not provide benefit to those who have children even if they do not really support their parents financially. With regard to the asset level, the eligibility for the benefit is set at one hundred million won per household. Concerning applicants’ descendants who are supposed to support their parents, their monthly income should be 4.57 million won or less in the case of a two-person household, with assets worth 5 hundred million won or less.
Those judged to be eligible for the benefit will receive the following: monthly allowance (about half the level of the amount paid under the national basic social security system); allowance for children’s education; child birth allowance (500,000 won), and; funeral ceremony allowance (750,000 won).
To help the city’s welfare officials whose workload will increase with the adoption of a new system, Seoul Metropolitan Government will take the following measures: ▲ reshuffling of the system for welfare delivery; ▲ increase in the number of welfare officials; ▲ improvement in the way the system is handled on a computerized system.
The Seoul-type basic social security system is part of efforts to guarantee a subsistence level that cannot be covered by the central government’s welfare scheme.
Similarly, Seoul Metropolitan Government aims to be a welfare city where everyone can live happily.