For the emergency welfare program which provides the households in crisis suffering from unemployment and business closure with up to 3 million won, the city had temporarily eased out the income and asset criteria for the benefits until late last year. The city will continue to apply the criteria until the end of June. Under the Seoul’s basic livelihood security program that provides support for the low-income and vulnerable groups who were disqualified for the central government’s National Basic Livelihood Security Program, the family support obligation rules will be abolished in Seoul as the first of its kind in the country in the first half of this year.
To cover the increasing care deficit caused by the COVID-19, the city will hire additional 255 care providers for senior citizens compared to last year. For the middle-and-older-aged single households who might be isolated or left attended, the city government quickly detects the needs of support through IT-based un-tact and smart caring system to provide necessary support.
The city will tighten the welfare infrastructure as well. In Seoul, the number of the city’s silver care centers and dementia support centers will be increased for the elderly with geriatric illness. Seoul will open three Vision Centers this year which provides a comprehensive support including education, caring and health management for adults with brain lesions. In addition, the city government will expand the installation of the lifelong education centers for persons with developmental disability; and the support centers for the families of the disabled in its 25 autonomous districts.
The city continues to implement supportive policies that help the vulnerable groups to stand on their own. This year, it will additionally supply 197 units of the public rental housing where the disabled, homeless, and elderly residents can receive various welfare services. The city will provide a total of 80,000 jobs tailored for the middle-aged who embark on a new chapter of life, the elderly and disabled.
By announcing the “Seoul Welfare 2021” package including the key measures above, the Seoul Metropolitan Government said that it will provide a reliable support so that both the vulnerable groups and households in crisis can overcome the crisis without difficulties.
The new program mainly focuses on: ▴expanding the care services for the senior and disabled citizens, ▴lowering the threshold for welfare support by abolishing the family support obligation rules, ▴expanding the welfare infrastructure, ▴increasing jobs tailored for different generations, and ▴strengthening the prevention measures against the pandemic and facilitating un-tact services.
Expanding the scope of the beneficiaries for SOS care centers and strengthening care services for the elderly and disabled
Identifying welfare blind spots, the city has broken down all of the households in crisis into 4 stages and made it mandatory to visit these households for check-up on a regular basis, depending on the degree of sufferings. It will enhance the service quality by hiring more care providers for the aged in the vulnerable groups. The city will launch a pilot project of the activity support services for the disabled elderly, which had been initiated by the city government first and then was expanded as the central government’s program.
Amid an increasing number of single-person households and even the pandemic making it harder to give face-to-face care, Seoul will utilize the IoT and provide smart care for the vulnerable groups in order to prevent the care deficit.
Strengthening the welfare safety net by temporarily lowering the criteria for Seoul’s emergency welfare support and abolishing the family support obligation rules under the city’s basic livelihood security program
Since last July, the city has lowered the criteria for Seoul’s emergency welfare to 100% of the standard median income and 326 million won-or-below of asset. Seoul will continue to apply this threshold until Wednesday, June 30. The beneficiaries will receive up to 3 million won covering living, housing and medical expenses. In particular, the city eases the income criteria and abolishes the criteria on obligatory providers for the elderly/single-parent households under its basic livelihood security program. With these measures, the safety net is expected to be further strengthened.
Expanding the welfare infrastructure to support the elderly, disabled and middle-and-older aged
Upon the completion this July, Dongdaemun Silver Care Center will be opened up for the elderly with geriatric illness. Meanwhile, Dongbu Senior Care Center and Seobu Senior Care Center will be converted to dementia-specialized facilities for the elderly suffering from the illness. The city will expand various facilities for the disabled with brain lesions, development disability, and hearing and visual impairment, and also for their families.
Seoul will additionally open the 50-Plus Centers in Yangcheon this July and Gangdong this August. As of January, nine centers are in operation in the city. In addition, it will secure additional housing units to stabilize the housing conditions for the vulnerable groups, in order to promote their settlement in local communities and residential stability for the disabled, homeless and elderly.
Identifying welfare jobs tailored for different generations to help them secure the income level and lively later years, and promote self-independence
For 61,200 public-sector jobs for the elderly, the scope of candidates qualified for application will be expanded from the basic pensioners over the age of 65 to the recipients of the medical, education, and residential allowances. About 70,000 senior jobs will also be provided, including social services positions such as housekeepers for the vulnerable groups and pet playground managers.
To ensure job stability for the disabled, the city created 260 jobs for the disabled who have profound disabilities and/or who left the facility and live independently, who had been excluded from the labor market. With this effort, the city government provides 3,399 public-sector jobs, up from 2,955 last year.
Kim Seon-soon, Deputy Mayor for Welfare Policy of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, said, “Last year, we realized the need of welfare reform from the COVID-19 experiences. With a clear response to the pandemic, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will improve the relevant system, expand the infrastructure, and provide welfare support truly for citizens to ensure that Seoul becomes the city for the happiness of all.”