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  • Seoul to offer disaster emergency relief funds to foreign residents

  • Press Releases SMG 510
    • This decision came after the National Human Rights Commission of Korea’s advice that foreign residents should be included among the beneficiaries of its disaster relief funds, saying they should not be discriminated without reasonable reasons
    • Those eligible for the funds are foreign residents who have one of the visas that permit employment and profit-making activities in Korea and they should have household incomes smaller than the median income
    • The relief money will be paid by prepaid cards valid in Seoul through December 15
    • Those eligible can make online (Aug. 31 – Sept. 25) and on-site applications (Sept. 14 to 25) that can be used only by the five-day rotation system

    SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, August 31, 2020 – The Seoul Metropolitan Government said that it has decided to offer its emergency disaster relief funds to foreign residents as it did for Korean residents last March.

    This decision came after the National Human Rights Commission of Korea’s advice given on June 10 for the Seoul Metropolitan Government that foreign residents should be included among the beneficiaries of its disaster relief funds, saying foreigners should not be discriminated against without reasonable reasons.

    Those eligible for the relief funds are all foreign residents who have been registered as living in Seoul for more than 90 days since reporting alien registration as of August 27, and they must have one of the visas that permit employment and profit-making activities in Korea. Those who came to Korea to study or get training and those who are working for restricted jobs as well as illegal workers are not eligible.

    Also, to be eligible, household incomes should be smaller than the median income which is the same criteria applied to Korean citizens.

    * Household’s Median Income Standard (Unit: Korean Won)

    Household’s Median Income Standard (Unit: Korean Won)
    1-person household 2-person household 3-person household 4-person household 5-person household 6-person household 7-person household
    1,757,194 2,991,980 3,870,577 4,749,174 5,627,771 6,506,368 7,389,715

    Households with two or fewer members are paid 300,000 won, those with three to four members 400,000 won, and those with five or more members 500,000 won.

    * Amount of Disaster Relief Funds (Unit: Korean Won)

    Amount of Disaster Relief Funds (Unit: Korean Won)
    1-person/2-person household 3-person/4-person household 5-person or more household
    300,000 400,000 500,000

    Applications can be made both online and offline. Online applications can be available 24 hours a day from August 31 to September 25 at http://fds.seoul.go.kr.

    For those who cannot make it online, Seoul operates 40 designated offline places, including the Seoul Global Center and the Seoul Counseling Center for Migrant Women. Offline centers will help visitors make their application online and issue documents needed for the application.

    Offline centers can be used only on designated days for each individual, depending on the last digit of one’s birth year. This is part of efforts to take strict quarantine measures and to follow the social distancing policy to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    policy to prevent the spread of COVID-19
    Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday/Sunday
    1, 6 2, 7 3, 8 4, 9 5, 0 Anyone

    In addition, the integrated call center is operated for foreigners to ask inquiries about the application with 17 language services, including Korean, English, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai.

    On-site applications can proceed from September 14 to 25 at district offices throughout Seoul. Each eligible one can visit the district office where his/her alien registration was made. The on-site application services can be also used only by the five-day rotation system depending on the last digit of one’s birth year. Their opening hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday.

    Documents to be submitted include the fill-out application form, the agreement on the collection and use of personal data, the certificate of alien registration, and the health insurance registration certificate. The application form can be downloaded from http://fds.seoul.go.kr.

    If those cannot submit the health insurance registration certificate because they do not have health insurance, they should identify legitimate reasons for the non-registration, such as being resident for less than six months. Dependents and household members listed on health insurance or persons registered as family members on the Certificate of Alien Registration are considered household members.

    Final recipients will be notified through a text message two weeks after the application.

    The relief money will be paid by prepaid cards that will be valid in Seoul through December 15. The card can be picked up at designated places of each district.

    In March, the Seoul Metropolitan Government provided 542.3 billion won (US$457 million) in emergency disaster relief funds to 1.6 million households to help them cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and to give a boost to the local economy.

    Ms. Kim Seon-sun, Deputy Mayor for Welfare Policy, said, “There are around 95,000 foreign households who are living and working in Seoul as members of our local community. They are also hit hard by COVID-19. We hope this emergency disaster relief payout scheme is of some help to them.” She also added, “This measure would realize the humanitarian equal rights for foreign residents in the city while contributing to revitalizing the local economy.”