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S. Korea to start making household relief payments on May 13 Updated: 2020-05-02 09:14:29 KST


To cushion the economic blow of the COVID-19 pandemic, the South Korean government is providing disaster relief funds to all of its citizens.
They'll be distributed in four ways depending on your needs and preferences.
The first to get help will be the 2.7 million vulnerable households living off basic pensions or disability payments.
The government has passed a special act so that the funds are not subject to seizure by creditors. These households will get their payments next Monday in the form of cash deposits to their accounts. Others will have to apply for the relief money on the website of their credit card company and will get it in the form of debit or credit card points.
If you plan to apply in person or want to get the funds on a prepaid card or in regional gift certificates, applications will be accepted from the 18th.
To keep people from all applying at once, the government will run a 5-day rotation system according to the last digit of one's birth year just like how Korea rationed the buying of face masks.
The size of the payments depends on the number of people in the household.
A household of one person can get roughly 330 U.S. dollars, a family of two about 490 dollars; about 650 for a household of three, and some 820 for a family of four.
The specific standards can be checked online.
However, there's limit on how and when the money can be used.
The program was initially designed to help local business owners, so it can only be spent in traditional markets, convenience stores and other local mom and pop stores and only in the district where you live.
The government hopes all the money will be spent by the end of the August.
For those who do not apply, the money will be considered a donation and will be used to support those who've lost their jobs or have been put on unpaid leave.
Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News.
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