We provide services catered to population groups in need, such as mothers, infants, children, people with disabilities, and the elderly.
The Ministry hands out medical allowances to mothers and their newborn children on healthcare bills related to maternity. We provide pregnant women with a KRW 500,000 e-voucher (USD 455) that can be used to pay medical bills related to pregnancy. We provide reproductively-challenged couples with partial allowances for artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization (IVF), regardless of income levels, to decrease the financial burden of these high cost procedures.
To ensure proper postnatal care of the mother and the newborn, the Ministry offers help services to households or individuals who fall under the following categories: low-income households, individuals with rare or incurable diseases, transnational families, single parents, mothers or newborn babies with disabilities, and households with two or more children.
The Ministry has implemented various policies to ensure the basic rights and well-being of all children. Starting from September 2018, families with children aged 0-5, excluding the wealthiest 10%, will be eligible for a child benefit of KRW 100,000 (USD 91) per month.
The Ministry is also taking a targeted approach to promote healthy and happy evelopment of children without proper parental care. The Dream Start program has been introduced to actively seek out children in need and connect them with local welfare services. For those eligible, the Regional Centers for Children arrange after-school care programs that consist of comprehensive child services, including protection, education, general wellness romotion, and cultural experiences.
At the same time, the Ministry is making proactive efforts to identify and prevent potential child abuse. To that end, we have established an at-risk child detection system utilizing big data on school attendance rates, vaccination status, and other relevant information. Endangered children identified through this system are then introduced to welfare services necessary for their protection. In addition, we are improving general nowledge and awareness of child abuse and its prevention by conducting education and training sessions for mandatory reporters, such as teachers at care facilities and kindergartens. These mandatory reporters are required by law to timely report suspected cases of child abuse.
Services for Infants and Preschoolers
The Ministry supports child care services for mothers and newborn babies to ensure the healthy development of children aged 0-5, reduce financial burden associated with parenthood, and maintain a desirable work-life balance.
Under the current system, all families with young children, regardless of household income levels, receive a monthly voucher for childcare services. The voucher covers tuition and other fees for children enrolled in child care facilities until they enter elementary school. As for families who choose not to enroll their child in these facilities, a monthly child home care allowance is provided.
We are currently expanding the number of childcare facilities built and operated by central and municipal governments to ensure easy accessibility throughout the country. The Ministry has also allocated specialists to assess all types of childcare centers. The purpose is to promote the quality of childcare programs and ensure that qualifications of teachers meet the required standards.
|Child age (years)
||Monthly childcare service voucher
||KRW 825,000 (USD 750)
||KRW 569,000 (USD 517)
||KRW 438,000 (USD 398)
||KRW 220,000 (USD 200)
|Child age (years)
||Monthly childcare service voucher
||KRW 200,000(USD 182)
||KRW 150,000 (USD 136)
||KRW 100,000 (USD 91)
Services for People with Disabilities
As of December 2016, there were approximately 2,510,000 registered people with disabilities in Korea, which accounts for about 5% of the total population. The Ministry has put in place various means and systems to resolve issues arising from disabilities, such as
low income due to loss of ability to work and disability barriers. Our ultimate goal is to create an all-inclusive society where disability does not hinder individuals from social participation.
In the near future, we plan to make amendments to the current disability assessment scale, which only considers loss of function. The amendment will take into account individuals’ service necessities to help us provide better services and benefits for those in
need. Moving forward, we plan to strengthen existing pension plans and career support systems to secure a more stable source of income while enhancing the accessibility of healthcare services for the disabled.
- Key services and benefits given to people with disabilities include :
- Guaranteed source of income via disability pension, vocational rehabilitation, and policies encouraging employment of disabled people, including affirmative action
- Benefits, such as tax deduction and reduction of transportation and communication expenses
- Improvement of general living conditions through mobility assistance services, obstacle-free living environment certifications, and mandatory accessibility requirements for key facilities
Services for Low-income Households
Poverty is not attributed to personal factors alone. Both individual action and societal support play an important role in overcoming poverty. The Ministry has various policies in place to support low-income households, including the following two distinct programs:
The first program is the Individual Development Account (IDA), which is designed to assist individuals enrolled in the Basic Livelihood Security Program for economic independence. The second program is the Child Development Account (CDA), which is intended to promote the independence of children in need. Under these programs, government branches and businesses finance matching or proportional funds to help low-income households and individuals save money that can be used later.
The Ministry currently runs an Emergency Welfare Support System for those in dire need of support due to emergency situations resulting from loss of income, severe diseases, injuries, domestic violence, and fire damage. The system covers basic living expenses, as well as costs associated with medical bills, housing, education, and heating. In parallel with the Emergency Welfare Support System, the Ministry is expanding medical benefits and services for those suffering from rare, incurable, and severe diseases, as well as for low-income households and those in need of nursing and home-visit care services.