SEOUL, May 20 (Korea Bizwire) — Eight in 10 South Korean households have received emergency disaster relief funds now being paid by the government to the whole country to cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety said Wednesday.
On May 4, South Korea began paying out 1 million won (US$813) each to households with four or more members, 800,000 won to three-person households, 600,000 won to two-person households and 400,000 won to single-person households.
By Tuesday, 17.28 million, or 79.6 percent, of the nation’s 21.71 million households had been paid the unprecedented one-off handouts, the ministry said.
In terms of amount, 10.857 trillion won, or 76.2 percent, of the total emergency relief fund budget of 14.245 trillion won had been paid to the 17.28 million households, it noted.
The payments of the relief money started on May 4 for some 2.8 million households in the lowest income bracket, or 13 percent of the total, and online and offline applications for the funds will continue until Aug. 18.
Online applications for credit or debit card points began May 11, while offline applications for card points, gift certificates and prepaid cards kicked off Monday.
Households failing to apply for the emergency relief funds by the deadline will be regarded as donors to the state. Recipients must spend the money by Aug. 31 or it will also be deemed a donation.
On Tuesday, about 1.3 million households made applications for 834.9 billion won, marking a decline from a daily average of about 2 million applications during the previous week.